A surprise video featuring Loomis Chaffee’s pelican mascot and actor and director Jamie Widdoes ’72 getting a fictitious star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that said “Loomis Chaffee 2020” debuted on the LC Instagram and the Class of 2020 Celebration page before the May 24 online graduation. Many students began reposting the video not realizing the star was made on Photoshop. The school later clarified that the star was not real in an email to the class of 2020 and in a revised version of the video.
According to Director of Digital Communication Mrs. Mary Forrester and 2020 Class Dean Mr. Nick Barker, the idea for the video came out of the Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing along with the 2020 Celebration Team. The idea emerged when the team was brainstorming ideas and reached out to Jamie Widdoes to see if he was interested in helping out. He agreed and from there, the idea developed.
First, Jamie volunteered to drive up to Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles and film the blank star. Then, Loomis’ graphic designer, Cassandra Hamer, used a lock shot (video footage that doesn’t move) of the blank star and designed an image in Photoshop to mimic an actual Hollywood star.
To get a real Hollywood star on the Walk of Fame, one must have success in the film industry, and the team assumed that “it was enough of a known entity to be able to play with.” Therefore, the members of the 2020 Celebration Team did not expect viewers to suspect the star was real.
When asked about their reaction to the numerous assumptions that the star was real, Mrs. Forrester said, “It never occurred to me that people would think the star was real. I guess we did too good a job!”
“Our intention was never to fool people to think that it was real,” Dean Barker said. However, LC sent out clarification about the star to the senior class the following day.
The revised video was later released on the Class of 2020 celebration page which has a message at the end that says, “The Hollywood Walk of Fame star in this film is entirely fictitious. Any resemblance to an actual Hollywood star is purely coincidental and/or created through the magic of Photoshop, which the producers of this film are apparently really good at.”