“Moneyball” Premiere at the Paramount Theater – Oakland, CA 9/19/2011

Greetings everyone and welcome to this edition of “The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood”. This Blog, is all about my experiences with the film “Moneyball”. Which will include my day on the set as an extra,  “Moneyball Day” at the A’s ballpark, and the premiere of the film in at the historic Paramount TheaterOakland.

 On July 27, 2011, I did something I thought I’d never do again. After over a decade in retirement from acting, I spent the day on the set of Brad Pitt’s “Moneyball” film as an extra. It was a real long day moving from one part of the stadium to the other. The scenes I were in mainly were just crowd shots, so if you see a guy in an A’s hat that’s me. LOL. About four hours into the screening a shadow figure started to approach the field. Next thing you heard were the female extras screaming as loud as a fire engine. As the person came closer you could see it was Brad Pitt. Brad waved and smiled to the stands of extras, as he exited the stadium by Centerfield. After the shoot was done, I thought to myself how cool would it be if they had the premiere in Oakland.

“Moneyball Day” at O.co Coliseum – Oakland Athletics v. s. Detroit Tigers 9/18/2011

The day before the premiere the 2011 Oakland A’s, had a “Moneyball Day” at the O.co Coliseum prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers. The first 10,000 fans got “Moneyball” T-shirts. Attending were film stars Jonah Hill, Stephen Bishop, and Casey Bond. The actors warmed up on the field prior to Hill throwing out the first of the game.

Moneyball Premiere Paramount Theatre of the Arts Oakland, CA 9/19/2011

After waiting for over a year and keeping track of all the news about the film, I finally found out by way of a contest that “Moneyball”, would be premiering, in Oakland in September. Fearing a million bay area photographers trying to get credentials, I decided to let my agency book it for me. My first response back from my agency said there was no information  on it. However, shortly later my agent did receive a email back saying it was happening just too early for RSVP’s.

Finally, after waiting and waiting two days before the premiere, I got my confirmation. I got to the Paramount Theatre of the Arts, and saw in the back of the theater’s parking lot a green and down carpet looking like a baseball field. There were a line of fans across the street ,some waiting since early in the morning. As the other photographers started to arrive I noticed some familiar faces from LA. I also noticed a large group of Asian press who flew in from over seas. A couple of LA photographers approached me and talked about the drive up. They started to call names off. As usual I was at the way bottom of the list. I managed to find a space towards the front of the carpet in the second row on a bench. I had to set up a step ladder on the bench, so I could shoot over the other photographers who were obstructing my view.  Now the waiting begins.

The carpet opened with the normaL, “Who are you”, crop of actors and models? Since we were not in LA we only had a few of those’s people. The first person whom I recognized was sports supper Agent Scott Boras and his wife. Stephen Bishop, and Casey Bond looked great. The first ball player I saw was 2002 Oakland A’s member David Justice and his wife. Justice whom has been on carpets before still had a child like face as he waved to the fans across the street. The next ball player to arrive was current A’s member Hideki Matsui. He smiled and seemed to be interested in the surroundings around him. A number of the photographers tried to give him instructions of where to stand. I had to tell a couple of photographers in front of me that he doesn’t speak much English.

Oscar Winner Philip Seymour Hoffman was the first of the main stars to arrive, wearing a blue sweater, causally made his way to the carpet. When he got to my area he took out his Iphone and took a picture of the photographers. Jonah Hill arrived showing off his new look after loosing serval pounds. One of the most popular arrivals was not an actor or a baseball player. Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, Flight 1549 ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ pilot and his wife were greeted by others on the carpet.

At this point we are wondering where Brad Pitt, the director or Billy Beane was. A sound of screams erupted from the fan area across the street. Brad had arrived solo and started to walk and sign autographs in the fan area. Brad finally made he entrance to the carpet, but went around the back. Realizing he was doing some cast pictures I snapped away for some candids. Some of the photographers almost had a stroke thinking he wasn’t coming back. He of course did and moved quickly down the line before doing TV interviews with Videographers.  We then asked a PR person about the director and Billy Beane. We were told they were here in the beginning. No one slated or introduced him and the director. Not sure what happened there but not even Wireimage who was on the carpet with the stars got him. Everyone started to leave. But as always I’m the last to go.

A few minutes passed and would you know Brad comes back with the director Bennett Miller to do some pictures with the studio. I snapped some more pictures as Brad entered into the theatre. At this point everyone is inside or picking up their equipment. There is just one photographer and I left. A security guy then comes over and tells us we can go on and take pictures of the carpet now. So two middle aged men ended up playing on the carpet and taking pictures of each other. Just before we were going to leave actor Reed Thompson, who plays a younger version of Pitt’s character” Billy Beane”, came out and we ended up taking pictures with him.

In the end, it was great for the city of Oakland to have the premiere. I was told by many, that this was the biggest thing to happen to the city in a while. Fans loved their A’s and the excitement of the premiere made everyone reflect back on that magical season. Catch the film in theaters now. http://www.fandango.com/moneyball_136677/movieoverview

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About Jonathanshensa

I'm a Celebrity Event Photographer, producer and Screenwriter. I also worked with promoting bands and spent 5 years in music management. In my younger days, I was also an Actor, News reporter, DJ, and have worked at Talent, and Management companies. I love the mass media but also love to talk about everyday topics. I want to have a positive and creative impact on the entertainment business. http://jonathan-scott-shensa-photography.net/
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