Hi! I’m Sarah and I was one of the lucky Omaze employees that got #ToBoldlyGo to Vancouver for our recent Star Trek experience. Here’s my breakdown of this unbelievable experience.
When I stepped off the plane, the first thing I noticed was that the air smelled like cinnamon raisin bread. Canada is awesome!
One of our fellow Omazers, Mike, hung back at the airport to greet our grand prize winner, Adam. Our other coworker, Erika, and I headed to the hotel to run errands and assemble gift bags for our winners. This included tracking down and transporting balloons. 18 of them.
Tracked them down!
Assembled the bags!
And then… the decline of the balloons. First a couple went down.
Then the rest started to flounder.
By the time everyone arrived, these bad boys were in bad shape. No one got balloons except Adam, who arrived on the first day. If any other To Boldly Go winners are reading this, please know that we tried! Your balloons live on in our hearts, thoughts and somewhere in a Canadian gutter probably.
We posted up in the lobby to greet our winners when they showed up. And show up they did! Especially Audri and Summer, who were decked out in Trek gear upon arrival.
When it was time to go to set, the production coordinator for Star Trek Beyond, Jason, met us at the hotel and we hopped into a van. The drive was beautiful (I’m in love with Vancouver) and when we got there, jaws literally dropped. The set was insane and all the equipment—cranes, green screens, tents, cameras—was overwhelmingly cool. I can’t say much more than this! But the winners were so excited, and Erika, Mike and I felt the same.
Our grand prize winner won a walk-on role, so we got to watch him shoot a scene! We were all situated in a special Omaze tent that had a bunch of chairs, headphones and two monitors, so we could sit and watch Adam’s claim to fame. He was clearly visible in the background of the scene, and when he wrapped, the entire cast and crew clapped for him. Yay, Adam!
Zoe Saldana and John Cho came over to talk and take pictures, and they were so nice and cool. John introduced himself as Chris Pine, which was hilarious, and Zoe even recognized our week 5 winner, Linda, from our Facebook post! She pointed at her and said, “I know you!” That was one of Linda’s favorite moments.
The head of the special effects department came over with two aliens he created, and we got to see them up close and touch their squishy faces. The head of the props department showed us a bunch of different, really cool weapons. The screenplay co-writer, Doug Jung, came over to talk and asked our winners what they as Star Trek fans would want to see in the new film. I think they gave him some good ideas 🙂
At the end of the day, we told our winners that we were headed back to our hotel. We weren’t—we had one last surprise for them. We took them to another set, on a soundstage. I can’t say too much! But it was cool. And THEN… we got a surprise visit from ZACH QUINTO, CHRIS PINE AND KARL URBAN! Ahhh!!! There was screaming, laughing, handshakes and pleasant conversation all around. The guys were super nice. And tall! And dreamy. They took pictures with the To Boldly Go crew and thanked them for donating to the nine global causes that benefited from all the entries. It was very sweet, and the ride home was a very giddy and excited one.
To close out the whole experience, we had a lovely dinner, complete with a Star Trek trivia game and a To Boldly Go cake! We didn’t have a printout of the image we wanted for the cake maker to reference, so Erika drew it by hand. It was adorable and delicious.
She also asked a barista to make a “To Boldly Go” latte… Do you see it? Kind of??
Overall, it was an incredible experience. The production, Paramount and Bad Robot teams were so gracious and kind. They took the time out of their hectic schedules to truly make us feel not only welcome, but VIP! The lunch caterers greeted us with applause, the executive producer gave a big speech about Omaze and the winners, and everyone we crossed paths with either knew who we were or showed genuine interest in learning who we were. On top of everything, it blew my mind knowing that this experience gave back to nine different organizations that are doing incredible and important work around the world. What a feeling. I will honestly never forget those four days in Vancouver, especially because this Canadian beaver souvenir we brought back is forever perched on the Omaze mini fridge.
Live long and prosper.
Sarah @ Omaze
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