LOS ANGELES (AP) — The highest concentration of cameras anywhere in the world Sunday is probably at the 83rd Academy Awards. Besides the hundreds of TV cameras on the red carpet, and a worldwide broadcast beamed to more than 200 countries, there are webcams in almost every corner.
But there are places inside and outside the Kodak Theatre hidden from the camera’s eye, and that’s where we are.
From the theater wings to a private balcony box in the house, to nooks and crannies along the carpet, here’s a running account of moments you won’t see on TV:
3:21 p.m. PST: With almost two hours to showtime, a radiant Oscar co-host Anne Hathaway emerges from the Kodak Theatre in a
shiny red dress, with two assistants behind her carrying its train, and heads toward the red carpet.
3:32 p.m.: Hathaway runs into the Oscar show’s producer, Bruce Cohen, on the red carpet. “Do you like my dress?” she asks. “It’s kinda pretty, huh?”
3:35 p.m.: Hathaway stops to wave to fans in the bleachers and shout,” Are you guys excited?!” The resounding cheer that follows indicates they are.
3:49 p.m.: Jesse Eisenberg reluctantly poses for a photo, then abruptly vanishes from the red carpet. Meanwhile, Michelle Williams and best pal Busy Philipps walk hand-in-hand down the star-studded walkway.
3:52 p.m.: “That’s who that guy was!” Kevin Spacey gets a big reaction from the fan bleachers — once he removes his sunglasses.
3:57 p.m.: Jeremy Renner arrives with his mom, and the family resemblance is clear.
4:07 p.m.: Justin Timberlake also brought his mom as his date. The two posed for photos together on the red carpet.
4:13 p.m.: Helena Bonham Carter and her husband, director Tim Burton, pose for photos together. Then Burton steps back and let’s his Oscar-nominated wife have the spotlight.
4:25 p.m.: Who needs a personal assistant? Director Taylor Hackford walks behind wife, Helen Mirren, gently holding up the train of her body-hugging silver gown.
4:27 p.m.: In a hurry: Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening and her husband, Warren Beatty, skip all the cameras and interviews, choosing instead to race down the red carpet’s uncrowded center aisle.
4:27 p.m.: New parents Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, the latter in a shimmering reflective red dress, provoke screams of
rapture from the fan bleachers.
4:50 p.m.: The Oscars have become a family affair for Jeff Bridges. Last year’s best actor winner, nominated for the same award again this year, arrives with his wife and three daughters in tow.
4:56 p.m.: “And the Oscar for the first nominee to take her seat at the Kodak Theatre goes to … ” Well, there isn’t one, but if there had been, Hailee Steinfeld would have collected it. Close behind is fellow supporting actress nominee Melissa Leo, who struts over to give her 14-year-old competitor a hug.
5 p.m.: With 30 minutes to showtime, Gwyneth Paltrow crosses paths with Jake Gyllenhaal. “Hey, I’m sitting right behind you,” he tells her. “Oh good, I’ll throw up on you then,” says Paltrow, who will perform the nominated song from “Country Strong.”
5:07 p.m.: There’s major mingling inside the theater. On one side, Colin Firth kisses Amy Adams on the cheek. In the center,
Hugh Jackman is shown to his front-row seat before bouncing away. On the other side, Jake Gyllenhaal greets Marisa Tomei and Hilary Swank. “We’re sitting next to each other,” Swank excitedly tells Gyllenhaal.
5:09 p.m.: Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks, walking with a stage manager, is overheard asking, “Where do I go? What do I do?” The stage manager shows him the way.
5:12 p.m.: The space in front of the stage is filled with A-listers now. “The King’s Speech” director Tom Hooper attempts to wade through a crowd that includes Halle Berry and Michelle Williams. On the other side, last year’s best director winner, Kathryn Bigelow, tries to plow through the crowd. The directors don’t seem to notice each other.
5:18 p.m.: “Please take your seats,” a voice from somewhere inside the theater announces. “This is the last call. You will not
be able to take your seats until the first commercial, 20 minutes from now.”
5:24 p.m.: Co-host James Franco sighs and looks at his iPhone as he’s escorted to the stage.
5:25 p.m.: Kevin Spacey stands alone in this third row seat adjusting his cuff links. One row in front of him, Andrew Garfield from “The Social Network” is fidgeting with his bowtie. Then Garfield sees someone he knows several rows back and playfully gives him the finger.
5:31 p.m.: Stage manager Dency Nelson holds a tiny flashlight above Tom Hanks’ head as a makeup artist applies a last dusting of powder before he takes the stage.
5:40 p.m.: Hanks let’s out a hearty guffaw at the Marky Mark joke Franco’s grandma’s delivers from the audience.
5:48 p.m.: Presenters Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis run into the night’s first winners backstage. “Your speech was great. You
did great,” Timberlake tells them. “Now go get a drink.”
6:03 p.m.: Speaking to the backstage thank-you cam after her supporting actress Oscar win, Melissa Leo thanks “everyone I have
ever met.” “Really and truly,” she adds.
6:04 p.m.: Instead of a numerical countdown like in years past, the winners are faced with an upside-down white triangle that
slowly appears on the TelePrompTer before the words “PLEASE WRAP UP, followed by “WRAP UP NOW.” Melissa Leo spoke for several seconds before her triangle began appearing, but the “Toy Story 3″ and “The Lost Thing” filmmakers were met with the three-sided object as soon as they were handed their Oscars.
6:09 p.m.: Anne Hathaway surprises everyone by coming out on stage during a break with a spinning raffle drum. She announces that she will be giving away a plate of sushi to the seat number she selects from the box. She’s not kidding, either. There’s a guy dressed like a butler who is holding a large platter of the stuff. The winner is someone in seat D71 in the top balcony.
6:46 p.m.: For the record, Matthew McConaughey was ad-libbing. There wasn’t anything on the TelePrompTer about repeatedly saying the word “sound” in unison with Scarlett Johansson as they presented the awards for sound mixing and editing.
6:48 p.m.: Uh oh. Here’s something you don’t normally see at the Oscars, empty seats. Mark Wahlberg and his wife were somehow able to vacate their chairs without a seat-filler getting there in time to take them.
6:47 p.m. Apparently someone just couldn’t wait to congratulate Atticus Ross for winning the Oscar for best original score for
“The Social Network.” “My phone was vibrating like crazy up there,” he tells co-winner Trent Reznor as they leave the stage with their awards.
6:49 p.m.: Too much information. Russell Brand filling in Helen Mirren backstage on his plans after the two finished their Oscar
presentations: “I’m going for a wee, then I’m going to sit with my mom.”
7:04 p.m.: He wasn’t the only one needing a bathroom break. Penelope Cruz and her husband, Javier Bardem, are seen ducking into a backstage bathroom together.
7:16 p.m.: Luke Matheny, the director, screenwriter and star of the live action short “God of Love,” didn’t let being stuck in
the back of the orchestra section stop him from getting to the stage to collect his Oscar. The lanky filmmaker came barreling down
the aisle faster than any winner this evening.
7:17 p.m.: Oprah Winfrey sums up what it was like to present an Oscar. “That was fun,” she says to no one in particular as she
leaves the stage.
7:27 p.m.: Wow. Billy Crystal just earned more laughs from this crowd with his first joke than Hathaway and Franco have all night.
7:35 p.m.: Talk about a close call. Kirk Baxter almost mowed down a cameraman while running down the aisle with Angus Wall to
accept their best editing trophies for “The Social Network.”
7:47 p.m.: Perpetual Oscar nominee Randy Newman leaves the crowd in stitches with his off-kilter acceptance speech after winning for best original song, only his second Oscar in 28 nominations. He apparently pleased the control room, too. He didn’t get the dreaded “PLEASE WRAP UP” message after he went well over his time limit.
7:52 p.m.: There was no favoritism for any of the deceased during this year’s in memoriam segment. Before Celine Dion takes
the stage, the announcer suggests that everyone hold their applause until the end. They do.
8:03 p.m.: When complimented on his striped bow tie, Francis Ford Coppola proudly declares, “I tied it myself. … No one ties
their own ties anymore.”
8:17 p.m.: Natalie Portman’s family got a bird’s eye view of “The Black Swan” star accepting her best actress Oscar. They were
watching from a balcony box overlooking the audience. Portman’s mother couldn’t hold back the tears when her daughter’s name was called.
8:30 p.m.: No racing for the parking lot tonight. The show is over, but you wouldn’t know it from everyone still milling about in
the theater, basking in the afterglow of Oscar.
8:41 p.m.: Those energy bars they handed out before the show’s final hour must have really worked. Anne Hathaway is still charged up, rushing over to hug as many of the kid singers from New York City’s Public School 22 as possible before dashing toward the audience to chat up Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. Then it’s time to pose for photos — with anyone who approaches.
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