Hollywood, CA – As this blog’s originating from the Loews Hollywood Hotel, the story of how this blogger got to this place, less than a day from the start of the 85th Academy Awards, is summed up in this embed produced by my Zennie62 On Vidoco page (I’m on the Vidoco Advisory Board):
As you can see, the day started with a BART ride to SFO from Oakland, and the discovery that BART tickets are being devalued by my cell phone. To digress for a moment, in other words, I’ll use a BART ticket that has money on it, and my cell phone will cause the ticket to be rendered not useable. That has happened three times this past week, including this morning at SFO Airport’s BART Station.
At any rate, the flight to LA via United Airlines was smooth and quick, with just a bit of turbulence along the way; the landing smooth as silk. And the good flight left my head just clear enough to make the smart decision to use Super Shuttle rather than the taxi cab – a difference of $16 versus $60. I think this means I’ve finally matured to a degree of picking affordability over style; the Super Shuttle dropped me off at the hotel in a surprisingly reasonable amount of time.
“The hotel” is the Resident’s Inn By Marriott – and one I’ve stayed at twice before. Folks, if you’re looking for the best combination of price and value in Hollywood / Beverly Hills, you can’t beat the Resident’s Inn By Marriott. Take a look:
After settling in, I met my friend and collegue in all of this, Eva, and we went to get our credentials and down to The Red Carpet. While in the credentials receiving line, I had one of those all-too-common-for-me small world experiences when I ran into Gary Meyer.
Gary Meyer is Co-Director The Telluride Film Festival, and prior to that, when I first met him, was owner of (SF Bay Area-based) The Landmark Theater chain, and then was owner of The Balboa Theater in San Francisco. His wife sat next to me after getting her credential, but we were both so out of our normal context that we didn’t recognize each other until I saw Gary! He and I go back a few years, and to 1997, when I tried but didn’t succeed in getting him to buy the then-under performing Grand Lake Theater, when Allan Michaan was trying to sell it.
But I digress.
Eva and I finally made it down to The Red Carpet, where my friend and colleague put her photog skills to work. Fascinated with the new addition of classic renderings of women in evening gowns, Eva captured their images with her iPhone. Then she said “Zennie, stand in the middle in that pink area.” So I did, but figured I’d look around rather than at the iPhone. The result is this rather cool panorama photo:
While I didn’t plan on the pose, the look caused me to create the Facebook comment “a man and his kingdom.”
Well, one can dream.
Overall The Red Carpet’s design is pretty much the same as last year, when I interviewed the Oscars Head Of Production, Joe Lewis, but with a nice addition: an assortment of renderings of women in evening gowns that, collectively, really add something to the overall feeling of tradition in movies and Oscar style. Like this one, one of the images Eva produced:
More Blogs On The Red Carpet
Another change from 2012 is the number of blogs that have spaces on the Red Carpet. In the recent past the coveted place on The Red Carpet was reserved for traditional media. In 2013, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has come into the 21st Century of media: Celebuzz, Reelz.com, Pop Sugar, OMG, are four of the six blog names I counted that were not here last year, or two years ago. This paves the way for Zennie62Media in the future. And, as Brian Hernandez from Mashable observed in our conversation today, “it’s means the Academy finally sees the value of blogs.”
In The Lobby Of The Loews Hollywood Hotel
After our 2013 Red Carpet trip, Eva and I retired to the lobby of the Loews Hollywood Hotel, where I’m blogging now. The seat I’m in affords a cool vantage point to watch the coming and going of celebrities, eat, and blog. But this year, the activity is far less frenetic than it was in 2012, and the cold wind blowing in from outside gave me a window to a possible reason for this: it’s cold outside. Cold not just for LA, but a down-right chill outside. My theory is there are far fewer fans outside, milling about, just because of the weather. The Weather Channel says it’s 54-degrees, but it feels for all the World like 49-degrees.
Still, the lobby’s active. Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) walked in, cruised over to the Dolby Theater (which you can do as they’re connected) and then walked out about 25 minutes later. Turns out he was in for the Oscar presenters rehearsal meeting.
Then, the aforementioned Mr. Hernandez walked over, as he was looking for a memory card reader to use (I didn’t have one), and that’s how the conversation about blogs, Mashable, and his gig here at The Oscars came up. Brian’s working for ABC.com and Oscars.com and the Oscars app, so the male face you’ll see on the Oscars website on Oscars Sunday is more than likely his. Mashable itself is not here.
Quiet Before The Storm
At midnight tonight, this quiet time will turn into a tighter, more intense late night scene. Security hotel will tighten, the lobby will be closed to all, save for those who have designated Oscars-related credentials, and more people with such business will stream in to this giant building and to their rooms, for either resting or partying or some combination of both.
In fact, that’s already happening.