The Academy Awards are tomorrow, and Hollywood Boulevard is shut down for blocks. Appropriately, the awards are run like a big budget movie set, controlled for light, sound, and weather. Los Angelinos get miffed because Hollywood traffic is rerouted all week. It's difficult to imagine the budget for this event - it must run in the tens of millions - but I'm sure they make a tidy profit on the television rights.
Platoons of security guards protect every ten feet of space for acres around the Kodak Theater. And just above your head is a spiderweb of camera cranes and jibs, with nests of gelled barn door lights making every square inch of red carpet glow like a Christmas tree.
Tomorrow night, Academy Award guests will enter the Kodak theater and proceed up the red carpet (below). If the carpet doesn't look red yet, it's because everything is still covered in protective plastic as grip and electrical equipment is dollied into place.
Oscar statues are carried in, wrapped in plastic (below). There is a nervous energy among the armies of crew members loading and setting equipment. The vibe feels like when you're preparing for a party and the dinner isn't cooked and you still haven't showered and the guests are arriving in one hour.
Guests will proceed down this long, red carpeted hallway. The pillars are inscribed with the names of Oscar winning movies.
Finally, the guests climb these steps to enter the theater. It looks to be a magnificent event. There are already swarms of press everywhere getting a lay of the land and rehearsing for tomorrow. I saw press badges from as far away as Japan. This is good for our town. Despite or because of the recession, the Hollywood box office is having a record-breaking 2009. A good Academy Awards only helps these numbers!