My first time covering the Oscars red carpet came and went Sunday, with plenty of adrenaline, jitters, excitement, flusteredness,
as well as a solid dose of hurry-up-and-wait.
About 18 of us interview journalists were crammed into a
narrow pen right at the mouth of the Dolby theater. We each had a one-foot
spot to stand in, which meant I got friendly with the people to my right and
left, while also mentally blocking out the leg cramps that set in after the
The talent began to trickle in, primarily below-the-line
nominees at first. With flipcam in my right hand and phone camera in my left
(it turned out to be quite the balancing act), I started filming and clicking
and point-and-shooting away. I got to chat with the soon-to-win “Gravity” VFX team and with
“12 Years a Slave” editor Joe Walker, who’s now edited all three of Steve McQueen’s
films. I was thrilled to have “The Hunt” star Mads Mikkelsen and director
Thomas Vinterberg come my way. I got to talk with them about the two-year
journey the film’s had since its Cannes debut in 2012 (where Mikkelsen
deservedly nabbed the Best Actor award) to its Oscar nomination in 2014. Such
is the slow distribution path for indie arthouse cinema.
At about 4:40pm, 20 minutes shy of when the carpet was
supposed to wrap up, the major nominees and non-nominees with serious star
wattage started to flood by. Lupita Nyong’o, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Christian
Bale, Alfonso Cuaron, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia
Roberts, Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor,
Penelope Cruz, Emma Watson, Will Smith and more seemingly came in on a tidal
wave of Major Famousness. Very few actually came over to our desperate journalist
pen (Steve Coogan, Nyong’o and Sally Hawkins were notable exceptions), but I
was able to nab flipcam of most of them passing (complete with me nerdily muttering
to myself every now and then, “O-o-oh there’s Penelope! Cruz! Oh! Oh! There’s
The highlight from this unreal 20 minutes was Cate
Blanchett, passing by two feet away from me, turning to a friend and
gushing about how gorgeous pal Sally Hawkins looked — I got that on video, too.
Alas 4G became non-existent in the heat of the red carpet
action, so my hopes for tweeting were sunk. But the best of the pics and video I took are in this post, after the jump. Enjoy.