Photography check in was at 4PM, but I thought I would pass by about 2PM because I am anal and have to see how the set up is. It had rained about 30 minutes before and the workers were using squeegees to get the water off the carpet. I was wondering how they were going to get it dry for all those flowing gowns.
There were already fans in line for the event, and they were experienced as they knew where the car drop off was and that to the immediate right of me is the entrance to Rockefeller Center and the Tony Award Press Room. So the winner would exit the door across the street then go into the door to my right. It was a perfect spot to get a picture, and for a couple years that where I liked to stand.
On to the red carpet. I am not going to show you the photos that you probably already saw, I want to show you the photos that you probably didn't see. Here Kevin Mazur of Wireimage gets a shot from the red carpet of CBS CEO Les Moonves and (Big Brother) Julie Chen. I don't know who the photographer is behind him, but these two get the free reign of the carpet and usually the best shots. They would be considered the AA List photographers.
Being a paparazzi I love these unscripted moments when two actors greet each other and have a geniune moment. Here is Michael Cerveris, musician Harry Connick Jr. and daughter Georgia.
Most red carpet events do not have so many people on them at once. The PR people and publicist move the people along at a good pace, but you usually don't have people standing behind the people you want to photograph. It seems the VIP and their guests used the same door. Here's Brooke Shields publicist gently trying to pull her towards the next set of photographers for a photo. The publicist/PR of each celebrity, is also supposed to introduce the subject to the photographers, in this case it wasn't necessary. At this event the PR for the Tony's gave us Tip Sheets with the names and photos of most of the people who were to walk the red carpet.
The publicists wear many hats, most importantly to help their client navigate the red carpet of hazards and pitfalls. Now this pitfall probably doesn't happen every day, but because it had rained, the red tape used to fuse the carpets together wasn't sticky enough to stay put. This guy is retaping it as Anthony Rapp (Rent) cools his heels.
Across the street the fans were out in full force; every year more and more people show up, but this year they are probably here for one guy who will be appearing on Broadway this fall. And thankfully for me I don't have to kill myself trying to shoot him there as I got him tonight.
Here Daniel Radcliff is with his publicist who is keeping a close eye on the crowd and his time. He is just about in the same spot I was standing when I was checking out the scene earlier in the day. I was quite irritated that the bodyguard on his right didn't move out of the way a tad. Had I gotten a clear shot his Daniel's face and the crowd, it would have been the "Money Shot"
and here he is on the red carpet. It was interesting to see how they cleared it for him
Note his publicist gently pushing him down the carpet for the next shot. In the background is Taye Diggs. I will be doing a piece on he and Idina on Wednesday and confess what is like to be married to a beautiful women as he is.
During events like the Tony's, Oscars, Grammys etc a photographer will run through 3 or 4 memory cards. Getty Images has a person on site to hold the cards, the batteries, and extra stuff so when the photographer needs something they can call to the person who was standing behind me.
Oh no tragedy. The red tape might not be sticky enough to hold the red carpet together, but it's doing a good job with Kelli O'Hara's chiffon dress
A good publicist knows how to cut through the red tape and get on with it
Here Publicist Noah navigate's his clients against the stream of people to get the photo op that they missed in the commotion.
The photographers are packed in like sardines to get their photos. Note the girl in the blue tafeta dress squeeze under and between the guys to get the shot she wants. She is actually standing in the place where my ladder is located. I shoot behind these guys in the "window", which is the spot where she is standing, but high up on the ladder. Shooting between the two guys shoulder is called the window.
Sometimes the shots come out great, sometime I have to crop their camera's out of my shot. These kids are going to be in the new Elton John Broadway show "Billy Elliott". In this case it would have been helpful if the PR gave us their names as not only weren't they introduced or on the tip list.
Project Runway Winner Christian Siriano gets fanned by his publicist so he can face the photographers.
Christian Siriano and his friend who's a boy, standing right in the damn photo
The ultimate shot, double dipping for me as I shot Liza Minnelli at the begining of the red carpet, but just needed to get a few more photos of her. Do you see her publicist to the left doing the universal sign of "Stop" Liza has to do interviews now. Liza ignored her and continued to allow the snappers to shoot her. (And check out Todays Idina and Taye on the red carpet http://hughe2030.blogspot.com/2008/06/idina-menzel-taye-diggs-2008-tony.html
Check out http://www.phillychitchat.com/
for more Liza photos and commentary. (EDITOR UPDATE: this is a great site for what went on backstage: http://moviesandentertainmentinfos.blogspot.com/2008/06/vulture-goes-backstage-at-tony-awards.html
also I will be posting video from the red carpet sometime this week.) And don't forget to check out my favorite Broadway site by my friend Sarah, has a pretty impressive site herself, including behind the scene photos of many events you want to know about: Endless Pursuit of Entertainment/
and one more thing: http://steveonbroadway.blogspot.com/
Great shots by Walter McBride on Broadway World of Patti looking at her Tony: http://www.broadwayworld.com/viewcolumn.cfm?colid=28977