It’s my Christmas, Superbowl and 4th of July all rolled into one big night; The Academy Awards. My chef husband started planning last night's Oscar dinner since last year’s award show ended, my girlfriend Kim was here watch the telecast (our 20th anniversary watching together) starting with red carpet through to the last award of the night, Best Picture (ARGO!). It’ll be a night filled with good food, wine and plenty of debating styles and nominees.
Credit Image: © Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News/ZUMAPRESS.com
A few years back we took a trip to Los Angeles to see the Academy Awards hoopla up close. We arrived on the Friday evening before Sunday’s event and took a walk around the Kodak Theater, the site of the 79th Academy Awards. As a professional event event manager, I pay particular attention to the behind-the-scene action.
Red Carpet at Academy Awards
Red Carpet: The famous red carpet laid in rolls in the alley behind the theater. Up close it was thin, well worn, tacky, and the seams were put together with duct tape. I did take the liberty of walking across the end piece (yes, I’ve walked the red carpet). By Saturday, after they rolled it into place, it is covered with plastic until the event starts on Sunday. They have definitely got their money’s worth on that purchase.
Fan Section: If you’re lucky enough to win one of the 200 fan lottery tickets, you’ll have the chance to sit in the small bleacher section, and see the stars up close as they come out of their limos. Otherwise, two blocks in every direction is cornered off to traffic, that being cars or people.
Statues: Not very creative and something everyone says, but Kim and I both declared, “Wow, this is heavy (8.5 lbs)” when we held one of the statues at an Oscar museum. Yes, I even said, “I’d like to thank my mom.” Music started and I was escorted off the stage. One detail of interest about the statute is that it stands upon a reel of film, which features five spokes, symbolizing the different branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers.
The seven foot Oscar statuettes that line the red carpet, were being unloaded from the truck and up close they were in desperate need of a new spray paint finish. Knocking on them revealed a hollow, plastic material.
Limousine: To alleviate limo gridlock, we were told by a security guard that most celebrities are at a hotel next to the Kodak Theater where they wait for one of handful of limos to pick them up, drive 500 feet to the entrance of the red carpet, drop off the celebrity, then drive around the block to pick up another star. Makes sense since this is a staged, timed event.
That's the magic of Hollywood! Have you ever been to the Oscars?
[Editor's Note: All images courtesy of the author unless otherwise noted.]
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