Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Money Shot...

When waiting around to shoot an event, it's a bad idea to experiment with different shooting modes and testing your auto/manual focusing skills as you may not be ready for the potential MONEY SHOT!! It's stressful and useless to try and compose yourself when the talent begins to show up on the Red Carpet as most photographers are hit with an extreme adrenaline rush trying to capture the image in the few moments before the celeb enters the event.Thankfully none of these had the potential to be the MONEY SHOT!! This is a Money shot:
According to the news, by midafternoon yesterday, X17 had sold the image about 100 times, to CNN, MSNBC and magazines, newspapers, TV outlets and Web sites, not only in the United States but in England, Australia, Sweden and Germany. In New York, the Post and the News each paid about $10,000 for the picture, he said, although smaller news organizations were not required to pay that much.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

GRACIE breaks barriers

Reading Philly's gossip column, Dan Gross at lunchtime, I saw that Andrew Shue was in town to promote his new movie Gracie, which opens Friday June 1, between 12 & 1PM. As a recent habit I have been carrying my paparazzi camera to my day job just in case something like this popped up. I ran to City Sports, where the signing was being held, and flashed my agency issued "Press Pass" and was taken over to the PR person in charge. I had seen her at other events, and she is a very professional, no nonsense gal. She allowed me a few minutes with the stars and the following pictures are the results...I gave her my card, I hope I can get on her PR list instead of having to rely on the gossip columnist in Philly. Gracie, starring Carly Schroeder, is the story of a young pioneer for women playing soccer. "Carly didn't just audition,'' Andrew Shue said. "She made it clear. She came in and said, 'I'm doing this part, and I'll tell you why.'" The film opens June 1. Andrew Shue searched for years for the title star of Gracie. When a character is based on your sister, you tend to be picky. But Carly Schroeder could have saved him the trouble. "I had the script two years before they cast the movie," she said. "And as soon as I read it, I thought, 'This is the perfect girl part for me.' " By the time she was cast, she'd even grown to the character's age of 15. It's at that age that fictional Gracie tries joining an all-boys soccer team at a New Jersey high school in 1978.The same course was taken as a teen by Shue's sister, Oscar-nominated actress Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas). Gracie, opening Friday, is inspired by her story, and also by the accidental death of their soccer-star brother William in 1986.Indeed, the film is a family affair. Alongside Dermot Mulroney as Gracie's father, Elisabeth plays her mother. Her husband, Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), directed. He, Elisabeth and Andrew also served as producers, and Andrew played a soccer coach. (I hate when the flash blows out part of the poster, and this is the only one the publicist allowed me to take as she felt I had taken enough of their time as it was) An Indiana native, Schroeder moved with her family to Los Angeles when she was 6 and for the next five years played Serena Baldwin on daytime soaps General Hospital and Port Charles. She then joined Lizzie McGuire, starring Houston-born Hilary Duff. Thanks to Title IX initiatives — efforts to enforce federal gender-equality laws in education — and to Elisabeth "breaking down the barriers," her school soon formed its first girls soccer team.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Beautiful Thing in Manhattan

Two things I never saw before occurred this weekend in Manhattan: Mike and I went to NYC Saturday for the weekend. We got a late start arriving at 2PM. We usually park in Chelsea on the street near where i used to live. Mike went to the gym. I was going to Central Park, but at the last minute I decided to get my haircut. The first place I tried was too busy, so I walked towards the subway and saw another place on 23rd Street. I went in, all 6 chairs were full, and I sat down behind the 5th one. That one turned out to be done first. I sat down, the guy who sat there before me, paid the cashier, then came back to tip the barber. OMG it was my very good friend Dan who I hadn't seen since 1996 when he moved to San Francisco (we lost track of each other in 2000) . What are the chances in all of NYC for all of these things to converge on the little barbershop on 23rd Street, in Chelsea, in NYC at 2PM on a holiday weekend Saturday, it was to say the least a very joyous reunion. We spent a bit of time catching up, and then had brunch the next day at Cafeteria, a restaurant I was never able to get into the entire time I was living in NYC as I always went too late.Then I went to Central Park Where the underpass near Bethesda Fountain was open after a 2 year restoration. It was a beautiful thing.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Support Our Troops, Question Authority

New York is where I will be this weekend, hanging with friends, chilling out and reminding myself how great it is to live in a country with so much freedom; I don't support this war or president, but I am grateful to our troops...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

SCOOP ALERT: Oprah Pays Cash for all her Medical Procedures, other scoops** and behind the scenes at the Oprah Show

Thursday my sister was at a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show in Chicago (she gave me a phone report and will shoot me later for posting it on the blog). They arrived at 6:30AM for the 10AM taping. After waiting in line for an hour, people were called into the studio according to how they got their tickets. If you knew someone on the staff you were called in first, and so on all the way down to the doorman, janitor, driver and dog walker friends. If you were just one of the people who got their tickets through the email system and had waited 4 years on the wait list, well you were called last. She and her BFF love Oprah, and as a surprise birthday gift the husband got them tickets to the show, backstage tour and lunch at the Harpo Cafe. **My sister said the studio was much more intimate than it looked on TV, and that every seat seemed to have a good view. There were some silly rules about no chewing gum, yelling out, going to the bathroom or coughing. If for some reason you needed to cough, you were supposed to notify one of the ushers beforehand and they would bring you a cough drop, under no circumstances were you supposed to accidently cough without muffling the noise. Oh and the no bathroom thing, there was no drinking or eating permitted an hour before they let you into the studio, so that you didn't need to go to the bathroom. There would be no CUTS, or reshoots, and there weren't, they taped the entire show uninterupted. (Photo by my friend Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press Oprah and Letterman 2005 [I love this photo])**Today's show (which was taped for a June 6th showing) featured Oprah's new book choice - The Road (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback) and a taped interview with Cormac McCarthy (Author) from his New Mexico home. Then there was a live interview with Michael Moore about his new movie "Sicko" on the subject of the USA's healthcare system. In anticipation of the interview the audience members were given special screening passes to see the film the night before. They were also treated to popcorn and a soda. My sister says the movie is GREAT, which is a true endorsement since my dad was a doctor, my sister is a nurse, my other sister works as a drug rep and well frankly she's a Southern girl from North Carolina.After that Oprah presented more taped segments including what Oprah was going to do on her summer vacation. SURPRISE, she's going to Africa. **She then talked about the new Vanity Fair issue which will feature 20 different covers with celebrities that are making a difference in Africa. The guest editor for the issue is none other than Bono. My sister said Oprah looked a little tired, and I explained that Oprah was in NYC all weekend. Saturday night she went to see the Color Purple with friend, Jane Fonda to see Fantasia in the starring role; then on Sunday she was given an award by The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Award at the Waldorf-Astoria on Sunday night. It was there that Oprah was asked about her father writing a book about her. According to the NY Daily News "I have a good relationship with him," Oprah told us Sunday, when she received the Elie Wiesel Foundation Humanitarian Award at the Waldorf. He would be the last person I would have thought would write a book about me! So it's understandable if Oprah looked a little tired today at the taping. There are no photos from the taping, as most everything is confiscated at the door, with strict instructions on no photograph taking. They loved the show, said the stage was much smaller than they imagined, and even though Oprah was only on for about 20 minutes, were delighted that during the commercial breaks O talks to the audience.**One of the things Oprah mentioned during the commercials is that she never goes by her real name when staying in hotels, going to the doctors or really anything that she doesn't want for public consuption (hmm would that be conversations with the audience during the commercial break?) To maintain her privacy Oprah travels under an alias (Although in NYC the paps know which hotel she stays at, see above for the shot I took of her leaving her hotel) Some of the alias' that Oprah has used in the past are Billie Jo McAllister (which pays homage to the girl who commits suicide in the Bobbie Gentry classic "Ode To Billie Joe" by jumping off a bridge.)and Billie Sue Cartwright (nothing on google, anyone?) **Furthermore, Oprah never uses her medical insurance anymore because once after getting blood tests done she later saw a screaming headline in a rag, she said, with the headline, "Oprah tests negative for AIDs" which also listed the blood tests she took and the results. NOW she only pays CASH for all her medical procedures. (above Oprah signs my Color Purple poster, someone else took this shot) Anyway, later the girls went on their backstage tour, again no camera's so we just get to enjoy the Oprah shots I have taken myself. **As they walked along the long hallways, they saw framed picture after framed picture of celebrities that have appeared on the Oprah Show. There were none of Tom Cruise famously jumping on the couch, but there was one of Aston Kutcher mimicking TC jumping on the couch. They also saw the two Green Rooms, which were really done in a muted gold wallpaper, with lovely Nate Berkus pillows and very soft couches. After touring the gym, a few offices and seeing the O car, the girls got to eat at the Oprah Cafeteria. To their delight they ate right near Dr. Oz, Michael Moore and Bob Green. (My sister mentioned that several of Oprah's cousins were dining right next to her. She didn't catch their first names, but said they were all guys in their 40s and their last name was Presley. After a little googling I came up with this on the Lisa Presley site: Oprah had a surprise for Lisa Marie. "Did you know my family were Presleys? We're like 18th cousins or something," she said. "My grandmother was a Presley."Lisa Marie was excited to confirm the familial relation. "She was? I read that in the tabloid but I wasn't sure that it was true," she said. "You're my family." [hmm more scoop Lisa Marie Presley reads the tabloids.]) There was no Oprah sighting at lunch, she was probably napping in time for this evening's Wrap Up party (the staff gets an 8 week paid break for the summer). My sister said the staff was very excited as every year Oprah gives them a nice gift and they know she has a big surprise for them again this year. If your around you can get the scoop as the party is at Morton's 1050 N. State St.Chicago, IL60610 between 6PM and 9PM

Cary Elwes in Georgia Rule co-starring Lindsay Lohan and Jane Fonda

His performance in Lady Jane led Director Rob Reiner to cast him in another leading role, this time as the stable boy turned hero Westley in the American comedy The Princess Bride, which required Elwes to do all of his own swordfighting and acrobatics. Elwes' breakthrough performance in The Princess Bride gained international acclaim and was his first major attempt at comedy. Prior to this film, he had no comedic experience, having only studied and worked in drama. I was a little shocked when I saw him on the Red Carpet that he didn't look like my prince from the Princess Bride anymore. I guess 20 years can change a person. Then I read his IMDB and saw that he's actually been in a lot of movies since the Princess Bride and I just didn't realize it was him: Elwes continued to appear in such popular movies as Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Crush, The Jungle Book, Twister, Liar Liar, Cradle Will Rock, The Cat's Meow and "Kiss the Girls". He did not appear in another blockbuster until 2004 in the horror/thriller Saw. He became a first time father on April 24, 2007 which was about two weeks before I shot this photo at the premiere.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two Leggy Ladies in PhillyLand

FYE has been in town less than 7 months and they have been pumping out the concerts. Tonight was no exception as Joan Osborne gave a little concert to support her new CD, "Breakfast in Bed" What if GOD was one of US, just a slog like one of US? (and trust me my house is looking slobbish with all these events I've attended in the last few weeks.) Then I headed over to the local CBS station, where they had a party in celebration of their new studio. Katie Couric was the guest of honor for the night. This picture was taken 20 minutes after she did her broadcast from the Art Museum steps, and when she combed the damn bangs out of her eyes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jessica and John: The Bennifer of 2007

The MAC Gala is held annually the first Monday in May. Photographers line the steps of the Metropolitan Museum in NYC to capture the arrivals and departures. I arrived in NYC just in time for the departures. To the left is the line up of the photographers, in the center is security. Not since J-Lo and Ben Affleck were together have I seen such pandomania over a couple before, ok maybe Brangelina elicits such mania too.Jessica Simpson and John Mayer exited the event, but refused to stop to be photographed together as they departed. When they reached the bottom of the steps and went left towards their SUV it set off an amazing domino effect. The photographers at the bottom ran out to shoot them walking to their car, which in turn has every photographer on the line run out to get the same shot (imagine gazelles running from lions, or in this case lions running from gazelles), this action completly emtied the [photographers] pen. The PR Head tries in vain to get the paps to back off The cops try the same thing, the crowd shouts, "just one shot of both of you and we will leave you alone!" Someone in front of me took this shot of John asking Jessica what she wanted to do.
They attempt to locate the car, and determine how far up the block it is. John points to it, everyone in this shot has moved slightly, but Jessica is still a deer in the headlights They determine its too far and head back up the stairs, and eventually out a different exit. John holds his head, overwhelmed by the crush of photographers Jessica too and then they broke up a week later.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Drama Desk Awards in New York City

When I first got into the City, I went to a Jerry Herman Tribute Concert at about 5PM, took several photos of broadway legends and stars, then at 6:30PM got a nice shot of 2007 talk of the town Broadway Star, Angela Lansbury. She was amazingly gracious signing for the 5 autograzzi's who handed her photo after photo (damn why didn't I bring my Opening Night Playbill). But I did get this great shot of her right before she went in. I was really surprised at how able bodied she was for someone that is 81. Well more on that event later this week since today's blog entry is about the Drama Desk Awards.
Tonight was the 52nd Annual Drama Desk Awards. Someone described it as the Golden Globes of the Tony's, and I would have to say they are right on the money. It was much more relaxed, less pretense and it you wanted a photo or autograph with your favorite Broadway star, it could be had. I attended both the pre-party and the Red Carpet Arrivals at the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall in New York City. I didn't try to get credentialed, meaning have my photo agency call and reserve a spot, but I still managed to get some fairly good shots.
Raul Esparza looking more dapper than anyone has the right too. I told him how I enjoyed him in Company, but held back on the OMG it's a bit depressing. Although to hear "Being Alive" in it's original setting was well worth the sadness of facing life alone, or in an unhappy marriage. Ashley Brown from Mary Poppins. OMG Loved her in Beauty and the Beast, love her in Mary Poppins, how ever did she achieve that accent.
And her Dick Van Dyke counter part, Gavin Lee as Bert, this British actor has been with Poppins since it premiered in Bristol, U.K. in Fall 2004, and his lovely wife, actress Emily Harvey. Christine Ebersole, who they say is a shoe in for a Tony for her portrayal of Edie Beale in Grey Gardens, another sad story. I don't know if you can see this, but TR Knight has a little lipstick on his check. He told me that homophobe Isaac Washington will only be back next season on Grey's Anatomy, if he agrees to become Dr. George O'Malley's lover, ok wisheful thinking, only kidding, we really didn't talk he ran out of the place so quick I could barely get a good picture. On to the F.H. LaGuardia Concert Hall for the ceremony and Red Carpet arrivals. I think when you have a big set-up camera, external flash and such, no one questions you when you make your way to the Red Carpet to find your place among the other photographers. First up is Kevin Spacey, who is enjoying his stay in NYC, but says there were a lot of crazy people who hung around the stage door in England.Bebe Neuwirth , she always seems cold. OK what does her dress look like?Donna Murphy tied with Audra McDonald for Best Actress in a Musical. I did have a quick chat with Audra telling her how I had seen her in Philly a month back, and she was fabulous. I didn't say to her how sad I was to hear her father died in an accident 2 weeks ago. Frank Langella. I remember him from the Dracula movie, Superman Returns (2006) and he dated Whoopi Goldberg. I am sure he is remembered by others differently. A little Hollywood comes to the Great White Way...the very pregnant star of King Kong, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, who was nominated for best actor in a play for Talk Radio. Thanks to my friend Sarah, who I met doing this blog, who was a big help tonight, again, with identifying people I would have no clue about. You can find those people on her site, I shared. Endless Pursuit of Entertainment/
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