Red Gold and Wood
A hidden part of the Oscars® ceremony that few know about, and even fewer get to see, involves the days of intense preparation and set-up for the Red Carpet. It is the iconic route Nominees, AMPAS® Members, Guests and invited Media take to enter the Dolby Theatre for the pinnacle of Hollywood's awards season-the Academy Awards®.
In this exclusive setting, I was granted access the past 3 years to shoot both the set-up and the televised event, however I found my favorite feature was the the workers who make the event come alive. I shadowed members of the Local IATSE Union and independent contractors as they sawed, hammered, nailed, painted and cleaned in the days, hours, minutes and mere seconds leading up to the official opening of the Red Carpet. My captures illustrate this unique behind-the-scenes look, and what it takes to create the backdrop for one of the world's most famous events.
Some workers are true characters who actively engage with me and my camera, and whom I've gotten to know as friends over the years. But most go quietly and diligently about their work, under the scrutiny of their boss and Academy Management, and the unforgiving time deadlines. The contrast of the anonymous worker vs. the rich and famous has been my goal to capture in this famous setting. I strive to recognize and chronicle their unsung efforts.
This ongoing project was a Finalist in the Photo Essay Category in the LA Press Club's, National Arts and Entertainment Awards - December 2018.
I'd like to thank the Academy for this continuing access, for the opportunity to show this project to an audience of my peers. MM