Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's A Wrap! See Ya Next Season!


I initially began this blog to keep friends on the east coast aware of my ups and downs in Hollywood. The more I wrote, the more the invites to write about events came. And for a long while it was fun...the red carpet interviews, the celebrity interviews, the press junkets, the parties. Then my focus changed.

But now, I've moved on to bigger and better things and I have this blog to thank for launching my present passion, Sheer Social, my own social media marketing business.

So is it goodby to entertainment? Oh no! As a social media strategist and consultant, you'll still find me behind the scenes probably tweeting as @Hollywoodlvwork or @Sheersocial, taking photos and videos, and posting them to some film or show's social profiles.

You may also find me sharing my thoughts and opinions on the industry shared on my Google+ profile.

That said, this is not really a "goodbye" to blogging, but a "see you next season". When that season will be is still undetermined, but if and when the return occurs, Hollywoodliveanwork.com will look and feel different.

Now as I prepare to fade to black on this blog officially, imagine credits beginning to roll with special thanks to the numerous publicists I worked with, the fellow entertainment bloggers I shared or created content with, and especially to you the readers. Thank you!

I'm on to the next endeavor, but the archives and YouTube videos will continue to be online.  Be sure to swing by my new home online at SheerSocial.com for social media marketing tips, how-to videos, and downloadable content.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I'm On Hiatus!



Hello blogsphere, online viewers, and friends! Hollywoodliveandwork.com is officially on hiatus just like many in the showbiz industry here in LA.  So imagine me sans computer working on my tan in one of those chairs by the beach.  I'll still be tweeting and some Facebooking though. I just can't seem to leave social media alone.  Just ask SheerSocial.com!

Upon return, hopefully this blog will look, feel, and do better as I have some plans to change its focus a bit. I think it's past time to do something different in the entertainment blogging space--everybody's doing the same thing nowadays.

So see ya in a few blogsphere! Enjoy the summer! I may drop in occasionally if required, but the goal is  to go away and come back with some new ideas.  I'm open to suggestions too, so please comment below if you'd like to share and enjoy the archives.  There's plenty to read and see here!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Review: Olympus Has Fallen



It's been a LONG while since I've done a movie review. Ok, so here I go! Forgive me if I'm a little rusty!

"Training Day" director, Antoine Fuqua, helps bring to theaters this weekend an action-packed thriller complete with all the extras in "Olympus Has Fallen". There's more than plenty of explosions, guns, hand-to-hand combat, bullets flying, and of course a black President of the United States to boot! 

Wait! Before rumors get started, President Barak Obama IS NOT making his feature film debut! I said a black POTUS, not the black POTUS! In this case, the highest position in the land is assigned to the former "God" himself, Morgan Freeman, while the elected leader is detained under severe duress.

But that's not all! Another blog favorite, Angela Bassett, portrays the director of the Secret Service in the movie too. So yeah, we're running things in this fictitious White House. "Is that art imitating life?" You ask. Maybe! But that brings to mind another question. Was this the first time Freeman and Bassett performed together on the big screen? This inquiring movie mind wants to know?

Produced by both Fuqua and lead actor, Gerard Butler, "Olympus Has Fallen," centers around Butler's character, Mike Banning, an Secret Servicemen that guarded the president. Due to an unfortunate circumstance out of his control, Banning is demoted from his high security position to a boring desk job in another part of the White House. There his skills are painfully underutilized and he's itching to get back to his old job.

Then out of the blue, during what seemed to be a routine visit from a foreign dignitary, the White House aka "Olympus" is attacked on land and from the air and security is outmaneuvered. Can you say, "they didn't see it coming!"? 

Masked terrorist led by a vindictive man named, Kang (Rick Yune), take over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and kidnap the leader of the free world. I hear you saying, "Holy Ish!" And that sentiment would be right as you watch "Olympus," Zeus, and lesser gods fall under the brutal attack.

SIDEBAR:
Ladies, lend me your eyes! Amongst all the bullets, smoke, and violence in this flick, is a cast of male eye candy that I haven't seen in a long while on screen. Gerard Butler, Cole Hauser, Aaron Eckhart, and Dylan McDermott! Ain't nothing but testerone popping in this movie. And in the memorable words of Teena Marie I say, "Oooh Wee!"

And Rick Yune, I swear is one the sexiest terrorist I've ever come across on screen. Of course, I wasn't supposed to be thinking that during the screening since he's the murderous villian. But if I ever see Yune out of character and on the street, I'm definitely saying, "Hello Mr. Yune!"

BACK TO THE OFFICIAL REVIEW: 
With the elected President and his closest staff tied up literally, the remaining White House officials and acting president, portrayed by Freeman, scramble to figure out how and what the hell to do. Their best weapon of defense is Manning.  He is hiding inside the White House unbeknownst to the terrorists and ready to redeem himself as a reliable agent. But those now in charge question if he can be trusted.

In "Die Hard" and every other high action flick fashion, Manning must become an army of one to save the president and the country from mass destruction.  Unfortunately, there's few surprises along the way, so that makes this film somewhat predictable.

That said, "Olympus Has Fallen" follows the typical formula of good versus evil and good must win, especially when it comes to saving the United States.  It's not of question of will Manning save the day, but how.

Monday, February 25, 2013

85th Annual Academy Awards Press Experience

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Glitz, glamour, fashion, anticipation, fashion, and great weather. From a press perspective, the 85th Annual Academy Awards provided everything you'd want to document via photos, video, and livestream. But doesn't every award show, you ask? Not really.

Oscar is the big dance in Hollywood. Every film related awards event before it, is just a pre-show of sorts. So although you may miss the other awards shows, celebs and entourages come out the woodwork for Oscar. That includes press.

There's more press for the Academy Awards than the other film industry awards shows. The carpet is HUGE to say the least--it takes up a whole block of Hollywood Blvd.

There's press from everywhere and I mean that literally. Asia, Europe, South America...damn near all the continents had representatives attending or so it seemed. But that's to be expected considering many of the films nominated are foreign. So of course, international press is plentiful at Oscars. But most of those in attendance speak English.

With so much coverage, nationally and internationally, also comes rules and regulations. What you can shoot, when, and where is very regulated.

And with social media being what it is now, the Academy wants to "contain" the best stuff for its own social profiles--facebook, twitter, instagram, and its official mobile app. So mobile phone pics and videos were prohibited inside the press rooms.

In a sense the show is in competition with the press to get content to viewers first thanks to social media and smartphone use. I'm sure show producers don't want your clip of a backstage interview to get to the internet before theirs does. Not to mention, theirs is probably monetized with ads from major sponsors. It's all about business, baby! I digress...

Back on the carpet we wait...and wait...and wait some more. Approximately two hours and half hours after arriving and the first celebs begin gracing the carpet. Then around 4:45 to 5pm the carpet experienced a celebrity bumrush.

This is why your location on the carpet is important. Top to the middle is where celebs spend most of their time. The end of the carpet is like the finish line and most celebs literally sprint towards it.

If you're assigned to the end of the carpet, and NOT a major outlet like ET or Access Hollywood, you better get ready to shoot fast 'cause the premium shots of A-listers will come quick or not at all.

So If you're trying to get an interview when assigned to the end of any red carpet stay positive is my advice. LOL. You are coming between that interviewee and what they want--a seat, some food, heat, a little peace & quiet, reunion with an old friend, or maybe even an interview with a bigger media outlet than yours.

I arrived in the warmth of the day before sweat began to dampen tailored tuxes and pretty gowns. Yes, even the press that's NOT on screen gets all "gussied" up for the affair. Not necessarily because we want to, but because we're required to.

Unless you are a celeb fearless of the "worst dressed" lists, working in a live truck, or possibly engineering on the production, you don't get away with attending nor covering the Oscars in your fav jeans and tshirt-- even if they're "nice". Nice doesn't cut it, boys and girls. Woman up and man up in dressy suit or gown.

Shoes are the only fashion that you can relax a little. Comfortable shoes are a NECESSITY if you're serious about covering the Oscars or any major event. Save being cute in your Jimmy Choos for the afterparty, not for the show you spend most of your time standing in a crowded space.

Back to my place on the carpet. As the pics will show, I was near the end. And not in a position to do interviews. I got what I could via mobile and digital camera. The shots are just "okay" mostly because I couldn't get all the pics I wanted. Most of my favs quickly passed by our section and into the Dolby Theater without a pause.

What was challenging too was picking people out in the crowd. The carpet was PACKED near our end with celebrity and non-celebrity arrivals. Even we, the press, were close together in our section. And when celebs started flying by we began getting in each others' way in attempts to get good shots quickly. All we could do was apologize and keep it moving.

Trying to live blog via mobile and take pics with another device was a challenge too, but I managed it. When it became cold, though, the fingers worked a little slow, or maybe I was just hungry. Actually I was both close to 5:15 pm and decided to head to the media room for some much needed food.

In the media room, is where I hit any real difficulty. Loews hotel, formerly the Renaissance, is known for spotty internet and cell phone reception especially near the ballroom areas where we were.

So I had to rely on finding a reception sweet spot in the hall with my smartphone in order to continue live blogging. It slowed me down tremendously, but again I managed to get my job accomplished. You can see a "replay" of the live blogging in the previous post.

All in all it was a good experience returning to the Oscars a decade later as press. And now If I had to chose between working the show in production again and press, I'd definitely choose press. True, you don't have as much access to everything as a media person, but you don't have to put in as much labor either.



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Live Blogging From The 85th Annual Academy Awards

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Pan African Film Festival, AAFCA Night of Tribute

Hollywood is buzzing this weekend! The Pan African Film Festival and The Grammy Awards are occurring at the same time. There's more than the usual number of musicians, actors, and wanna-be's in town. Oh my! It's great weekend to be out and about so last night I attended the Pan African Film Festival and the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) combined night of tribute to Hollywood legends and some fabulous up-and-comers.

Despite the chill outside, inside Hollywood's Taglyan Complex the red carpet warmed up quickly as the night's honorees and guests arrived. Of course, I've got some pictures and videos, but me and the smartphone are still figuring out each other. And honestly, I wasn't trying to work just enjoy the event. So, the photos aren't picture perfect, but you'll definitely get a sense of my position on the press line.

Being petite has it's curses and it's privileges when you and bigger people with bigger equipment vie for the same shot. Getting in where you fit in is the key, even if that an armpit!

You'll see no interviews from me, but there's video on my SocialCam channel of celebrity arrivals.  In fact, as a good mult-tasking blogger and social media maven, I put the smartphone to WORK--Tweeting, Facebooking, taking photos and videos.  Here's a little video of PAFF's Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Lynn Whitfield, shared to the blog's YouTube Channel.




If you follow my channels you'll see what I'm seeing sometimes in REAL TIME or close to it. Well, not everything, because THIS entertainment blogger knows errrthang I see at events doesn't need to be broadcast to the world. But I do aim to bring you along with me as I experience events, thus the blog title.

So squeeze in next to me on the crowded red carpet press line at the Pan African Film Festival-slash-AAFCA event.  Get your camera or recording device ready. If you're a newbie don't get all geeked when the celebrity stares you right in the face. They're people too,  just with some extras! And most are nice, sometimes even fun to talk to.

One of the first to arrive was the director of the fabulous "Versailles 73" documentary, Deborah Riley Draper. Fashionistas then is a doc YOU MUST see!!! After viewing the pics click that hyperlink to the official website. You may not recognize her face, but get to know her work.

Sallie Richardson-Whitfield arrived next as pretty as she wants to be as this year's PAFF celebrity ambassador. If you haven't seen her in Ava DuVernay's "I Will Follow," get ye to iTunes or Amazon and see Sallie wonderfully do her thing as an actress.

Once Deborah and Sallie broke the carpet in, moments later more celebs and honorees arrived to awaiting press. So down the red "vein" (my nickname for red carpets) flowed all kinds of handsomeness including actors Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Jesse Williams, Richard Roundtree, and singer, Kem.

But it's the ladies like actress and PAFF co-founder, Ja'Net Dubois, that really do keep the red vien of a celebrity event flowing warmly with style and fashion.  And fellow actresses and honorees for the evening, Emayatze Corinealdi, Nicole Beharie and Lynn Whitfield kept press elbows pushing, bulbs flashing, and cameras panning as they arrived. 

Inside the dining hall more of Hollywood's great talents had already been seated including Danny Glover, Jordin Sparks and Holly Robinson-Peete.  And as an attendee, not just press, it's always interesting how these events become like reunions.   People you haven't seen in a while tap you on a shoulder and after the long embraces you forget the event and begin reminiscing or for some networking.




For the full list of PAFF's Night of Tribute honorees visit PAFF.org. And for the full list of African American Film Critics Association's 2012 honorees visit its website.

Friday, February 01, 2013

44th Annual NAACP Image Awards Pre-Party





Hello readers! I usually have a little bit more to add to my posts than just photos, but I'm mad busy. And that's a GOOD thing, Hallelujah! Award show season has kept me running these last few weeks and to quote Teddy Riley, "It ain't over...the party ain't over!" So browse these few pics, see the familiar faces, and be sure to watch the 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards tonight on NBC. Gotta run...Hollywood is calling!
Singer, Kem and myselfJournalist Roland MartinTamela Mann, me, and David Mann
TV/Radio Personality, Claudia JordanTV/Radio Personality, Claudia JordanActress Kellita Smith & MyselfPres. & CEO NAACP, Ben JealousActor, Vincent Ward IIActress Vanessa Bell Calloway
Actress Vanessa Williams