Dream Big Prize-Winner and Filmmakers ‘Clicked’ on Contest Trip

September 2, 2016
Dream Big Contest winner Rocio Rodriguez, P.E., M.ASCE, hangs out with the film’s director Greg MacGillivray on Laguna Beach. PHOTO: Barbara MacGillivray

Rocio Rodriguez, one of three winners in ASCE’s Dream Big Contest, flew to California last week, bringing her family, to watch an early cut of ASCE’s forthcoming IMAX film, Dream Big: Engineering Wonders of the World, with its director, Greg MacGillivray.

The “dream prize” called for dinner and the movie.

But everyone had such a good time, the prize extended through the three-day weekend.

MacGillivray and his wife, Barbara, enjoyed meeting Rodriguez so much they invited Rocio and her family, who were her guests on the trip, to their Laguna Beach house each of the three days of the dream-prize visit.

“It was amazing,” said Rodriguez, P.E., M.ASCE, a structural engineer for Siemens in Orlando, FL. “Their backyard is the sand of the beach. You walk out and you’re right at the beach.

Dream Big Sidebar“They were so nice to us, so welcoming. We really clicked.”

MacGillivray is an Academy Award–nominated filmmaker who specializes in IMAX technology. His innovative use of helicopter camera mounts in the 1970s ushered in a new era of giant-screen films.

Dream Big, slated for nationwide release in February, will highlight some of the world’s greatest engineering feats while showcasing the vital role engineers play in society.

Rodriguez, her husband, and their three children got the full, luxury private-screening experience – complete with popcorn, candy, and sodas – as they watched an early edit of Dream Big at the MacGillivray Freeman Films headquarters in Laguna Beach.

“My kids were taking notes,” Rodriguez said. “They were really excited, knowing that they were some of the first people to see the movie.”

The Rodriguez family enjoyed their "dream prize" trip to Laguna Beach. PHOTO: Barbara MacGillivray

The Rodriguez family enjoyed their “dream prize” trip to Laguna Beach. PHOTO: Barbara MacGillivray

So can the Rodriguez family offer ASCE members a preview of what they can expect from the Dream Big film?

Well, maybe not exact details. But Rocio did provide a two-thumbs-up review.

“I was able to get into the movie and feel it,” Rocio said. “I transported myself into the movie and experienced almost every single thing in it.”

She was especially interested as a civil engineer in a sequence involving the Shanghai Tower. Her children liked the scenes that featured kids just like them learning about engineering.

If anything, they liked the film too much. MacGillivray and the production team asked for any suggestions or constructive criticism. Rocio didn’t have many notes: “I think the movie is perfect the way it is,” she said.

Rodriguez was one of three winners in this year’s ASCE Dream Big Contest. Nathan Shellhamer, S.M.ASCE, president of Purdue University’s ASCE Student Chapter, visited a Dream Big film shoot in Shanghai this spring.

Marta Alvarez, P.E., L.S., M.ASCE, president of YCE Engineering & Surveying in Ventura, CA, won a Dream Big premiere event, which will be held in her community when the film is released early next year.

Learn more about the film, watch the latest trailer, and find out how you can get involved in Dream Big outreach programs.

  • Exciting, can’t wait to see the final product.

  • My Grandfather helped to build the Panama Canal and received a medal from President Theodore Roosevelt, so when ASCE had a Global Conference in Panama during the 100 year anniversary of the Canal, I took my daughter, who also wants to be a film maker, with me to the conference. I almost cried when I realized, during the special tour for engineers of the new canal being built, that here we were standing, 100 years later at the same spot watching an engineering marvel being born, just like my Grandfather had. I became a Civil Engineer in the early seventies, after being laughed at for the idea of a woman going into engineering. I’m glad I can carry on my Grandfather’s legacy.

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