It's a wrap ! Indeed. I have had a fantastic time this weekend and I hope you enjoyed reading some of the blogs.
You have been reading about the making of a documentary film called "Making It In Hollywood" which had a backdrop of the Oscars. It not about the Oscars, it's about people creating, performing, directing, writing, presenting in Hollywood with lots of great information for new and aspiring performers as well as those well experienced in the business. Show business that is. Everything about it is appealing, as I said when I started the journey, and it certainly proved that point this weekend. It also reminded me that it is a BUSINESS and there are clearly ways to win in a business which are not always obvious to everyone.
I personally found it was educational and informative to myself in "making" the documentary with some interesting challenges that come with producing, directing, filming, presenting, editing and blogging. Not least of which is the mindset that is needed to be thinking about the entire process, all the time. "Exhausting" sums it up nicely.
The end result is also a snapshot on life and culture around Hollywood in 2007 which will continue to be a fascinating place to visit and I will certainly be back for the 80th Academy Awards in 2008 with an even bigger project (watch this space).
In the meantime, many thanks for being part of the blog. I will get back to the UK and settle in, recover from my lack of sleep and get back a sense of normality. In the meantime, here's some official pictures from the very supportive people of The Academy press department.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
It's Oscars day ! I've been up since 4:30am. I couldn't sleep. It's now 7am and I've spent the last few hours looking through several tapes of the weekend so far. There are already some great images and footage from interviews, and the big night has yet to start. Ennio Morricone (pictured) will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award tonight for his extensive work in film and becomes only the second composer to win such an award. He is most recognised for the Spaghetti Western classics like The Good The Bad and The Ugly and composed the music for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill movies.
The helicopters are circling over the hotel where I am at the moment and the sun is casting some nice shadows over the otherwise garish Egyptian facade of the Hollywood and Highland centre which encompasses the Kodak Theatre and the Renaissance Hotel. The red carpet area has around 50 stands paid for by film companies broadcasting live and their extensive preparations have been going all weekend. The stage manager was kind enough to allow me to film one of my interviews on one of them.
The entrance where the limousines arrive has been constantly mobbed in the run up, and this is expected to be where the most crowds will be tonight. There are several other exclusive outlets around the hotel and the pool area which have a great vantage point, however these have been closed of for security purposes.
So, it's an anything can happen kind of day. Guerilla filmmaking in action. I already have enough footage for "Making It In Hollywood", to tell the story I wanted to tell, but it would be nice to get a bit of footage of the Brits like Helen Mirren, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Peter O'Toole or young James McEvoy.
Enjoy the Oscars tonight wherever you are. It's been a fantastic weekend and I'm coming home tomorrow delighted that I made the journey over here. The people I've met have been incredibly helpful and supportive of the filming I've been doing, and I have a significant story to create on film on my return. Not one that will be over and done with at the end of the Oscars, but one that will provide actors, directors, presenters, press and movie lovers some great moments which will be watched online for many years.
"Making It In Hollywood".......(part 1?)
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The title says it all. I attended a small and exclusive event for Ennio Morricone. He is to receive an honorary Oscar on Sunday and tonight a cocktail party was held to recognise the composer.
The night had progressed well and then the dynamics changed. Clint Eastwood arrived and my 'Making It In Hollywood' film became newsworthy with some exciting footage of the two geniuses meeting. I was in the middle of it all with camera in hand and I quickly asked my Hollywood director to get in on the action. The result was some exciting film capturing the buzz and a very pleasant moment when two legends met.
Look out for coverage of the event on UKFILM.tv and around the world. A Fox presenter asked Clint a few questions before adding a section to camera and saying 'it doesnt get much better than this'. I agreed.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Morning. The sun is shining in Hollywood today thankfully. It was wet when I left London and wet when I arrived in LA last night.
I had an early start this morning and received my access pass and immediately went downstairs and managed to walk along the red carpet with high definition camera at the ready. It will be good experience for the future (tongue firmly in cheek), and a great start to 'Making It In Hollywood'. I did it twice to make sure I had it nailed.
The hotel was a perfect choice as the traffic is mad and there are lots of roads closed. Joan Rivers also made a good choice and was also up and out early. She is in the room next door, but the glass on the wall trick didn't seem to uncover anything. 'Oh please' was all I heard.
Joan and her daughter Melissa are hosting the pre Oscars event (her 11th oscars apparently), and she will be finding out what all the best dressed people in Hollywood are wearing. 'Marks and Spencers' is my honest answer so I am keeping low key.
I have been invited to the Ennio Morricone cocktail party tonight and will send another update after that.
Have a nice day, ya hear.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
The journey begins. I wake up singing. Really. # there's no business like show business there's no business I know. Everything about it is appealing # - I agree with myself and realise how happy I am that I decided to accept the opportunity to cover the Oscars.
The day just gets better. I check my email and a journalist from The Scotsman wants my number in Los Angeles. The Renaissance Hotel I tell him before I leave for the airport.
I bump into an old work colleague on the way to the tube. His friend is an entertainment journalist and is covering the Oscars, I leave my card.
I get to the tube and stand next to a woman with a Hollywood bag. Another sign that I am heading in the right direction.
At the airport I think about a gift for my guests who have agreed to be interviewed. Eight miniature bottles of the rarely seen Auchentoshan whisky from my birthplace are sitting waiting on me as I arrive at the checkout.
I am now relaxed on the flight and finishing this blog before the air stewards come along.
If Carlsberg did air travel. . . .
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
The Society of London Theatre's prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards 2007 were held in London on Sunday night. Lesley Garrett, Kim Catrell, Don Johnson, Elaine Paige and many more stars of stage were out in force. Click play to watch official video of the night.
UKTheatre.TV - Laurence Olivier Awards
Film by kind permission of The Society of London Theatre.
Created by TheatreVision.
Copyright Society of London Theatre/TheatreVision 2007.
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Monday, February 19, 2007
Theatre has become part of my every day life now without thinking about it. Even a lunchtime stroll around The Cut in Southwark, where I was looking for a shoe shop to get a new pair for the 'Oscars', turned into a theatre journey.
The Bookshop Theatre caught my eye and I had to pop in. Very quickly the books were jumping into my hands and Samuel Beckett was in abundance. They have a little stage at the back where actors perform readings and plays. Delightful, atmospheric and intimate are the words that spring to mind. Worth a visit sometime.
Across the road The Young Vic has a busy theatre bar and the box office and PR staff are busy chatting and preparing for this evening's performance of The Soldier's Fortune.
Walking a little further along and The Old Vic comes into view. The signs for the Taming Of The Shrew and Twelfth Night have still to be replaced following the final performance on Saturday. Robert Lindsay stars in John Osborne's The Entertainer and opens on Friday so the exterior work has a few days to go.
Theatre fix for the day over, I return without shoes but with a story to tell and a Samuel Beckett book for the flight and chill out moments in the rooftop pool in Hollywood's Oscars hotel The Renaissance.
Have a nice day in the world of theatre wherever you are.