February 27, 2012

My Hollywood: Or How I Got Intimate With The Oscar's

 

Having been fascinated with The Oscar's Academy Awards show for the last 20+ years, I can definitely call myself a devoted fan of the show. I've been religiously watching The Oscar's ceremony every single year from the day I remember myself. I think it's the only late night show that I was allowed to stay up late for when I was little - [maybe because my mom was watching too]. So, you can imagine what I felt, when I actually got intimate with The Oscar's...


I don't really know the 'origins' of this fascination, but I have a strong feeling that, perhaps, it's the result of my mom's being a huge movie fan. I grew up watching films and learning about the art of film-making. I think I can pretty much name every single host of the Oscar's at this point, as well as the winners of the awards starting not from the times when Betty Davis won The Best Actress for her role in Dangerous...

Everything revolving the show mattered - especially the Red Carpet - [as in mattered in the 'entertainment' sense of the word, of course]. 

Yes, I know. I'm a movie dork, or as my Los Angeles friends would say: "You are a movie whore..."

Over the years I successfully converted many friends of mine into The Oscar's fans. I taught them how to enjoy it to the fullest - from 'film inspired' food and drinks to the Red Carpet and gossipy pre-awards shows. So, you can imagine how excited I was last night and how many days in advance I started to plan the Oscar's viewing party, getting my friends to be excited about it as well.

Actually, as a matter of fact, I happened to see the preparations for the Oscar's live. A few years back when I lived in Los Angeles, my place was just a few blocks away from the notorious Kodak Theater on Hollywood Blvd., where the Oscar's Awards take place. And my job - [I used to work for a film advertising agency, where I did film marketing, promotions and advertising for small and big film production and distribution companies, such as HBO, MTV, Magnolia Pictures, Liongate, IFC] - and every day I was being a witness to how the capital of the American film-making industry - Los Angeles, was getting ready for the Oscar's. 

Every day on my way to work - [a 20-min walk right down the Hollywood Blvd.] - I watched how the Hollywood Blvd. was transforming. It would become more cleaner one day, the next day - the almost 2-feet tall Oscar's "golden" statues would appear along the boulevard. And how closer to the ceremony, LA police would block the side streets and certain parts of the boulevard to roll out the red carpets and put together an audience arena around the main Red Carpet, the tickets to which usually are drawn in a contest, picked up randomly and/or distributed among the employees of some film company. 

These are the people you see on your TV screens, who are sitting just above the Red Carpet and who are the closest to the celebrities when those walk the Red Carpet.

Of course, besides the Oscar's, and other film-related events in the city, I had some favorite parts in the city, and here are a few of my snapshots of how I would want to remember my 2-year stay in the City of Angels...

Very typical...Waking up and going to bed with a view of palm trees. Can't be that bad, right?...
One of the things that I miss the most about living in Los Angeles - being able to rollerblade along the ocean in Santa Monica and Venice Beaches all year around...
My favorite view of the city - from Runyon Canyon in West Hollywood where I religiously jogged in the hills...
Typical Los Angeles landscape with the downtown in the horizon...
Los Angeles and San Francisco were very against G. Bush. One could see signs of this sort all over the city...
Spotted this over-the-top hippie-slash-starving-actor's  car outside a grocery store in West Hollywood, two block away from my place...

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