some people are so paranoid about days like today that they do things that theyd never do. some dont care. and some are like me: they feel every emotion across the scale, up down and sideways.
but since nothing in here is true heres what i will say. the xbi knew before i did. they messaged me on FB on like saturday. pretty much hey u up?
which is unusual because usually they ESP, but i guess they wanted to make it formal. i can’t believe they even find me of any interest. im so out of shape. is there a new project they want me for? also they know im not super desperate right now, what gives? so that was mildly creepy that they knew, but good for them. they’re supposed to know the future. thats their job. me, i was in denial.
but i was also working. day and night. id watch movies for work all night. id sleep late but as soon as i woke i was on the phone or writing or editing or doing something. my head wasnt right. i was feeling a disturbance in the force early. it threw me off. i need cheerleaders in my life to balance the demons in the old noggin. cuz if you think im a creative SOB you oughtta hear the voices in my head, and their accents! so its always good to have a radio on or a tv or a window cracked or a girl dancing on the table, anything other than turning on to FM YOURE GONNA DIE.
the worst part is telling your mom. cuz she worries. and shes retired. and she has enough problems with my sister and her family and the weather and so you tell her its gonna be ok but she wants Answers and whats the answer. the answer is springsteens atlantic city: everything dies, baby thats a fact, and maybe everything that dies, some day comes back, put your make up on, fix your hair up pretty and meet me tonight in atlantic city.
thats the only song im gonna let play in my head. not everyone elses dooms day serenade. not beautiful lies or anger or hurt or sorry. im gonna just look around and see what there is to see. if i am too old for this thing, then i need to look in a different place for a new thing. if no one likes my brilliant ideas then maybe i can drive that benz 17 hours a day.
i live in the coolest, second biggest city in the us of a. if i cant make it here im not trying. and not only do i gotta try but i got a pretty girl whose nervous, i got two cats that gotta eat, and i made this bed ive gotta turn it into a water bed now.
and heres the thing. ive been in far far far worse situations than this, and what i just did for the last 5 years is some of the best things ive done ever. except for npr i have a perfect record. sparkling. did everyone love me? did everyone love prince? did everyone love sinatra? i heard tell that when mr pilate asked the crowd if they should kill jesus or kill an actual criminal the entire crowd said kill jesus, the guy who fed them and cured all their sick homies. so aint no way any of us is gonna get a perfect rotten tomato score in life.
but i say try to be good everyone. from the guy who delivers the mail to the guy who protects you on the first floor to the people on every floor and inbetween and in the garage and on the red carpet and in the comments. love them. you have reason to love them too. love them. love them all. love them the way you would want to be loved. love them forever and always. if you cant find a place to start loving, start with the eyes and work your way to the heart. know that people celebrated when they were born and cleaned them and fed them and drove em to school. and now youre trying to continue that love.
and if you dont get this or that or the other, good. we get what we are ready for. i was ready for this. i was ready for that. and thats why i did well. so the question is, am i ready for atlantic city?
For a guy who used to go to the corner of Hollywood & Highland on Oscar Sunday to try to snap a glimpse of the red carpet, you can imagine the thrill of ending up getting an All Access pass for several years to document it on Instagram and Snapchat.
The rest of the year I covered our events; interviewed members; shone a light on the incredible archive, library, and forthcoming museum. And of course posted content on all our social channels.
But best of all I got to work with some of the smartest and talented people you could meet. Seriously. I learned so much from them from so many aspects of the history of cinema to what works (and doesn’t work) when building online communities.
Shout out to Josh Spector who hired me and gave me the freedom to post 3-4 times a day pretty much anything I wanted. He also set up a department that had creative graphic designers, an amazing video team led by the super cool Ryan Velásquez, and an IT dev team.
So when you see on my resume that our Instagram followers increased by over 4,000% during my 5 years it wasn’t just because I was posting pics of McLovin. It was a team effort in every way.
For a while I sat next to Nathaniel Thompson. At a place like AMPAS there are movie buffs, true geniuses of film. Nate not only knew his movies but also music, tv, and how to write about it quickly and cleanly. When I posted the Genie you’re free, it was after brainstorming a little with Nate and following the general instruction of Josh to try to start using movie quotes with a still from the film. It ended up reaching over 68 million people. My mom saw it on Good Morning America. I got emails of congratulations from the executive floor but it was a team effort – like all hits are.
Speaking of my mom, taking her to the Oscars was one of the best things in my whole life and I’m so grateful to the Academy for being generous to their employees with tickets. Pretty much the best perk a job could give.
The last year i was in the office I sat next to Rosalyn Hummel, another freaking brainiac and bookworm who just happens to know everything about the history of US presidents and presidential libraries (!?).
I’m grateful that I got to work with Matt Severson, and Anne Coco and everyone at the library. And I’ll never forget setting nitrate film on fire with May Hong Haduong.
This job was the longest one I’ve ever had. My third day George Lucas said hi to me. And as cool as that was it was just as cool talking with Joe Rendon and watching Lauren C Selman create magic.
I have no idea what’s next for me, but this one will be hard to top.
Went to the movies tonight as my last chance to see a nominated film before the Oscars. I saw they were screening all the nominated Live Action Shorts, so I went. Mama mia, what an intense experience.
4 of the 5 nominees are about kids in grave peril and the other is about a sweet old French-Canadian lady on her death bed. So: tearful to say the least.
The two though that really stood out for me were “Skin” which is about hate crimes based in racism, and “Detainment” where two kids are accused of killing a 2 year old.
Walking out of the theater I was giving the edge to “Skin” because it was told slightly better, but the performance of 11-year-old Ely Solan in “Detainment” is tremendous and when I got home I watched the trailer just to see him do it again.
If there was a Juvenile Oscar like they had back in the day, this kid would have walked away with it. Not just because he can bring the waterworks but because the script was based on the interrogation transcripts, so this lad embodied history and spit it out as if it was truly happening to him.
But, alas, there’s controversy about this film. Turns out the parents of the victim are super pissed that they weren’t consulted, and feel like this 30 minute short humanizes the pair. Apparently there was a petition created once the film got on the short list and once it got nominated people, like me, started paying attention. Now a quarter million people are demanding that the director or the branch or whoever has the power can get it pulled from contention. But what up n coming director wants to work on something and then give up right before crossing the finish line?
Which is why I bring it to your attention. It’s a totally compelling movie of a super tragic incident and young Ely is such a natural in this role as an child being drilled by cops into slowly telling this grisly tale. Merely for acting sake it’s worth watching.
Also it’s a weird little lesson in perspective. From this side of the pond it’s one of the best short movies of the year, and from that side it’s, I guess, a skeleton in the closet that very few want exposed and retold.
So it will be very interesting to see, if it wins, what backlash, if any, will come from the UK onto the director when he brings the statuette home. I’ll also be curious how this affects his career as a director. Will he have to move to America? Change his name? Become an Uber driver?
All of the UK will be watching that oft-overlooked category extremely closely.
heres the funny thing about me and this blog. i hate telling stories about the recent past.
i dont ever want to have to relive what i just did, even if what happened was great, and successful, and beautiful and awe inspiring and weird and blah blah blah
i just dont wanna rehash it.
but yes i was able to get amber in and my brother and his girlfriend and theres pictures somewhere
and all the people won and all the people lost and dresses and tuxes and
i had sore feet like halfway through it but i persisted and i was exhausted for three days straight
maybe because im old maybe because 40,000 steps in two days is tiring and maybe because i shoulda worn sneakers.
and if i am lucky enough to have another all access pass maybe i will spend more time in the diamond lane of the red carpet and a little time in the bleachers and a tad more time at oscar orchestra rehearsals and i will go to the Oscar Concert and i will get a tad more sleep.
other than that all was perfect and maybe the best was drinking a rum n coke in the hotel bar at midnight with amber stretched out in a corner looking at each other saying
Oskar asks:what will you be doing this year during the Oscars?
If you recall, last year I roamed the red carpet, Dolby Theatre and the adjoining Loews Hotel publishing everything cool that I ran into on Snapchat.
This year I will be doing pretty much the same thing (except with another year of experience under my belt) but on the Academy’s Instagram. Instagram Story to be specific.
If you aren’t following us already, follow TheAcademy on Instagram and get ready to see all that my All Access pass can provide. I should start the transmission around noonish and end around midnight. God willing.
What will you see? You will see all the things that you won’t be seeing on TV. So if you want to see it all, tune in to ABC on your TV and have your buddy Tony on your phone or iPad.
John Smith asks:is it possible to go down to the LA river where they shot the car chase scenes in repo man and grease?
Yes. But I wouldn’t recommend going down there right now as it has been raining the last few days and that area (just East of DTLA) is flooded and you might screw up your sweet car.
Tony Kletch asks:Stones or Beatles?
I listen to the Stones at least once a week and if a Beatles tune comes on the radio I change it to Ozzy’s Boneyard. With that said, I listen to mostly the Stone’s 70s and 80s era tunes, so maybe my problem is mostly with the British Invasion era 60s stuff. But still, I prefer rock music as compared to pop.
Mark Johnson asks:Do you support expropriation of land from white farmers to be claimed by the State of South Africa?
I have the greatest friends. God bless you Mark. I don’t like the expropriation of any thing from any one. HOWEVER I think this is one of those rare moments where you can split the baby. I think instead of taking all the land from the white farmers, only half of it should be taken, and not by the state, but by the native South Afrikans.
Dougie Gyro asks: Will Ohtani be a better hitter or pitcher?
Hitting MLB pitchers might be the toughest thing in all of sports. However, the Angels want to do this funky 6-man rotation which tells me they aint so confident about his pitching either. I know he’s young. I know he’s Babe Ruth. But I have a feeling they will use him as a SP and DH his first few years but will probably convert him to a long reliever and pinch hitter in years 3-4 when they realize there was only one Babe Ruth and he drank beers with children and ate hot dogs with strippers.
Michael Katz asks:Is Joe Flacco a elite qb?
History says nope. And says Jay Cutler should never have been a starter.
the academy is a fun place to work, mostly because of all the smart people. everyones an expert at something so it’s nice to learn from each other and then share all of that on big days like, yesterday, Oscar Noms announcement day.
the toughest part for me is waking up at 3am to be at work by 4am.
it’s tough because even if you can somehow get to bed by 10pm you dont fall asleep till midnight, especially if there are other things on your mind.
amber was a sweetheart and went to bed early with me and hearing her snooze in my ear has a soothing way of putting me to sleep but that was not the case. i was up till midnight, as usual, no matter what i tried to do.
the best advice i got was to drink a lot of water, that way your body would naturally wake you up at 3 to take a leak.
whatevers, i got some sleep, woke up, and headed to the office.
Sunset was a dream. not a car anywhere except on Vine where one had just gotten hit-and-run. the victim car was stuck in the road and if it had been any other day i woulda helped but i had to keep on rolling because my job was to do the Instagram Live video and the two set ups for the Insta Story.
the first was with the accomplished and charming Andy Serkis who has played an Ape, Snoke, Gollum, and King Kong. turns out at 4:20am he is professional and lovely and ready to improv with a sleepy head with a smart phone.
“just say, ‘hi this is Andy and welcome to the Oscar Noms'” i told him. and in one take we had it.
one take tony you can call me.
next up was America’s Sweetheart Tiffany Haddish who pretty much stole the show with her humorous mispronunciations of some of the noms’ names and hilarious quips. when i gave her what i was looking for she embellished it and gave us a little dance.
the morning went fast as early mornings usually do. and around 11am they let us go home to work from there.
and soon i was properly napping, wishing there was a daytime entertainment news program praising the academy for their diverse and worthy choices.