What it's like to be a first-time nominee at the Oscars

First-time nominee Laura Checkoway takes us inside her Oscars journey.

— -- It's been five weeks of firsts for documentary filmmaker Laura Checkoway.

"I've never used the word 'incredible' so many times in my life," the journalist-turned-filmmaker told ABC News, adding that "the Academy Awards was not in my field of vision" when she started making the film about elder abuse and America's oldest interracial couple.

Fortunately, Checkoway has documented her journey to her first Oscars. She shares her photo album below.

Jan. 29

"On a winter day in BK an invitation arrives," Checkoway wrote from her Brooklyn home. "Edith and Eddie Thank You for sharing your love and shining all around us."

Feb. 5

At the celebratory luncheon for Oscars nominees at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, Checkoway got to chat with some of the biggest stars in the industry.

She also got to catch up with some old friends, like Jordan Peele, a fellow student at Sarah Lawrence College. "'Get Out' rocked me," Checkoway said.

She wasn't the only newbie either.

Feb. 28

Checkoway and the other female Oscar nominees were invited to a special luncheon at Diane von Fürstenberg's home.

"Her new motto is 'In Charge,'" she said.

That evening, at a special documentary night at the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, Checkoway hung out with the oldest nominee Agnes Varda, 89. It was Checkoway's second time meeting the legendary documentary filmmaker. The first time was in November when both of their films were showing at the IFC Center in New York City.

March 2

"It's the only dress I looked at," Checkoway said.

March 3

Before the big night, Checkoway relaxed with close friends, including the friend, Abby Addis, who had texted Checkoway the photo of Edith Hill and Eddie Harrison that started her down the road to Oscar.

March 4

Checkoway began preparing for her Oscar ceremony debut at 10:30 a.m.

Hairdresser Angelina Panelli and makeup artist Mallory Jo Hunter helped to prepare not just the documentary filmmaker, but two of her subjects in the film, Hill's daughter Rebecca and granddaughter Robin.

"Their flight was cancelled due to weather so they drove all night from Virginia to North Carolina to get a flight to L.A.," Checkoway said.

They arrived just in time. Getting glamorized for the big event was almost more stressful.

"[Rebecca] is a hunter and fisher, so seeing her with her nails and makeup done was very special," Checkoway said. "We are all stretching ourselves for this experience."

In the end it was worth it. They all cleaned up nice.

Checkoway's parents also accompanied her to her first Oscars.

When Checkoway's category was announced, Frank Stiefel took home the Oscar for "Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405."

"It's an incredible honor to be nominated -- however I came to win," she said. "I really wanted to share the message of elders living and loving on their own terms and for the film to serve as an awakening toward a movement for elder justice with as many people as possible."

Later, Checkoway said Stiefel came over with his Oscar to console her, telling her, "You need to get one of these. You've got a lot left in you."

She also took comfort from the "many people and families that care about elder rights praying for us," she said. "Knowing that touches and moves me so deeply."

Checkoway closed out the night at the Governors Ball.

Do you know what all these women have in common? They're ALL @theacademy award nominees!!

A post shared by Nia Vardalos (@niavardalos) on Feb 28, 2018 at 9:00pm PST

That evening, at a special documentary night at the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, Checkoway hung out with the oldest nominee Agnes Varda, 89. It was Checkoway's second time meeting the legendary documentary filmmaker. The first time was in November when both of their films were showing at the IFC Center in New York City.

March 2

"It's the only dress I looked at," Checkoway said.

March 3

Before the big night, Checkoway relaxed with close friends, including the friend, Abby Addis, who had texted Checkoway the photo of Edith Hill and Eddie Harrison that started her down the road to Oscar.

March 4

Checkoway began preparing for her Oscar ceremony debut at 10:30 a.m.

Hairdresser Angelina Panelli and makeup artist Mallory Jo Hunter helped to prepare not just the documentary filmmaker, but two of her subjects in the film, Hill's daughter Rebecca and granddaughter Robin.

"Their flight was cancelled due to weather so they drove all night from Virginia to North Carolina to get a flight to L.A.," Checkoway said.

They arrived just in time. Getting glamorized for the big event was almost more stressful.

"[Rebecca] is a hunter and fisher, so seeing her with her nails and makeup done was very special," Checkoway said. "We are all stretching ourselves for this experience."

In the end it was worth it. They all cleaned up nice.

Checkoway's parents also accompanied her to her first Oscars.

When Checkoway's category was announced, Frank Stiefel took home the Oscar for "Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405."

"It's an incredible honor to be nominated -- however I came to win," she said. "I really wanted to share the message of elders living and loving on their own terms and for the film to serve as an awakening toward a movement for elder justice with as many people as possible."

Later, Checkoway said Stiefel came over with his Oscar to console her, telling her, "You need to get one of these. You've got a lot left in you."

She also took comfort from the "many people and families that care about elder rights praying for us," she said. "Knowing that touches and moves me so deeply."

Checkoway closed out the night at the Governors Ball.

Checkoway closed out the night at the Governors Ball.

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