Counting Down to the Oscars: Thursday March 4
The old song goes like this “it never rains in
Oscar week just isn’t Oscar week for me until my first glimpse of the Oscar set inside the Kodak Theater. This may seem obvious, but actually it’s REALLY tough to get access to rehearsals for the show. Andy, Mike and I went in to interview the President of the Motion Picture Academy, Tom Sherak, who’s originally from
Next, we met the producers of Sunday’s telecast, Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic. Bill used to be Tom’s boss at 20th Century Fox. Now Tom is Bill’s boss. Wouldn’t you like to switch places like that just once? These three guys are orchestrating big changes at the Oscar show which will have double the number of hosts and twice the number of Best Picture nominees. Bill told me, enough with “the same old, same old.” I’ve heard that from other producers before so we’ll see on Sunday.
But the honorary awards have already been given out so that should streamline the show and there will not be individual performances of the nominated songs. Without a Springsteen tune this year and no rockers getting a nod, the ballads up for awards would have caused the show to drag.
I think as a viewer you would be surprised to learn how important you are to the Oscar producers and how much they want to keep your interest. So many of the decisions made in the Kodak Theater this week are made with you in mind: hoping you won’t tune out or go to sleep on Sunday night. Here, there are a couple hundred people working really hard. There are cardboard, poster size placards with the names & faces of famous people resting in chairs down front so the many cameramen will know where to focus on the big night. No famous people were on stage when we were there…just a couple of anonymous stand-ins.
Being there inside for even a few minutes is a real thrill, but you’ll have to take my word for it because Mike Thorne was under strict instructions not to shoot the stage. Had he done so, we would have risked losing our credentials. The Academy does NOT fool around. You do it their way, OR ELSE!!
I tell my wife Eileen frequently, the day I don’t get excited stepping inside the theater each year is the day I quit. For a few brief moments one stands in the middle of the showbiz universe and for a guy like me who has covered