EVENTS – Oscars 2011

Colin Firth with Helena Bonham Carter starring in The Kings Speech

We love movies. I consider the Entertainment Industry of Music, Film, Arts and Sciences, a hugely important key to current peace efforts worldwide. Without a doubt films of cultural diversity contribute to freedom as recent events in the middle east vividly show, and the world watches and roots for the outcome to be liberation.

ISA staffing has been involved with The Academy Awards since our beginnings. From the 1960’s we’ve watched as other domestic help agencies come and go or are sold into ‘new management’. We’ve watched changes that people still argue as the world watches Oscars with intrigue and awe. One billion people are projected to see the awards, while we proudly serve clients in The Entertainment Industry who made those films possible. My mother’s and my memory goes back to times of Oscars past, before current award trends (like whether to wear your hair as if you just rolled out of bed, or coiffed in a retro inspired style). Millions excitedly tune into this event hedging bets on who will win, tracking it by the hour (tweet).

Toy Story 3 teaser poster came out two years before the movie was released

The Job market in the film business is strongly affected by new companies emerging to enter the competition (notwithstanding indie films being stronger then ever), like Pixar had its impact on Oscar. Easy to forget that this small animation film company (when it first arrived on the scene) is relatively new. Toy Story 3 (up for best picture) is loved by millions worldwide, with many ‘boys’ now adults remembering their own childhood seeing it with their children, without a dry eye in the house during certain heart wrenching scenes even a decade after number 2 was launched, and despite many within the industry initially doubting that it would (still) find an audience. It did, to rousing success. I love animation and watched it with wonderment as any kid would express. I remember old school toons that new gens may not know about (their creators were some of our most favorite clients!) For me it’s about art, and that means original vision.

Hailee Steinfeld photo: Jeff Lipskey, courtesy Parade Magazine

Without the vision of a Walt Disney, no Pixar would be possible, and when I see a Harry Potter, I recall that Peter Pan and his friends came first, flying around in animation. Wow! I’m not trying to cover the Oscar nominations (there are too many too good), just observing how we continue to transform, our-selves. Watching the remarkable talents of newcomer Hailee Steinfeld reminds us of Shirley Temple movies. More remakes of classics with happy endings, no matter how mean or unfair things become. Which brings us back to the middle east and how movies and music influences everyone. Oscar reminds us that happy endings do happen and vintage glamour never ages, so watch those films and don’t give up hope for better times ahead. Or use that famous British ‘stiff upper lip’, as this promises to be a British Oscar year. The Kings Speech is in the running with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush bringing stellar performances we can all learn from: anyone, can overcome and transform, even a King. Bets are updated after BAFTA because it often follows the same wins at OSCARS, as unexpected surprise upsets bring more arguments. The cycle continues of ‘who should have won but didn’t’..

Jennifer Lopez at Oscars 2010

We watch as our clients are nominated and we gladly see them become awarded winners for best producers, actors, directors, writers, etc., while we work tirelessly providing support staff for Oscars night and related events, before and after this iconic show, with Chefs, Party Staff, Chauffeurs, Event Planners, Organizers, and more.

During tuff times, movies do better because many who are out of work escape to films (as they’ve done in decades past including during WWII). We become reassured and feel new hope that things will eventually turn out just right for us all. Dreams are made in Hollywood, and Hollywood borrows peoples dreams in real life to make its stories. People in the film industry are uniquely prepared for a life “on stage”, at all times conscious of their audience. They’re gifted artists who are assisted by some of our other clients helping them win these awards that everyone wants, which translates to huge profits and more. The perks are famous and the headiness strong as audiences participate in starry eyed anticipation.

Halle Berry at the Oscars 2002

Behind the scenes lobbying are heads of studios & production companies, agents, business managers, lawyers, publicists, and more as the PR campaigns continue annually to bring in new winners. I remember some of the impact on fashion and politics that Oscars brought in the past.

Who could forget Marlon Brando’s famous none appearance in 1973, when a young native Indian woman (Sasheen Littlefeather), took the podium on his behalf (for Best Actor in Godfather), only to refuse his Oscar as a protest of how native people were portrayed in films. Many in the audience were angry and booed, while others saw it as a powerful watershed event.

Did it change things? Yes, too slowly. There are still way too few women on the production end of things and the cultural bias continues to rage on. So much room for improvement, that some go to extremes in reaction to work still left to be done. But there is also the positive to acknowledge and those who brought them about.

Barbra Streisand at Oscars 1969

How about the time Barbara Streisand walked on stage in a bell-bottom pants suit designer Scassi thought would be a novel modern design. It was a daring change. Isn’t it amazing to contemplate that women were solely allowed to only wear gowns (for decades!) unless you were Jean Harlow, who could show up in a negligee and call it a gown (and we still love that look today).

Ms. Streisand’s outfit was made of sheer black tulle covered sequins. That famous look showed transparent under bright lights and the world got an unexpected view when she stepped up to get best actress trophy for Funny Girl. She was the most photographed that evening not only for her Oscar, but for her fashion daring.

We love Audrey Hepburn and her fashion flair forever (the indelible Sabrina and Breakfast At Tiffany’s), but it was Streisand who set the trend for Cher’s famous costumes Bob Mackie designed afterwards, taking it yet to another level. Reminds you of Madonna and Lady Gaga as younger gens clearly got the message of how to outdo Cher, while she continues to entertain and is ever ready to reinvent herself along the way (as she taught them). What these wonderful performers have in common is not only the remarkable hard work ethic and discipline, but also a terrific sense of business. In classic fairy tale mode of rags to riches they took their burning desire initiative (there was no fairy godmother), through unwavering resolve of making their own dreams come true.

Cher wearing a Bob Mackie outfit

Women were no longer confined to gowns (crazy rules made to be broken and have you ever tried to persuade a little girl out of her favorite outfit), with presenters planning their outfits as costumes for a show extravaganza. Known as the ‘Sultan of Sequins’, Mackie is the first and only costume designer inducted into The Television Academy Hall of Fame. He proved that everyone vying for who gets most buzz on the red carpet and Oscars stage is most influenced by what they wear (good or bad), rather then what film they were in. I still prefer an elegant gown, but we’re all aware how powerful a fashion trend can become, namely, tennis shoes with a Tux comes to mind.

The American tennis shoe design selling in the trillions and counting (and still the most desired shoe worldwide!), and now a staple at awards ceremonies worldwide. The infamous red carpet luxury fashion influencing billions in money, trends, and American entertainment attitude, has grown exponentially with each year passing. Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, and  Jennifer Lopez repeatedly show how to do it in modern times. Elegant ladies who can walk a gown.

the ever present sneakers at awards shows

Younger gens who put out attitude started by others may forget but I like reminding them they weren’t the first, it’s been worn or done. How this evening turns out affects so much social prestige and industry status, that a year of planning in advance from one Oscars Night to the next is often the norm.

Any excuse for a party is thousands of years old. We love remembering Oscars History and film culture because without it, we may forget who came before us, and how we got here. Watching the show is not only fun but a  live archeological dig of American culture in the making. The world watching catches a drift of where it’s headed, and Los Angeles is the city inventing it. TIP – if you’re not working that night get out the costume or negligee, gather with friends or alone, and have an Oscars party. Share the memories.
As I remind myself, loved ones, and strangers: Nobody ever lay on their deathbed wishing they had worked more.

Nicole Kidman in red walking the red

TIP: Watch and support the Oscars, and go to movies weekly (those bargain matinees and walk for parking) for they keep everyone’s economy stronger and we all benefit from the visionary world we call ‘make believe’. Our Best Advice today is take your children to movies often! It’s a great bonding day and you get them out from the TV into the world, setting an early tone of excitement of the Arts. Movie memories are part of our childhood dreams, which help seed and fertilize our creative imagination. Please actively support films from here and abroad, and to all of our clients who help make them we wish you all the best at the Oscars. Thank You for all that you bring to our collective lives worldwide!

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