It’s awards season here in Los Angeles, and while the Oscars are the hottest ticket in town, the guild awards are much more lax with who they let in. This explains why this past weekend, I was able to secure a press pass for the 2014 Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards. Below is my log of the event and the days leading up to it.
Jan. 25, 11:30 p.m. While sacrificing a goat so that Hulu would finally play the latest episode of “Community” without crashing, I notice a few of my friends on my Facebook newsfeed having fun at the Directors Guild of America awards and meeting cool people like Jane Lynch and Alfonso Cuarón. Wanting to do something similar, I look up ways to get into the WGA Awards. Although they don’t sell general tickets, I am able to apply for a press pass.
Jan. 27, 3:44 p.m. I receive an email from the WGA telling me I’m in. I scream excitedly and am told to leave Starbucks since I am frightening the other patrons.
Jan. 28 2:13 p.m. In the middle of my workday, I realize that I am completely unprepared for Saturday: I don’t have a skinny black tie! If there’s anything I learned from “Entourage,” it’s that you show up to these sorts of things in a tuxedo or white dress shirt and skinny black tie. Since I don’t have easy access to the former, I procure one from a friend on my FSP. Crisis averted.
Feb. 1, 4:06 p.m. After wandering the massive hotel complex where the awards are being held, my friend Eddie Zapata ’14, whom I managed to get in as my photographer, and I find the press table. We check in and walk over to the red carpet. On the floor are placards with the names of various publications so that the reporters and photographers know where to stand. Unfortunately, The D is not deemed important enough to warrant its own spot. Luckily, someone didn’t show up, so we take that place instead. Thanks Moviehole!
4:44 p.m. Celebrities have slowly been trickling by. June Squibb from “Nebraska” saunters down the carpet, clearly reveling in the attention, while others, like nominee David O. Russell, walk quickly down the path. The one I gush over, however, is “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan. I don’t even notice him until he’s ten feet away from me. I don’t really have anything to say to him because I’m too overwhelmed by his presence and soothing Southern drawl.
5:06 p.m. The red carpet event is over and it’s time for the press to get into position. While we don’t get to go into the ballroom where the awards are actually being held, we do get to sit in the next room and watch them simulcast on television screens. The winners then come in to get their pictures taken. The mood in the room is dead compared to the red carpet downstairs, but it’s also a lot more informal, with reporters making digs and wisecracks about the winners.
6:00-7:22 p.m. Various winners enter the room. At first we applaud them, but we quickly grow weary and the applause disappears, replaced by the rote gathering and subsequent dispersal of photographers.
7:23 p.m. Another one of my friends who was able to come swears she saw Nick Offerman from “Parks and Recreation” on a stairwell practicing his presentation. I excuse myself to go to the “bathroom” to see this for myself. When I reach the stairs, he is nowhere to be found. Nevertheless, I still make a trip to the bathroom in the hopes of finding some more celebrities. I am unsuccessful.
8:36 p.m. Somewhere in the middle of “Breaking Bad” winning its umpteenth award, I check my Facebook and see that Indiewire has posted the WGA winners – even the ones that haven’t been announced yet. I am pleased to see that the expected domination of “Her” has continued, along with the unexpected surprise of “Captain Phillips” in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. We wait for the Breaking Bad writers to come in so that we (mainly I) can bask in the glory of Gilligan one more time. Then, we leave early, descending the escalator and exiting the hotel into the fog of downtown Los Angeles.