Friday, February 20, 2009

Oscar Give-away

If you live any place other than the Hollywood area, you might not know that this Sunday - February 22nd (at 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) on ABC) over a billion (yes that's with a "B") people worldwide will be glued to their televisions to see an Aussie (Hugh Jackman) open the 81st Annual Academy Awards - not to mention all you fashionistas glued two hours earlier to see who's wearing who on the red carpet - All this hub-bub just down the street from my apartment at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland. Well, it might not mean anything in Peoria or Portland (both Oregon and Maine) but in my town time stops - streets are closed off and traffic is directed down my street - helicopters circle over my 3rd floor apartment - Klieg lights can be seen for miles, while every limo in this and surrounding areas are filled with recognizable celebrities that are in a traffic jam waiting to stop at the red carpet, now wanting the papparazzi to flash their pictures - All the local newscasts lead off with what the weather will be on Sunday - hopefully no rain - even though they have plastic up over the red carpet .... just in case. Other than Halloween - also known as the West Hollywood (Boy's Town to those in the know) New Year's Eve - when over a 1/2 a million folks show up on Santa Monica Blvd. in professional costumes that they've spent way more than a month's salary on (yes...adults only!) - Academy Award Sunday and the days leading up to it are the most important days in this industry town! And we, of course, are surprised to hear that some of you in other parts of the country have not seen all (or any) of the nominated films and don't really care.

81st Academy Awards official poster

Now if you're thinking all of us L.A. folks are breaking out our Monolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choo's with our Valentino and Carolina Herrara gowns waiting for the limo to take us up to Hollywood Blvd. you really aren't in the know. Unless you work for a celebrity, are a celebrity who is nominated or presenting, or are a stylist, hair dresser, make-up artist, etc working that day, you wouldn't be caught dead anywhere near the Kodak Theatre - It's strictly for tourists - sorry to burst that bubble! We "common folk" - even those of us who work in the entertainment industry will be at friends homes or at parties with ballots printed off the internet - just like some of you - but the difference is we take this whole Oscar thing pretty seriously because depending on who wins and who's nominated it can generate work for those of us who work in the industry for the coming year. Just as Mardis Gras is everything to New Orleans - Oscar night is to Hollywood. We will mark our party ballots prior to the first award given out - drop $10 or whatever the going amount is in the fishbowl or hat at the party we're attending - and hang on every word when the awards are given out to check our ballot so that we might be the winner of hundreds of $$$$ based on who gets the most categories correct. So there it is - my life in Hollywood - - and even though I'm not a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences who vote on the Oscars (but am a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and we vote on the Emmys) I am caught up in the whirlwind that is Academy Award week - Soooo.... in honor of my 31st year in Hollywood working in the "industry" and the 81st Oscars, I decided to announce my very first blog giveaway -

Mr. Oscar himself...

Here's how it will go down: post on my blog who you think will win the Oscar for Best Art Direction* and also for Best Costume Design (hey...we're artists, right and those are the two categories that come closest to what we do) Those nominated for these two awards are listed at the end of this post - (you can see all the categories and nominations at - You must post your vote for both categories on this blog by 3 pm PST on Sunday 2/22 - The person who picks the Best Art Direction winner correctly will win - if more than one person gets it correct then I will use the Best Costume category as the tie breaker - the people who tie then must also get Best Costume Designer correct as well - if no one does I will put the tie winners in a hat and have my big orange cat-boy - Elvis - paw the winner - if I can wake him!

Elvis - also known as Elvie Bear - without a care in the world!

Oh! the prize - a nice bag of assorted ephemera - ribbons etc including some Hollywood ephemera that you can't get in your home town! Consider this prize your "Hollywood swag bag" - better than the nominees will get backstage on Sunday! Here are the nominations - get busy and join in the Hollywood hype. Ohhhhh... c'mon - you know you want to - Elvis is waiting!

Elvis - just hangin' waiting for your vote on my blog...

* Art Director: is the head decorator, designer of a film. He/she is the one who aesthetically develops infrastructure for a film to make it beautiful or create the world as defined by the script and works closely with the Director to complete her/his vision of the film that you see on the screen. So everything you see other than the actors in costume is under this person's domain - the total look of the set and everything on it - from the color scheme - the design - all the nuances large and small - This person must make you believe what you are seeing on the screen.

Changeling” (Universal), Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt, Set Decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.), Art Direction: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Peter Lando
The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Art Direction: Michael Carlin, Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Art Direction: Kristi Zea, Set Decoration: Debra Schutt

Australia” (20th Century Fox), Catherine Martin
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.), Jacqueline West
The Duchess” (Paramount Vantage, Pathé and BBC Films), Michael O’Connor
Milk” (Focus Features), Danny Glicker
Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage), Albert Wolsky

I will announce the winner either late Sunday night or Monday morning on this blog. Good luck!


Megan Warren said...

Hi Reva - just having a look at your blog thought I would have my pick "The Duchess” for Art Direction and "Australia" for Costume Design. Have a great Oscars day!

Handeddowntreasures said...

OK, I'm game. Here are my guesses....
“The Duchess”
“The Duchess”
I'm crossing my fingers! Linda

Peggy Alborn said...

Ok, what the heck! Achievement in art direction - The Dark Knight. In costume design- Australia. Such fun, Reva, thanks! Peggy

Susan said...

Oh, what fun! And what a great bunch of films this year!
Here's my guess:
Art Direction - Nathan Crowley, Peter Lando - "The Dark Knight"
Costume Design - Jacqueline West, "Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Do I get extra credit for being the first to post???

Karen said...

Art Direction: Revolutionary Road, Costume Design: Duchess.
What a unique topic. I found this very interesting and fun!! Thanks
Karen K
SunCity AZ

Sherry Goodloe said...

Here are my votes: Changeling (Universal), Art Direction: James J. Murakami, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis for achievement in art direction and for best costume design? Catherine Martin for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Sue McGettigan said...

I'm putting my vote on "The Duchess" for both, although I think Dark Knight is a contender for art direction too. I'll be one of the billion watchers, I love the Oscars.

crimsoncat05 said...

wow, I never realized how much inconvenience the Oscars would be for those of you who live there! My picks (totally unscientific, just movies I liked) are Art Direction: The Dark Knight and Costumes Design: Australia

have fun Oscar-watching, Reva!

NM_Creatrix said...

I think that Benjamin Button will win in both categories! Hope you win a wad of cash!

margil said...

Here are my predictions: For Art Direction: The Dark Knight. For Costume Design: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Just call me Silly Sal said...

I know nothing about nothing but, I will guess The Dark Knight for Art Direction and Australia for Costume Design.

Fun thing to do. Thanks.
Silly Sal

Artifice said...


I am terrible. The only movie I have seen is "The Duchess" because is was on pay for view. One of my best friends from college, Louise Hamby, made a lot of the props for "Australia" and worked with accuracy in set design. She is a PHD Archeologist in Canberra. On one of her visits here to the states over a year and a half ago she shared photos on her lap top of the actors on the sets. She created the bands on Hugh Jackson's hat, etc. It was wild to hear her tales about the inside making of the movie. My call is "The Duchess" for Art Direction and "Australia" for Costume Design.


Linda said...

Ben Button art direction
Duchess costume design

Linda said...

not sure that went through

ben button for art
duchess for costume

Linda Lou

Deborah said...

Greeting's Reva~!
I am excited for all the nominees this year...great talent~! Art Direction goes to "Revolutionary Road"; and Costume Design to"The Dutchess"
Thanks for the fun of the vote~!
Have a wonderful Oscars Day EXPERIENCE, and a Very Happy Anniversary~!!!

Deborah said...

Greeting's Reva~! Here's to a very Happy Anniversary~!!!!!
My pics for Art Direction is "Revolutionary Road", and for Costume Design is "The Duchess"...
Have a wonderful Oscars Day

Pam said...

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" will win for Art Direction (yes, I believed I was there THEN) and the costuming also was time appropriate to me.

jazworks said...

Hi Reva,
What a fun post. Loved getting into a Hollywood/LA head for the Academy Awards. Envisioning from your words what it feels like at Oscar time...Felt like opening a wonderful novel and reading the beginning set up scenes. My naive guess is Dark Night for art direction and Best costume for Benjamin Button.
Thanks for your sweet comments on Seth and my Guerilla antics. It certainly was so much fun- and way outside my normal comfort zone. Might now have a new side line- only if I can keep my super partner in crime. Could never have done it without Seth. Will be thinking of you as I watch the Oscars- and hope I can win your wonderful "hollywood ephemera give-away! best- Jill

carolyn said...

My guess is Duchess for Art Direction and Duchess for Costume.

JerseyTjej said...

The Dark Knight and The Dutchess in that order! How cool to attend an Oscar party...I have to stay up past midnight just to see the red carpet prelim...

Julie H said...

Revolutionary Road and Australia! What an informative post and generous give-away. What a sweet cat you have too.

Sharon said...

Here are my votes:
art director Benjamin Button,
costume design The Duchess...

Martha said...

My crystal ball says:
Art Direction- The Dark Knight
Costume Design- Australia
The crystal ball has spoken.
Now, where is goody bag?..LOL...LOL...LOL...

martha brown said...

Well, this is a tough one.... I'm going for The Dark Knight for Art Direction
and "The Duchess" for costume.
Have fun tonight!

Vittoria Bella said...

Hi Reva! It's snowy & cold here in Michigan, so I'm going to watch at least a little of the gliz and glamour tonight just to live vicariously in a warm place for an hour or so... My gueses? Art Direction - The Dark Knight, Costume Design - Curious Case of Benjamin Button Thanks for this - have a creative day!
Cindy (the band director) from Michigan

Nikki Lee Anne Ghilain said...

This sounds like a ton o fun! Just gonna guess......Kristy Zea and Jacqueline West. Have a great evening.

biscuit1 said...

Hi's my prediction for the Oscars. Art Direction-"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and for Costume Design-"The Duchess". Have fun watching. Linda in Oklahoma

Altered Route said...

Best Art Direction: Dark Knight
Best Costume: Dutchess

I'm an old LA export and love Oscar night!

Debi said...

My daughter just came in and told my how to post, someday I'll "get it"!!
Anyway love your blog and thought I'd enter the contest.
Art Direction, The Dark Knight and Costume Design, The Duchess.
Cheers to Oscar night!

Connie said...

Dark Knight - Art Direction
Duchess - costume design

I too, work in the industry - but i
now live in hawaii - venture to the mainland only once a year to keep my pension plan up!
connie williams

DeeDee said...

Hi Reva;
Okay...for Art Direction and Set Design I'm going with the guys: D.G. Burt and Victor Zolfo
for "...Benjamin Button."
For Costumes let the lady get it: Catherine Martin for "Australia"
and the ephemera goes to....??

Cindy Is Crafty said...

I got an error message so not sure if you received my comment. I am going with The Duchess for both categories. Not sure why as I have heard nothing at all about it. In most cases, the movie that wins is not a big studio movie, so there is my reasoning.

lklight said...

Thanks for your comment Reva, I remember you now, with the flaming red hair & the drop dead gorgeous art!