Monday, February 28, 2011

Charlie Sheen And Tiger Woods Dissed By Gloria Allred At Oscars Party

The Night Of 100 Stars, one of the "Big Three" Academy Awards Oscar parties held after the 83rd Academy Awards, never fails to draw colorful characters. One of them is famed lawyer Gloria Allred, who came to the giant Oscar Party with a sign in the shape of an octagon that read "Charlie Sheen Is A Disgrace."

She then used the press platform to go on a planned rant about Charlie Sheen, but I couldn't resist asking her about Tiger Woods. As you may know, she represented several women who were mistresses of Woods, including Rachel Uchitel. So, she went off on Woods first, before really going off about Sheen.

Allred's obviously trying to capitalize on the current buzz around his legal issues and the cancellation of the final episodes of Two And A Half Men by making appearances like this one. But she knows what she's doing. Gloria Allred says that Sheen should apologize to the 200 workers impacted by his absence, which eventually led to the show's problems.

Today, Sheen continued his series of media rants, this time appearing on Good Morning America to announce he's on a new drug: himself.

More Oscar-Related Videos Coming

There's much more from The Night Of 100 Stars Party - about 10 more videos to be uploaded and blogged including talks with Ed Asner and Gary Busey on the Wisconsin Protests, Richard Dreyfuss on, it seems, everything, Dennis Haysbert, Phil Morris, and many others.

Overall, it was a great and wacky time. I've spent the morning compressing and uploading videos. Now I have to head to the airport. Don't forget to check out for more blog posts not seen here!

Academy Award Winners

The 83rd Academy Award always seems to be a classy gathering, and there are expectations that the movies that truly deserve to win will receive the Oscar, but this year it didn't seem like the right winners were acknowledged.

The best movie of the year, Best Picture, was "The King's Speech." That is a movie that I had not even gone out and seen, and of course that makes me bias, but in my own opinion any movie that I haven't seen doesn't deserve to win the "Best Picture" award, because I usually see the movies that win movie of the year. I personally thought Inception would win, and many others seem to be singing the same tune.

Last year "The Hurt Locker" won the award for Best Picture - and rightfully so.

At least Black Swan didn't win - it was too overrated and too many people had said that Black Swan was going to win.

Oscars 2011 Shaken Up

Last night at the Academy Awards there were many thanks to other actors, to directors, etc. but there was someone who was neglected in these thanks - God.

The 83rd Academy Award Ceremony seemed like it was more like a reality television show - it didn't seem to flow or to be as planned as the ones that took place before it. It all seemed to be a bit shaky.

One thing that should be noted on is Christian Bale's beard - why would one grow his beard to that length and not shave it for an occasion such as the Academy Awards. Is Bale keeping that beard for other reasons perhaps, a role that he is preparing for or in the middle of shooting, because if not - why else would he have that atrocious beard?

Reese Witherspoon when reading Supporting Male category seemed to be wincing a bit too much - this year at the Academy Awards it was just a bit of a hot mess in every direction.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Oscars, Night of 100 Stars, Andrea Marcovicci

From the Red Carpet at the "Night of 100 Stars" Official Oscar Viewing party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, we saw more than 100 of Hollywood's "A" listers. Marla Schulman caught up with actress and singer Andrea Marcovicci, who tells her what's next for this versatile and talented performer.

Academy Awards: Melissa Leo Wins; Richard Dreyfuss On Spielberg At Oscar Party

This has been an incredible Academy Awards day. First, I want to thank my friends and colleagues Marla Schulman, Jennifer Friel, and Milena Merrill for helping me (and as of this writing, we're just pulling files together and blogging) at The Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party. As I blog this, Melissa Leo won Best Supporting Actress for The Fighter.

I'm also tired.

It was a day of talking with Richard Dreyfuss about why Steven Speilberg's work endures. It was Gary Busey being, well, Gary Busey, and intense, brilliant, wild man who I'm supposed to buy drinks for after I blog this. It was Shirley Jones and her husband Marty Ingels, who brought Ms. Jones, was his wacky self, waving the Oscar from 1960 that Jones won for Elmer Gantry. I could go on, and there's a lot more..

But here's the backstage interview transcript for Melissa Leo:

Q. Hey, Melissa. Congratulations, I'm right down here in front.
A. Thank you.

Q. I wanted you to win for FROZEN WINTER so it's awesome to see you back here. And I applaud you for taking your character from the movie on stage, dropping what I think is the first ever F bomb in the Oscars. How does that feel?
A. I had no idea. Those words, I apologize to anyone that they offend. There's a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular.

Q. I thought it was wonderful.
A. I really don't mean to offend, and probably a very inappropriate place to use that particular word in particular.

Q. Congratulations.
A. Oh, hi, 157.

Q. Congratulations.
A. Thank you.

Q. Well, I just wanted to ask you if you were in touch with the real life Alice Ward, and I know your character had a very extensive wardrobe. Did you take anything with you fashion wise from that character?
A. Well, the dress I'm wearing tonight I'd like to think that Alice would have liked it, and that was part of the choosing for it. She is a manager of her sons, was caught on camera quite a lot at the edges of the boxing ring, and I noticed a lot of the footage of Alice at the fights had her in white. Might not be so true anymore, but I think back in the days of black and white, it showed up well on camera. So that was some of the thought into it and into being here tonight. Alice, I did have the opportunity to meet. I could not have played her without having met her. I wouldn't have even know where to begin in many ways. The external part of Alice was Mark Bridges, the costume designer, and David O'Russell encouraging the hair department to cut my hair shorter and shorter and dye it and all of that. But no, I don't know that Alice's sense of style and my sense of style are too similar in too many ways.

Q. Melissa, over here. To your right.
A. You say over here...okay, I got it. There you go, okay, good.

Q. What was it like for you when Kirk Douglas kept stretching and stretching and stretching?
A. You know, it's really funny, you know, because he's an old actor. If anybody is an actor, he's an actor, right? And actually, he was doing us all this huge favor, because the longer he strung it out, the calmer I got to be. I got to take more than one glance over at Amy, who was sitting just in front of me away from where he was, I wanted to watch him because he was delightful to watch and I wanted to peek at Amy, so he strung it out in a rather delightful way for me and actually allowed a heart rate that had gotten fairly high as the category was announced to settle a little bit and wait and see what the envelope said.

Q. Hi, right in front. From WEBN in Boston. I was wondering about your experiences working in Lowell and with the Massachusetts people?
A. I've worked in the Massachusetts area on a number of films, and it's a great place to shoot, and I don't know if that's what you're asking about. If you're asking particularly about being in Lowell, because THE FIGHTER, it's not just a story based on the lives of real people, but it's their story. It most definitely is, and we were shooting it with the Wards around us at all times, I would have to say one or another of them. And it was an extraordinarily wonderful experience and I think a lot of what makes THE FIGHTER such an incredible film is that we were there in Lowell with the actual people, and cross referencing, you know, when somebody might say something about somebody and somebody else might say something else about that same somebody. And we were right there in the town hearing the gossip and hearing the language and the dialect and all, and it was very, very helpful to the process.

Q. Melissa, AFP. I was wondering if you felt vindicated about the campaign now that you've won?
A. There's nothing to vindicate, and there was no campaign. It was a photograph in a magazine; I wanted a pretty photograph in a magazine, that's all it was.

I am so sorry, I heard that was the last one, but I have a lot of other people in the films that are up for nominations as well, and I want to run back and see them. I thank you so much, right? Thank you.

Stay tuned for more...

Academy Awards: Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party Update

Good Academy Awards 2011 Oscar Sunday Morning! It's 9:46 AM, and having spent all day on the Red Carpet, and with a lot of content to get out, this blogger made an executive decision not to go back down to The Red Carpet this morning, because our passes expire at 11 AM, anyway, and get ready for The Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party which starts (for media) at 2 PM.

At this time, there's a ton of media people setting up on The Red Carpet for The Academy Awards, and while it's fun to hang out and grab the buzz, the simple fact is that 1) one has to wade through a ton of traffic to get there, 2) the street closures make getting to Hollywood and Highland a mess, then 3) one, in this case me, has to get out of their and go to The Beverly Hills Hotel for The Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party.

And since the Night Of 100 Stars party, my second, is expected to draw 187 celebrities and be the largest ever, it makes more sense to go over there, and do so without being rushed.

Plus, I'm already in Beverly Hills, so I might as well stay here and push up more content before I put on my tux and head out.

Oh. What am I wearing? A black single-breated tux by The Men's Warehouse On Market Street in San Francisco, and with a black tie and black shoes.

As for The Night Of 100 Stars Party, I will be joined by my friends Milena Merrill, Marla Schulman, and Jennifer Friel. That's what I'm excited about; this is the first year all credentials and passes were obtained under, Inc. The first year it was just "me;" the second year it was The San Francisco Chronicle, and this year, while I'm still posting for Hearst Corporation, I am working to build my own media brand. So far, so good.

Now, back to the "Night" Update. I mentioned the producers sent an update, announcing they expect 187 stars. Here's the updated list of celebs:

Laura Dern, Amy Brenneman, Jena Elfman, Tom Sizemore, Billy Bob Thornton, Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Ron Perlman, Tom Arnold, Billie Burke(Twilight), Peter Facinelli(Twilight), Kevin McKidd (Grey's Anatomy), Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire)Jennie Garth, Michael Nouri, Michael Madsen, Traci Lords, Armand Assante, Dwight Yoakam, Dolph Lundgren, Bo Derek, John Corbett, Michael Clark Duncan, Joey Pantoliano, Tia Carrere, Robert Carradine, Annie Wersching(star of "24"), Gloria Allred with client Veronica Siwik-Daniels aka Joslyn James-(Tiger Woods girlfriend) Eric Roberts, Noah Wyle, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA.) Chairman Entertainment Committee, Ben Vereen. ..Also expected - Sean Astin, Krista Allen, Ed Asner, Jason Alexander, Powers Boothe, Daniel Baldwin, Jermaine Jackson, Timothy Busfield, Joe Bologna, Susan Blakely, John Corbet, Keith Carradine, David Hasselhoff, James Cromwell, Stephen Collins, Michael Chiklis, David Carradine, Joanna Cassidy, Richard Dreyfuss, Kevin Dillon, Lolita Davidovich, Robert Davi, Bruce Davison, Lou & Carla Ferrigno, Frances Fisher, Dave Foley, Peter Fonda, Jon Favreau, Joley Fisher, Robert Forster, Jeff Garlin, James Darren, Carla Gugino, Dominick Dunne(in memorium), Lou Gossett Jr., Dennis Haysbert, Dule Hill, Cheryl Hines, Monty Hall, Harry Hamlin, Marilu Henner, Ken Howard, Jack Klugman, Richard Karn, Martin Landau, Ron Livingston, Hal Linden, Richard Lewis, Sharon Lawrence, Michael Lerner, Matthew Modine, Chris McDonald, Camryn Manheim, Dylan McDermott, Jesse Metcalfe, Ming-Na, Judd Nelson, Kevin Nealon, Danielle Panabaker, Kevin Pollak, Stephanie Powers, Michelle Phillips, Lou Diamond Phillips, Freddie Rodriguez, Jason Ritter, Brande Roderick, Adam Rodriguez, Pat Richardson, George Segal, Fred Savage, John Schneider, Tony Shaloub, Kevin Sorbo, Rob Schneider, Amber Tamblyn, Jennifer Tilly, the GEICO Caveman, and over 100 more are expected. In an ongoing tribute to our friend Anna Nicole Smith, who attended our party regularly, Norby Walters has invited over 75 Playboy Playmates and Playboy models . Last year over 30 of the Playmates and 20 Playboy models attended.

Almost 60 Academy Award Winners and Nominees who have previously attended and many are expected: Jamie Foxx, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Danny Aiello, Jennifer Tilly, Linda Blair, Michael Lerner, Sally Kirkland, Gary Busey, Bruce Davison, , Richard Dreyfuss, Cathy Moriarty, Kathleen Quinlan, Eric Roberts, Lynn Redgrave, Robert Forster, Diane Ladd, Caroll Baker, Rip Torn, Charles Durning, Dean Stockwell, Robert Stack, Theodore Bikel, Don Murray, Cliff Robertson, William H. Macy, Samantha Eggar, Kevin McCarthy, Glynis Johns, Terry Moore, Burt Young, Karen Black, Eddie Albert, George Chakiris, James Cromwell, Red Buttons, Ernest Borgnine, Anthony Franciosa, Shirley Jones, Elliott Gould, Tony Curtis, Martin Landau, David Paymer, Robert Loggia, Renee Taylor, Joe Bologna, Rod Steiger, Brenda Vaccaro, Shirley Knight, James Whitmore, Shelley Winters, Pat Morita, Patricia Neal, Stuart Whitman, Carrie Snodgrass, Seymour Cassel, Lesley Ann Warren, Russ Tamblyn, Maximillian Schell, Sally Kellerman and Mickey Rooney.

What we're going to do is use a combination of standard video, live streaming, Twitter updates, Flickr photo posts to, and live-streaming. So if you want to follow us on Twitter, we're at @zennie62 @DvinMsM @jenfriel @locita1 and using the hashtag #zenOscars and #Oscars, just to make sure, and visit

99ers Rally to Support Employed Workers - Will Unions Support Tier 5?

99ers Rally to support Employed Workers yesterday in every state but - will the Unions adamantly support Tier 5? One can only hope. One sad commentary on the 99ers' plight is how the AFL-CIO union (and their political off shoot organizations), also with NELP have left the 99er community out to dry so to speak the entire year of 2010 - when we needed them most.

Yesterday the 99er Nation stepped up all across the USA yesterday in support of the Wisconsin Unions and against Gov. Walker's Union Busting shenanigans. One can only hope that these unions will finally openly fight for the 99er cause henceforth.

As Kelly Wiedemer (Denver Unemployment Examiner) said in her article last Friday: The Job Party - bringing 99ers & American workers together

“While politicians are once again ignoring the need to create jobs and are instead in their home districts, patting themselves on the back, fighting over huge spending cuts, groups are being formed and coming together to support American workers. The Job Party is an organization looking to unite the unemployed in a very public push to create jobs. They held their kickoff rally on February 19, followed by a second rally on Tuesday outside of FOX News headquarters in NYC.

Who is the Job Party? They are a growing coalition of support for middle class workers, pushing for domestic job creation and to stop the Corporate takeover of America. Politicians aren't willing to do this; it is up to every individual in America to take a stand.

Supporters of the Jobs Party include;

Organizations / Blogs - Bob Fertik
Center for Economic and Policy Research - Dean Baker
Democracy For America - Jim Dean
Down With Tyranny - Howie Klein
GRITtv - Laura Flanders
Progressive Democrats of America - Tim Carpenter
Progressive Kick
Radio Or Not - Nicole Sandler
War Is A Crime - David Swanson
Working Life - Jonathan Tasini
Young Progressives University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jason Tabrys had an article last week
Can Unions and the 99ers work together?

Read Jason’s Open Letter to USuncut here:

Tomorrow I will post an article with the latest Jobless Talk Rant entitled: GET OUT THERE!!! This fight in WI is far from over and is the golden opportunity for the 99er Nation to focus the light of public opinion upon us at long last. The time is NOW and we need to GET OUT THERE!

To view an excellent Slide Show of various marches from yesterday Feb. 26, 2011 - PLEASE click here.





San Diego

99ers in RI

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2011 Oscars: The Oscar Envelope By Marc Friedland (Oprah Approved!)

In all of the 83-year-history of the Academy Awards, would you believe there's never been a specially designed Oscars awards envelope until this year? The plumb job of designing the many different envelopes, 24 in all, and one for each category, in three sets (one for each Price WaterhouseCooper vote-counter) plus "emergency envelopes," fell to Marc Friedland of Marc Friedland Couture Communications, who counts among his many clients Oprah Winfrey. So, one can say that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences went with a designer who's "Oprah Approved."

Marc says Winfrey is a "Good client and a great friend. We've worked together on many events." But even beyond Opray, Friedland explains he's been able to work "for some of the most celebrated individuals doing the most legendary events." For Oprah, it was the Legend's Ball. For Steve Wynn, it was the Wynn Las Vegas Grand Opening. And for Atlantis, it was the Atlantis Dubai Grand Opening. And that's just a few of the many projects he's added his name and talent to over 25-years.

But the Academy Awards is the top of all of these assignments. A plum job.

For it, Marc says he looked at the Academy Awards as 'Hollywood glamour.' "We wanted something that was going to be timeless, but contemporary and modern," he said. "We really help mark the moment of life's most celebrated events. So when you really think about the anticipation that all of the audience and the people at home have, when the winner is about to be announced, the opening of that envelope - we wanted something that captures that moment in the most luxurious way possible."

To achieve that look, Marc uses what he calls an "iridescent gold material," and silhouettes of Oscar, set in the envelope in a style not unlike that of an expensive suit vest. The overall effect does capture The Oscars Lifestyle and the grand history of this 83-year-old event.

Marc's well-received work means that one doesn't just get a job like the one he did by being a friend of Oprah Winfrey, they get it by being just plain good.

Watch Marc's envelopes on the Oscars telecast Sunday night.

2011 Oscars: Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas Of Price WaterHouseCoopers

The real keys to the 2011 Oscars are actually "held" by these two men: Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas of Price WaterHouseCoopers. They represent a continuation of the 77-year-relationship between The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the giant account firm trusted to count each ballot for each awards category of the most important film awards event of the year.

How do they do it? In the video interview, Brad explained that "Price WaterHouseCoopers mails out the ballots, directly to the voting members of the academy. They're returned in the mail directly to us, And we then go through basically a three-day process of counting every ballot, by hand, each and every ballot, in all 24 categories. We have a small team of PWC professionals who help us. And at the end of the count, Rick and I are the only ones who actually know the results of each of the 24 categories."

If you think about it, that's powerfully valuable amount of information for one to carry around in their heads, considering its on the minds of million. But Brad and Rick don't act as if they're nervous about it. Indeed, they carry themselves with the cool of CIA agents. Brad has done it for seven years; Rick for 10 years. They keep the information for themselves; not even their wives know. "No one knows until it's announced on stage," Rick said.

On Voting Complexities

The Academy uses a preferential voting system, where one can pick more than one film in a category - and in ranking of first choice, second choice, and so on - a system used for Best Picture. But with that, according to Oltmanns, the process used for the awards voting is really not new; it's the same one used for the nominations process. Still, Brad, Rick and PWC take care to make sure Academy members are well-informed of how the process works, and it's well-understood by many.

What They Will Wear On Sunday

Marla Schulman asked what Brad and Rick planned to wear on Oscars Sunday. "Pretty standard: Black tux. White shirt. Black tie. Same as everyone else," Brad said with a chuckle.

A Firm Relationship

In an ever changing Oscars environment, with new media and increased pressure to have better ratings, The Academy is leaning on Price WaterHouseCoopers to be its gatekeeper of voting integrity, and from all reports, the firm's doing an excellent job.

I still think it's incredible that Brad and Rick can keep that info to themselves without busting open, though!

2011 Oscars: Jen Friel Goes From Homeless To TV Star

Got to put this in about my friend, Vlogger Jen Friel, who's partnering with me for the Oscars this year. After something like two years of going off on her own without money, freaking out her parents, learning social media, HTML, Java, and all sorts of coding tricks to build her website, then lifecasting much of what goes on with her, including our Oscars escapades, Jennifer's in the process of developing her own television show.

No, not a web-streaming show. A real live network TV show backed by a major studio with some A-list people involved. Jen's taking her blog Talk Nerdy To Me Lover and actually making it into a TV show.

Or did I say that already?

That's probably because there's a whole lot I can't say.

But I can say that this 2011 Oscar trip has been another example of how media's changing to something that anyone can do if they focus.  Sorry, but people like Jen Friel are leaving a lot of traditional media-types in the dust. Jen's got that ability to lock in and get it done.

Man, I wish I could say more. But just that she's really got a great TV show concept that's coming your way. Ready or not.

Stay tuned.

2011 Oscars Live: Marla With Kristyn Burtt On The Red Carpet

If you want to OD on Oscar-related content, you've come to the right place. Today, this blogger was on the Oscars Red Carpet for most of the day, and with a valuable assist from Marla Schulman, Jen Friel, Milena Merrill.

Marla introduced me to her friend and business partner Kristyn Burtt, as both are part of Mingle Media TV, and Marla, of course, has her Life After Kids blog. But on top of the intro, the good news is that after years of red carpet reporting at various events, Kristyn Burtt secured a prime spot on the Oscars Red Carpet! That's a great complement for a person who's well known in Hollywood, and works her tail off. Kristyn took time to talk with us about her coverage, and of course what she was going to wear.

Nervous Burtt? Nope.

Burtt explains that she's not nervous about her first Academy Awards Red Carpet interviewing experience because "I've done this before," she says. And Burtt's not being cute or arrogant, just honest. Hollywood is a town full of movie and music premiers and release parties. So many one can literally build a career just from attending them for the purpose of making media; that's what Burtt has done.

Because of her experience, Burtt's going to focus on the asking the nominees what their week was like leading up to the Oscars. "Because, when you're talking to a nominee, they're nervous. You want to put them at ease. Make them feel comfortable."

The Oscar Look By Chagoury Couture

Both Burtt and Schulman scored a nice deal with Gilbert A. Chagoury's Chagoury Couture, who's loaning them dresses for Oscar events. Burtt says "I'm wearing a dress that...I won't be eating for the next 24 hours." Frankly, neither Marla or Kristyn has to be concerned with that, because they stay in shape. But for them, being in "perfect" shape for the "perfect" Chagoury Couture dress on Oscar Sunday is top priority.

Catch Kristyn At Red Carpet Closet Blog

You can catch Burtt's Oscar updates and postings with a click here at at Red Carpet Closet. We wish her all the best and good luck on Oscar Sunday!

2011 Academy Awards - Just Being Nominated

Well my friends and loyal fans of LifeAfterKidsTV, I must say the bliss just keeps on coming! While I may never win an Oscar® for any of my projects, "just getting nominated"to cover all the glitz and the glamour of Hollywood's biggest night may just be the next best thing.

Thanks to fellow journalist and vlogger, Zenophon Abraham of, from Northern California, I will be reporting on the 2011 Academy Awards with him for the San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Post Intelligencer. What's more, he's invited the chic-est geek of them all, Jen Friel of fame to round out our very eclectic group of reporters. So we'll be bringing you some one-of-a-kind stories from behind the scenes, off the beaten path and the sidelines of the "Superbowl" of awards shows.

Plus, there are so many activities happening this week, leading up to the big day (Sunday February 27th) and we are planning to bring you some of those festivities. On game day, we've been invited to the Night of the 100 Stars official viewing party at the world-famous Beverly Hilton Hotel and expect some fabulous interviews with "A-listers" who just happen not to be nominated this year.

What you may not know is that those who cover and attend this event must wear formal attire, so Chogury Couture has graciously offered to deck this reporter out in its finest and Lala Castro will be lending Jen Friel and I our me bling for the evening.

But my favorite and most necessary accessory comes via Sukjhit Ghag, Blogger & Social Media Evangelist at Sony Electronics. Several weeks ago, and without knowing my plans to cover the Oscars, she sent the sleek, sexy and very portable Bloggie Touch MP4 Camera to test out. No heavy camera equipment for this lady journalist - just the evening-purse-sized Bloggie and my "old" faithful Zi8 Kodak gave me almost 2 years ago, will be strutting their stuff on the runways of Hollywood over the coming days. Then, when the dust has settled from this week, I will be reviewing these video cameras as well.

Please follow my adventures on my Blog, Facebook and Twitter!

Hofstra U takes 2011 mtvU Oscars Correspondent win

In a media-packed presentation that start-to-finish lasted less than 20 minutes, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU, MTV’s this morning announced that Luz Pena and Philip Robibero from Hofstra University are the 2011 Oscars Correspondent Contest Grand Prize winners and as such have locked backstage accommodations, a spot on the tomorrow’s red carpet for the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony and tickets to the coveted Governors Ball.

Academy president Tom Sherak said, “Luz and Philip made a strong impression with the Academy selection panel and the online voters. I know they will represent the college community well. They are in for an unforgettable experience – the red carpet at the Oscars is like no place else on earth.”

Coverage from Luz and Philip will be up on and next week.

The three competing finalists were flown to Los Angeles and have covered a flurry of events including Animated Feature Symposium, Foreign Language Film Award Nominees Photo Op, the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Symposium, and the Governors Ball preview.

Today’s winners were selected from a second mtvU online poll and further evaluated by a rock solid team of entertainment journalists -- Brooke Anderson, co-host of HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight”; Sandy Cohen from the Associated Press; and Adam Weissler from “Extra.”

Runners-up Blake Mitchell and David Torcivia from the University of Georgia and Sarah Erickson and Joel Kutz from the University of Southern California will also have red carpet access –- but from the bleachers at the El Capitan Theatre.

Academy Awards Red Carpet On A Rainy Day (2011 Oscars) - Academy Awards Red Carpet On A Rainy Day (2011 Oscars).

This is a glance at the new Red Carpet for the 2011 83rd Academy Awards - in the rain. Yep. It's raining again, just as it rained last year, but the forecast is for these conditions to rule the weekend. But that's not stopping the show by any means. In fact, The Red Carpet has a new design. It's more black this year and the font lettering for the signage is larger than before.

The basic Oscars Red Carpet colors are black and gold - Steelers colors. Plus, the layout seems smoother and cleaner than before.

Now if only the rain would let up...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Academy Awards: The Red Carpet - Covered By Rain Again

rain-redcarpet, originally uploaded by zennie62.

As I write this, I'm at The Grill Restaurant at Highland and Hollywood, waiting for my blogging colleagues Marla Schulman, Milena Merrill, and Jen Friel and listening to two people obviously well-connected with the Oscar production talk about how there are a lot of new people working on it, and it's "not as much fun" as before. Sad.

I don't know what's going on that produced such an environment, but I could not help but think of how it must be hell to dream of working at The Academy Awards, only to get bogged down by the sameness of it once you keep doing it for several years.

And then I thought about the rain.

If you read this space a lot, you may (or may not) remember my falling and hitting my head outside the Red Carpet last year. If not, here's the video:

This year, believe it or not, it's much wetter outside - sheets of rain were coming down, although it looks like it's stopped now. But from what the folks are telling me, there's supposed to be storms through Sunday.

I hope not. I hate the rain, but I gotta deal with it.

And tomorrow will be that day, and bring the MTV-U Press Conference to announce the winner of the 2011 Oscar Competition. What's fun is not just to see how the students react to all this "Oscar stuff" but to determine what they're going to do on Oscar Sunday, when their talents are put to the test.

Beyond that, there are a lot of parties going on around town, mostly at private residents and a number very hush-hush. That's another way of saying if I get into one, you may not know it.

Oscars Less Dramatic

This time the Oscars are a lot less dramatic than 2010. The 10 Best Pictures are into their second year. There's no rogue producer using email to diss his Academy competitors for Best Picture. And it really seem the possibility for an upset is almost non-existent.

Still, as a friend said, anything could happen.

Like. Maybe. The rain going away?

Back note: be sure to check out the additional blog work on The Oscars with a click here to visit

Stay tuned.

2011 Academy Awards: Meet Ama Jo Budge and Suniil Sadarangani

Ama Jo Budge covering the 13th Costume Designers Guild awards
Ama is a creative fiction and non-fiction writer from the UK currently based in Los Angeles. She has studied the arts for her entire life, specializing in alternative performance art and the study film.  Finding London decidedly too cold, Ama has come to bask in the sun and glory of our city of Angels and will be assisting Milena with her reports on the 2011 Academy Awards this year. She will be on-site twittering you instant updates from the 2011 Costume Designers Guild Awards tonight.

Suniil Sadarangani is covering Best of Laugh-in at the Paley Center tonight
Suniil Sadarangani started his career in production with Sunil Lull,  former CEO at MTV Networks, India. Since then he has become one of India's respected producers for his work in coordinating production between South Asia and the West having over 7 years experience as a Line Producer/Producer.  He joins Milena in covering tonight's presentation of The Best of Laugh-In at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills.  Suniil is an actor, producer and filmmaker.

Both Ama and Suniil will be based at the Roosevelt Hotel throughout the week, blogging, vlogging, snapping photos and lending eyes and ears to this blog's coverage.

Keep following us at:

Watch Part 2: 13th Costume Designers Guild Awards

Too bad none of these dresses are a double digit -- like a 10 -- otherwise I'd really be foaming at the mouth.  For me, it is LBD on Sunday.  Join Angelina Jolie and a ballroom full of stars for the 13th Costume Designers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel  on February 22, 2011.

Keep following us on:
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ABC gets to hang on to Oscarcast until 2020

The stunning Dame Helen Mirren

Oh happy day for ABC

For a ballpark payout of $50 million per year, the network will hang onto its annual OscarcastDaily Variety reports, through 2020, with the latest licensing agreement to have expired in 2014.

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Watch 13th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards

For a peek into Hollywood's hottest closests, check out the amazing couiture on the backs of the likes of Diane Lane, Claire Danes, Ginnefer Goodwin, Kathy Griffin, Kellan Lutz, Issiah Mustafa and Kristin Davis at the 13th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards video transcript held February 22, 2011 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, covered by one of this blog's writers, London-based Ama Jo Buldge.

Video is courtesy of the Lippen Group.

A quick rundown of 2011 Costume Designers Guild Award winners looks like this:

EXCELLENCE IN PERIOD FILM The King’s Speech – Jenny Beavan
EXCELLENCE IN FANTASY FILM Alice in Wonderland – Colleen Atwood
EXCELLENCE IN COMMERCIAL COSTUME DESIGN Chanel – Bleu de Chanel – Aude Bronson‐Howard

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Hollywood Boulevard: Ama Jo Budge on-the-street pre-Oscars 2011

I took to the streets this afternoon to inhale the pre-2011 Academy Awards Hollywood buzz. The road in front of Hollywood Boulevard is already blocked off with scaffolding, patrolled by security guards, and watched over by the towering canvas Oscars Award itself. The cramped corridors between the blockade and the shop walls becomes crammed with tourists, film-buffs, and locals alike, the usual touristy excitement heightened as people tramp up and down the (plastic covered) red carpet

I meet and talk to not only locals and Easterners but also some girls from Switzerland, a couple from Sweden and Norway, and a Dutch woman (the Scandinavians out in numbers)! I ask them whether they will be here on Sunday night or at home watching the Oscars, most say yes (apart from the occasional oblivious local). The general opinion is that best film will be a toss up between Black Swan and The Kings Speech (which took the British Academy Film Award for best film in the UK earlier this month) with which I agree, although there were a few batters on The Fighter’s team too.

A knowledgeable local showing around his New York friend gets into great detail, saying that The Kings Speech will undoubtedly take Best Film, although True Grit will be ‘the dark horse’. He predicts Colin Firth for best actorChristian Bale for best supporting actor, and to my surprise names a pregnant Natalie Portman as the stunner he will be looking out for – “her talent makes her even more attractive” I am blown away, I must admit (they don’t think like that where I come from – and we’re supposed to be the gentlemen!) 

(Hollywood Blvd last week, and now...)

Some of the younger generation remind me (somewhat to my embarrassment) that Justin Timberlake does of course appear in The Social Network and will therefore be the hottie they are looking out for, with James Franco (127 Hoursbrining up a slightly more mature fan base.

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie still take the cake for hottest celebs however, what a shame The Tourist was such a let down, I guess there is such a thing as too much gorgeousness on one set...

I meet some photographers from Portland, Oregon who will be working the red carpet on Sunday. They are all together unimpressed with the celebrity-hunger that surrounds them, refusing to pronounce any star-struckness other than a ones grudging confession that Sigourney Weaver said ‘hi’ to him last year “which was pretty cool”.

(Yes these were totally for my 8 yr old brother - if you can't beat em join em!)

I am undaunted, and soon meet a group of three (what I would call ‘lads’) from San Francisco who amusingly bicker over whether Scarlet Johansson, Angelina Jolie, or Natalie Portman deserve their most attractive vote. The discussion comes to the satisfying conclusion when one loudly concludes that regardless he would "definitely go gay for George Clooney…" To which I could think of no reply other than maybe (who wouldn't?)

Back to the professional stuff, they tipped Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) for best supporting actress and gave the first (and only) vote for The Kids Are Alright stating that Hollywood was sure to give the ‘lesbian nod’. I did not get into the discussion that I have had with many others about whether or not this film actually discusses or appropriately deals with Annette Benning and Julianne Moore’s characters sexuality at all, let alone the fact that Hollywood is not known for giving 'nods' of any kind to my knowledge.

There seems to be an overall feeling that Natalie Portman (Black Swan) deserves Best Actress despite previous loyalties for the consistent talent of (Rabbit Hole) Nicole Kidman (I will certainly always hold Annette Benning in a special place of high reverence in my heart) but Portman's got my money too…


I get stopped by a young woman reporting for a Boston TV show and do not hesitate to stop and have a bit of a chat about the Oscars on camera, and give a shout out for the blog of course.

My favourite comment of the afternoon/evening may be a Swedish young woman claiming, when asked who she would be most excited to see in Hollywood this week – “I want to see John Travolta!”

The tension is certainly building in Hollywood, stay-tuned folks, I have a feeling we could all be surprised, come Sunday night…

Ama J. Budge
Special Correspondent

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2011 Academy Awards: Searchable Datebase

For all of you Academy Award trivia freaks, here's a handy searchable database provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Want to know who won Lead Actor the year you were born, check it out.

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