What it’s really like in Hollywood before the Oscars

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 22 Februari 2015 | 23.08

A view of the Hollywood boulevard outside the Dolby Theatre as preparations are underway for the 87th annual Academy Awards. Source: AFP

RIGHT now I'm sitting less than 100 metres from the Dolby theatre where the world's biggest movie stars will soon gather for the 87th Academy Awards.

There is a palpable excitement in the air and it's amazing to think that in just a few hours, people in more than 225 countries will be watching a live telecast from this exact spot.

The Dolby theatre is on Hollywood boulevard, which has been closed off to traffic for the past few days.

The whole street has been transformed into a 152 metre long, 10 metre wide red carpet. The carpet is surrounded by tall black curtains so that people can't see in, but there are a few gaps which hundreds of tourists are doing their best to snap photos of. There are security guards everywhere.

Workers arrange flowers next to an Oscar statue. Source: AFP

An Oscar statue is covered by plastic on the red carpet. Source: AFP

Of course I expected the security to be heavy, but trust me, it's intense. Some members of the press have already been banned from attending the Oscars because they posted photos of their credentials on social media.

The security team warned us that this was a no-go in case people attempted to copy it and sneak inside. Try and access the wrong area with your credentials and you'll be banned.

Post a photo from inside the Dolby theatre and you'll be banned. Bring a suit instead of a tuxedo (such as I did) and you run the risk of being turned away when you arrive at the ceremony (it's OK, I got a rental).

Journalists interview Chinese actress Huang Shengyi on the red carpet outside the Dolby Theatre. Source: AFP

Walking around the front of the venue amongst a throng of excited tourists, press and Oscars staffers, you really get a sense of just how big a production this is.

It's not just an awards show with the biggest stars in the world, it's also a live TV show with an expected audience of several hundred million people. When the ceremony kicks off, 40 ushers will guide the 3,300 guests inside, with 300 people working away in the telecast production office to make sure it's beamed seamlessly around the world.

Another 350 crew will be working behind the scenes to make sure the night runs smoothly. And amongst it all will be 1,676 members of the press waiting to report on who the 6,124 Academy members have cast their votes for in the 24 award categories.

Again, the excitement is palpable.

A worker carries an Oscar statue on the red carpet outside Dolby Theatre as preparations are underway for the 87th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Source: AFP

In the Best Picture category, it's a two horse race between Boyhood and Birdman.

For Best Actor, Eddie Redmayne is the hot tip over comeback kid Michael Keaton.

Best Actress will almost certainly go to Julianne Moore and J.K.

Simmons is a safe bet for Best Supporting Actor.

Patricia Arquette is the favourite for Best Supporting Actress and Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu is also expected to win an Oscar.

Keira Knightley is up for an award for best supporting actress for her role in The Imitation Game. Source: AFP

Reese Witherspoon has been nominated for an Oscar for best actress for her movie Wild. Source: Getty Images

It's Hollywood's night of nights and hardly anything can ruin it, but the weather could slightly lessen the glamour. It will hover around 15-20 degrees all day and for the first time since 2010, there's a chance of some rain on Oscars day.

It's only a 30 per cent chance, but it's one that the organisers have a contingency plan in place for.

If there's is drizzle, the entire red carpet will be covered by a marquee. The stars will stay dry, but the 771 fans sitting in the public bleachers might get a little wet. But hey, it's worth it.

The stage is set, the excitement is building even more and I can't wait!

Oscar statues are seen on the red carpet outside the Dolby Theatre. The countdown is on. Source: AFP

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