Was out in LA for another week where I covered several events of the Paley Center for Media’s PaleyFest2010. The festival panels were held at the beautiful Saban Theatre on Wilshire but I had seen some people complain about the venue being larger, thus putting fans farther away from the creators and talent of their favorite shows. I can sympathize with that but getting the access is more important than proximity.
The first PaleyFest event I went to was their “Community” night on March 3rd. Here is my LAist post about the night (or just check out the video here). I was bowled over by the opportunity to exchange a few words with Chevy Chase, an idol of mine since 1977. He thoroughly took advantage of me as he did everyone in the press line as well as the panel – I’m glad I wasn’t the only one. He was irrepressible and hilariously so.
The following night was “Dexter” night (full LAist write-up) where I finally had the chance to ask a couple questions of Julie Benz (aka Rita Bennett) – I had missed her at both the SAG awards and the Emmys so I’m glad it finally happened. I also spoke with Desmond Harrington and Brando Eaton whom I hadn’t connected with before.
Because I went to the 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards on Friday the 5th at the Nokia Center I missed the PaleyFest’s “Cougar Town” night which is unfortunate because, although I’m not a fan of the show personally, I know that a lot of my readers at LAist enjoy the program. I’m not sure what to say about the Spirit Awards. I was invited by IFC to cover it but it was somewhat miserable: they had overbooked press so there was literally no room on the carpet – we were jammed into each other which would have been even more uncomfortable except it was so cold and windy we actually benefitted from each others’ warmth.
You can see my LAist post on the Spirit Awards which was somewhat of a failed experience. A lot of the talent didn’t have publicists with them and were largely inapproachable. Organizers put the photographer pool at the wrong end of the line which created a gridlock of invited guests and their friends in front of us, but no one to manage who they talked to and for how long – a lot of the talent simply left. When I went to go upstairs I discovered that my accreditation gave me virtually no additional access so I hopped from foot to foot for a while until I got some pictures with Richard Kind, Matt Dillon, and Anvil, who were very nice and gracious. I did get a lot of photos – check out the published pool at LAist or my Flickr set which has even more. If I get asked to do it again next year I will demand an all-access pass or no go.
March 6th I went back to PaleyFest for “The Vampire Diaries” where I only got footage with Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley but, of course, because of the teenybopper factor, that video and those photos have been getting more views than anything else I did during the trip. Nina Dobrev was actually very engaging and I think that she would have talked a lot longer if there hadn’t been other people waiting – a cute Canadian girl who was psyched about how well the Vancouver Olympics went. [See the LAist PaleyFest photo pool or my Flickr set.]
Sunday the 7th was manic because of the Oscars – actually, most of Hollywood was a complete mess for the week because of the closing of Hollywood Boulevard for set up. It took me less time to get to the residential area of Burbank than from Santa Monica/101 to the Wilshire district, which, if you aren’t so sure of the layout, is ridiculous, let me assure you. I decided not to go to the Oscars as I knew I’d just get a bleacher seat and 10+ hours of timesink. Instead I decided to hang out with my hosts for the morning and afternoon before heading over to the new W Hotel in Hollywood for E!’s Oscar party.
Unfortunately nobody from the Oscars showed up but I talked to plenty of TV people which is my beat anyways. Got some good interactions with cast from “Glee” and the upcoming “Dancing With The Stars” contestants. Snapped some photos but not many, although I think there are some winners in there of Buzz Aldrin.
My last day in LA was similarly busy, starting out with an interview I had scheduled with veteran actor Len Lesser (most popularly known as Uncle Leo from “Seinfeld). We talked for about an hour at his house in Burbank, a modest, if not classic bungalow, and the footage really looks good – I’m trying to figure out how to edit it together. I’ll probably have to make a 10 minute chunk for YouTube and perhaps a 1/2 hour piece for LAist.
My Lesser experience was followed by an interview with comedian Tom Green at his house/studio in the Hollywood Hills. Green was friendly enough but we were pressed for time as he had phoners to do with Australian outlets pending his 10 day trip out there. I do appreciate him setting aside time to speak with me as he had just arrived that morning from touring most of the United States and he could have used a rest instead of dealing with more press. The interview was posted and most people seem to like it a lot – I hope to interview him again later this year before his trip to Boston.
I have some invites to go to the TCM Festival and the TV Land Awards in April but I need to see how feasible that trip would be. I’m forever indebted to my hosts Molly and Desiree, Tim, and Elizabeth – but I don’t want to otherwise overstay my invitations as that would be my 3rd trip in 4 months. I’ll keep you posted here as I learn more about the future. Thanks for reading.