Documentary Sheds Light on How D.C.’s ‘Nerd Prom’ Became a Celebrity Swarm

By Ted Johnson | April 30, 2014 | 02:02PM PT

Journalist Patrick Gavin has covered the White House Correspondents Assn. dinner for nearly a decade, but he’s leaving Politico to put D.C.’s celebrity-driven gala under the microscope of a two-hour feature length documentary.

His project, “Nerd Prom: Washington’s Wildest Week,” will focus on why dozens of celebrities would trek to D.C. at the same time every year to celebrate the White House press corps.

A five-day series of cocktail parties, live-music parties, screenings and brunches and other dinners now surround the Saturday evening event itself, a bit ironic as its growth has come as White House correspondents grapple with new pressures from social media and other digital platforms. Gavin says his project will capture that aspect of WHCA, along with views of the fans of the event as well as those who have criticized the coziness of journalists and sources. Tom Brokaw, for instance, has been critical, saying, “If you go, it’ll steal your soul.”

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