The Academy teams up with TikTok stars to help build buzz around the Oscars

By Faith Karimi, CNN

Reece Feldman, 23, is living out his dreams at the 94th Annual Academy Awards.

The Oscars welcome TikTok stars to help build buzz around Hollywood’s biggest night and boost the show’s ratings among young viewers. They’ve teamed up with 24 TikTok stars, including Feldman, Emily Uribe and Juju Green, for behind-the-scenes glimpses and celebrity interviews this year, said Meryl Johnson, the Academy’s vice president of digital marketing.

“There is relevant authenticity to content created on TikTok,” Johnson says. “Social media has transformed the way fans consume content, and TikTok is the next evolution.”

Until recently, Feldman had no idea his TikTok account, which focuses on the film industry and has more than 23 million likes, had caught the attention of Hollywood heavyweights.

As a production assistant, he posts videos of TV sets and movies under the TikTok handle @guywithmoviecamera to more than 619,000 subscribers. One of his most popular posts shows him preparing a table read on the set of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

“There’s nothing I love more than talking about movies. I love telling stories,” Feldman says.

Feldman has posted about surprise celebrity encounters, the Oscar nominees’ luncheon and preparations at the Dolby Theater — even the rollout of the iconic red carpet. He’ll be at various backstage events at the Oscars on Sunday to provide insight into what happens on Hollywood’s biggest night.

“They just give me the freedom to create and create TikTok-specific content,” he says. “I really love backstage…there are thousands of people making sure the lighting is just right…the sound is good. Those people who are amazing at their job and sweat to do it.

TikTok is an ideal platform to elevate the movie industry because it fosters people-to-people connection through personal videos, says Christina Ferraz, founder of the Houston-based marketing agency. Thirty five. Other platforms foster interpersonal connection through storytelling experiences, Ferraz says.

“The movie industry and TikTok rely heavily on and promote youth and beauty. It’s a natural marriage for brand alignment,” says Ferraz.

Feldman says TikTok differs from other social media platforms because it’s organic and has an algorithm that allows content from people without a lot of followers to reach a large audience. It is an incentive that attracts more content creators to the platform.

Some Oscar-nominated films have already won the popularity contest on TikTok.

This week, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who composed several songs for Disney’s “Encanto” soundtrack, thanked TikTok users for helping propel the film’s album to the top of the charts.

Miranda cited “really surreal and incredible” dances around the film’s hit song, “We’re not talking about Bruno”, which went viral on the platform.

“Dune,” which has 10 Oscar nominations, also exploded on TikTok, where its hashtag has been viewed more than 1.3 billion times.

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