CliqueClack Flicks

The Saturn Awards from a media point of view

My first foray into jockeying for position on a red carpet at an awards show came with some unexpected surprises.

I’m a big believer in trying things out/on for size/for the first time to see if they work/fit /I like them.

You know … unknown foods, adventures, situations, etc. After all, you can’t say you don’t like something if you’ve never tried it, right? In so doing, you’re going to have successes, make mistakes, come across things (pleasant and otherwise) you weren’t expecting, possibly be embarrassed and more. Because nothing teaches like experience. Nothing.

Armed with this basic knowledge, I ventured into the Saturn Awards last week which took place in beautiful Burbank, California at The Castway restaurant and special events center atop picturesque hills looking southwestward toward the Los Angeles skyline. Little did I know what I was in for.

First, never having been to an event quite like this as a media representative, I thought it best to dress appropriately: slacks, a button-downed shirt, dress shoes and jacket. (It was too damned hot for a tie. Sue me.) I arrived at The Castaway in plenty of time to avoid any possible crowds of people — be they celebrities or other — and got behind a brood of folks who appeared to be media. They appeared somewhat “official,” armed with photography and videography gear. But something was amiss. Some wore shorts that were just too damned short. Others were toting poster tubes with various fanboy stickers and the like attached. Tattoos were everywhere as were cock-eyed hair styles. Not to mention I was the best dressed individual in the group.

As it turned out, I was in the wrong area. It wasn’t a holding section for the media — it was a flunky gathering of fans waiting to snap pictures and snag autographs. I made my way to what I finally spied as an entry staging table, checked in and got my credentials. *whew* I told myself: That was a bit scary.

Still, when I got through security and made my way to the red carpet and backdrop for the celebrities’ entrances I discovered a similar scene: A brood of folks who appeared to be media with their photography and videography gear. Tattoos everywhere, cock-eyed hair styles too. But … there were no “too-short” shorts and there were definitely better dressed individuals present. (Still *heheheh* I was the best dressed member of the media there.)

Placards with numbers were assigned to us at the red carpet. Each media member had his or her designated spot. I was one of the fortunate ones, my number butt up against the rope, right at the carpet. A flustered-looking videographer was to my left and a dorky-looking dude who looked as if he would break in two if he took a step in the wrong direction was to my right. We got chummy while waiting for the notables to arrive.

One of the first was Frank Oz (The Muppet Movie, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, The Blues Brothers) and his wife Robin. Lovely couple. And let me tell you something: Mr. Oz is not only full of vim and vigor, he exudes an aura you notice right away. Tom Skerritt (Alien, Steel Magnolias) walked toward us with his trademark casualness. Lea Thompson (the Back to the Future films, Howard the Duck) is still as cute as a bug’s ear. Chris Klein (American Pie, Wilfred) was in the house and beaming. And Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead, From Dusk Till Dawn, Grindhouse) was in his most prim and proper ponytail and jacket, but he chose not to walk the carpet. Plus there were plenty of television personalities in tow as well. (See my CliqueClack TV post for those.)

All was going well. I was snapping pictures and greeting the folks just fine when all of a sudden things started backing up on the red carpet. The “walk” of the celebrities came to a grinding halt. I noticed the videographers 15 feet beyond me had commandeered some of them and were chewing their ears with questions, causing the traffic jam. One rather loud and verbose photographer near me yelled out: “Hey! Someone! Can we get these guys moving along here!? They need to get a move on!” Pretty forward, I thought. I leaned over and quietly informed her of the reason for the congestion. I was greeted with a look from her completely capable of frying bacon, accompanied with a sneer that plainly said “Who the hell are you … ?!??” Apparently, being a noobie to the bunch, I was clearly out of my element in informing her of the reason for the congestion. I just looked at her and smiled pleasantly, holding my ground until she looked away in disgust. Really? Was this how media was supposed to act at a red carpet event? No one gave me an instruction booklet, so I wasn’t aware I was required to look like an asshole. Still, I looked better than her — after all, I was the best dressed individual in the group.

Photo Credit: Michael Noble

Categories: Features, General, News

3 Responses to “The Saturn Awards from a media point of view”

August 5, 2012 at 1:28 AM

Very cool! I love your stories, Michael, although this cannot beat Darth-Vader-in-the-elevator. I’m going to L.A. next week, and I’ll be happy to kick that sneering photographer in the shins for you.

By the way – did they really take you to an anti-room (the opposite of a room?) or was it an anteroom? Because if it was an anti-room, I want to see pictures!

August 5, 2012 at 1:33 AM

. . . . .

Point Scored: Ruby.

Glad someone caught that … because, indeed and in fact, it was an “anti-room” … filled with media negativity, snarkiness, questionable manners, whining whiners, complaints enough to fill a bag and bad attitudes.

A complete “anti” to what I expected …

If I ever become “them” someone needs to bring me to my knees with a good old fashioned gut-punch.

August 5, 2012 at 2:04 PM


I love this post, Michael, because it says a lot of things I’ve thought while working red carpets. As you said, there are some pleasant people but there’s also a large quantity of those who are…difficult, to put it nicely. When I first started working, it really surprised me.

And I’m guilty of the wardrobe issues myself too. I used to wear a suit to every press event I went to until I realized everyone around me was in jeans and T-shirts. Now I stick with jeans and a dress shirt, unless it’s special circumstances (the Voice folks encouraged me to wear my Team Adam T-shirt, for example…)

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