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...