In the flurry of excitement before the 90th Academy Awards, Josh Horowitz ’98 started his day long before the flashing lights, cameras and fanfare with a 6:45 a.m. wakeup call from wardrobe and makeup. For his 10th year reporting at the Oscars, Horowitz joined Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic on E! for red carpet coverage on Hollywood’s biggest night of the year.
“Working the Oscars is always an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s exciting to work for a different outlet and have a different set of tasks for myself,” says Horowitz, a correspondent for MTV News. “Film is what I live, breathe and do 365 days a year. It would be a much tougher gig if I had to cram, but I know film and I know this world.”
E! pre-Oscars coverage draws two million viewers each year, distinguishing it as a staple of the awards season in a competitive market. For Horowitz, the opportunity reflects decades in entertainment marked by a distinctive on-camera style in segments like MTV’s “After Hours” and “Happy Sad Confused.”
“I interview famous stars and filmmakers the same way I would talk to my friends or family and that goes a long way in making people feel comfortable,” says Horowitz, who started in entertainment as an intern and producer for Charlie Rose. The experience kick-started a career that has included bylines in Entertainment Weekly, Interview and his own book: The Mind of the Modern Moviemaker.
“In the last few years, every time I’m at an event like this— the Oscars, Golden Globes, Sundance, Comic Con— there’s definitely a constant bug in the back of my brain that makes me think: ‘Appreciate this. Remember this. Take it all in.’ I know how rare the opportunities I have are,” Horowitz says. “The Oscars are a living piece of history. There are very few events and moments that you know in advance will be a permanent piece of pop culture.”
At HWS, Horowitz majored in English, was a member of Chimera honor society and spent a semester off-campus studying in New York City. He received the Nathan D. Lapham Prize in Public Speaking at Charter Day in 1998.
“I had professors I loved and really connected with—like [Professor of English] Grant Holly and [Professor of Media and Society] Linda Robertson. They were certainly impactful and very encouraging of my passions,” says Horowitz, who also hit his stride while writing for The Herald and hosting a talk show on WEOS.
“I was really a shy guy and I still really am when not on camera. Finding a voice metaphorically and literally at The Herald and WEOS gave me confidence and gave me an outlet,” says Horowitz, back in New York less than 48 hours after the Oscar red carpet. “I remember it being such an adrenaline boost. I still get that same rush when talking to people.”