Greetings everyone! Welcome to this edition of “The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood”. This entire blog is dedicated to a very long day I had on June 2nd. For the past few months I had trouble finding and getting credentials for Northern California entertainment events. My main problem is my wire service, PR Photos normally only gets Southern California events. Normally I have to find events on my own which is an every day battle. I usually spend hours researching and applying for photo credentials to places that only grants them to the chosen ones. The chosen ones are photographers who work for the big boys (Getty & Wire Image ect.) or have worked with the companies and studios forever.
After weeks of nothing to cover since the San Francisco Film Festival, I saw a listing for the Black and White Ball in San Francisco. I submitted an email knowing it was a long shot (declined). The next event I saw was an event I had applied for and got turned down the previous year, Bay Area Alternative / Indie Rock station Live 105’S 18th Annual BFD Festival. Four days before the festival I had not heard anything, which normally means my credentials, was turned down. Unfortunately a lot of sometimes I don’t ever get contacted. Since I got turned down last year I assumed the same result would occur this year. I then got a mass email that was sent out to all the PR Photos photographers, for the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco, hosted by “Glee” actress (and my new celebrity crush) Dianna Agron. I sent an email to my agent and asked her to submit me. I almost instantly was confirmed. About 3 hours later I got an email from Shoreline Amphitheaters media person that I had been approved to shoot the side stages and she was waiting to hear about the main stage. I thought to myself Murphy’s Law. After 3 years applying to shows this was only the 2nd time I’d ever been granted a photo pass. I didn’t want to tell them I couldn’t make it but I also couldn’t back out of a job my agency booked for me. The concert was an hour from the Award show; I thought that if I got there early I could shoot for a couple hours then run to the city and comeback to Mountain View in the evening for the headlining acts.
The day before the show I got contacted by the venue telling me I got turned down and only would be able to shoot the side stages. The GLAAD Awards carpet media check in was scheduled for 3:30. I then came up with a plan where I would get to the venue by 10:30 a.m. and shoot the side stages in the morning and end my day in the Subsonic Dance Tent with a D.J. set by one of my favorite groups “The Limousines”. Then I would jump in my car and drive to the Marriott Marquis San Francisco for the GLAAD Awards.
18th Annual Live 105 BFD Festival – Shoreline Amphitheater – Mountain View, CA 10:30 A.M.
I left my place in Sausalito around 9 a.m. and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and headed down 19th Avenue. Lucky for me it was a Saturday and there was no traffic. I made it to the venue and parked. I knew I was a little early so I wanted and waited. Finally some more photographers also showed up. As the show got close to starting the media table was empty and not set up. The first band went on and I wondered if I should just head back, but finally we got checked in. I was glad that I attended last year’s show as a patron because it was the same set up. The C parking lot had been turned into a area with 2 side by side stages and the Subsonic dance Tent. The great thing about Shoreline unlike most venues is that have you shoot from the soundboard on the opposite side of the stage, we shoot 2 songs from a closed off area in front of the stage.
The first band I shot was a band called “Image Dragons”.http://www.imaginedragonsmusic.com The band is a five-piece rock band based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The lead singer Dan Reynolds reminded me of “Coldplay’s”Chris Martin a little bit in looks but mainly in stage presence. He banded away on a giant drum during many of the bands songs. Though I did not hear of there music before it went off really well live. The band also interacted with the fans and signed autographs after their set for fans. They had lots of energy and were fun to photograph.
After the “Image Dragons” set the action literally moved over to the side and the second stage. Next up was “Walk the Moon” http://walkthemoonband.com an indie-rock band based in Cincinnati, OH. They looked like a young “Death Cab For Cutie” and the crowd seemed to enjoy their performance. After photographing the first two songs I decided to walk around and try and get some festival atmosphere pictures. Unfortunately I would not be able to make the sets of “Angeles & Airwaves”, “Neon Trees”, and “Fun”.
18th Annual Live 105 BFD Festival – Autograph Tables – 12:30 P.M.
One of the really cool things BFD has is an autograph area. A number of artist including a couple on the main stage signed autographs for fans. My main reason for wanting to cover the side stages at BFD was because one of my favorite bands “The Limousines” http://thelimousines.com, was the signing autographs at 12:30.performing a D. J. in the Subsonic Dance Tent.
I featured the band on my January edition of my blog “The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood” here: http://theoutsidersguidetotheinsideofhollywood.com/2012/01/24/the-limousines-show-indie-music-is-far-from-dead/
Some of my favorite photo shoots of all time have been ones where celebrities interact with the fans. You could easily tell that bands members Eric Victorino and Giovanni Giusti truly love their fans. They guys signed autographs for fans of all ages. To truly appreciate “The Limousines” you must check them out next time they play in your city.
The second band to hit the BFD autograph tables was alternative rock band from Provo, Utah “Neon Trees” who for the second year in a row were playing the Festival Stage later in the day. The band reached # 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Animal” in 2010. Band members Christopher Allen, Tyler Glenn, Elaine Bradley, and Branden Campbell were all there to meet their fans.
Live 105 BFD Festivals – Festival Stage – Falling In Reverse – 1:15 P.M.
As I started to head back to the Festival Stages, the small group of people in the area between lot C and the entrance area was body to body with people. Finally, making it in to the area and to the front of the photographers. With a little time to spare before The Limos D.J. set, I wanted to photograph one more band on stage. The hard rock act “Falling into Reverse came out looking like “Motley Crue” on the “Girls, Girls, Girls Tour. The band had great stage presence and reminded me of my hard rock days back in the 80’s. Unfortunately the singer was having microphone problems and it was hard to hear him.
Live 105 BFD Festival – “The Limousines D. J. Set
After another struggle to get through the crowd I finally made to “the Limousines” D.J. Set at the Subsonic tent. I had wished the band was playing this years festival like they did last year, but The D.J. set turned the tent into an all out dance party and celebration. Singer Eric Victorino showered the packed in crowd with a confetti gun, as the crowd knocked around giant balls. Keyboardist Giovanni Giusti looked like he was having lots of fun spinning records for the crowd in his beastie Boy’s like attire. Once again the band showed how multitalented they are. I hope to see these guys on the main stage at BFD 2013 and US Amphitheaters soon!
Live 105 BFD Festival – Autograph Tables – Angels & Airwaves 2:00
As it got time for me to head into the city for the “GLAAD Awards I noticed that one of the bands I really wanted to photograph but would miss was doing an autograph session. I took the chance that check in was really not at 3:30, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Unlike the “Neon Trees” earlier A & A was on time. “Angels & Airwaves”, an Alternative Rock super group, led by “Blink-182″ guitarist and vocalist Tom DeLonge. I had photographed Tom before when they toured with “Weezer” a few years ago. He is always extremely photogenic. He was kind enough to give me a good direct eye contact shot. I’ve seen A & A twice before and wish I could have photographed and seen their set. I then started my dash for my car and the freeway, hoping that it would take less than 90 minutes to reach my next destination.
280 North – 245 p.m.
About half way to the city I saw a sign on the road warning about a brush fire. Not knowing the area it was in I was hoping not to run into it. A few minutes later traffic started to slow down. I started to smell smoke. I saw that the fire was at its beginning phase. Luckily the fire department caught it early, and I was going the opposite direction.
Marriott Marquis – San Francisco – 3:10 P.M.
Somehow I made it to my destination with a few minutes to spare. Just when I though I pulled it off I was hit with a fastball. The bellhop informed me of the parking rate. I realized that it would have cost over $50 to park in the hotel garage. I was still in a t-shirt and shorts from the concert shoot. I gave the attendant a few bucks to hold the car while I changed into more suitable clothes. Feeling like a bad comedy film, I returned to my car and searched for a cheaper lot. After finally finding one I made it back to the hotel. As I went to check in I saw I was the only one around. I then was told that check in was not till 4:30 now. I laughed to thought and myself now I can actually relax for the first time today.
23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards – San Francisco 4:30 P.M.
GLAAD Media Awards honored outstanding images of the LGBT community. Events were held in New York and Los Angeles earlier this year with over 5,000 attendees, the GLAAD Media Awards bring celebrities, corporate partners, media professionals, and young adults together in support of GLAAD’s mission to amplify the voice of the LGBT community and achieve full equality.
Before the ceremony a red carpet was held. The ceremony was hosted by “Glee” star Dianna Agron Presenters/attendees included Pretty Little Liars stars Shay Mitchell and Ashley Benson, the cast of Scandal, the cast of Degrassi and Rita Moreno and Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice/Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes received a special award. Everyone seemed in good spirits. Unlike other cities Bay Area photographers are very friendly to each other. It was nice seeing some friendly faces and catching up on what everyone was doing.
Everyone looked great on the carpet but the two that shined the brightest were Dianna Agron and Ashley Benson. Mario Lopez and Rita Moreno chatted for a few minutes before separately walking the carpet. Lopez did take photos on the carpet with performers “Cirque Du Solei”l. Everyone was in great spirits and it really had the feel of a joyous occasion.
Meeting “Glee” Star Dianna Agron at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards
After the carpet was done I saw that the evenings host Dianna, did not rush into the ceremony or hide out in some V.I.P. area. Instead she spent time talking and taking pictures at the pre reception for all the guests who wanted to meet her. After that a few photographers including myself took photos with the blonde beauty. I couldn’t believe how down to earth she was. She really seemed down to earth and happy to be back in the area she came from. She literally had to be pulled away by one of the shows staff so they could start the awards.
Thank you for joining me on this trip inside my celebrity experiences. For my next blog, I will be doing deep inside my closet, and pull out a pair of ripped jeans, to go along with my 80’s collection of Vintage Concert T shirts. The next edition of “The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood” will be on the Black Carpet for the “Rock of Ages” Premiere in Hollywood.