OSCARS 2013 Fan Experience – Part 2 Tips for attending!

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Oscars 2013 Fan Experience
Part 2: TIPS!

Oscars: Tips for sitting in the bleachers for the Academy Awards red carpet

Some of these I wish I had brought/thought of that day, so you can benefit from my mistakes!  I did splurge on a new digital SLR camera with a zoom lens for that day.  It was well worth eating Top Ramen for a month to pay for it!  You will receive your check-in time and information on what NOT to bring from the Oscars Fan Experience organizers.  DO NOT IGNORE THESE!  They are very strict, your bags will be searched, and you will go through metal detector (even the celebrities go through metal detectors before they enter the Red Carpet on Oscar day.) 

Healthy Snacks – veggies, fruit, nuts if you are so inclined
            A Continental style breakfast was supplied (bagels, coffee, and bottled drinks were available all day) but if you are a healthy eater, bring something else to snack on.

Extra batteries – My SLR’s battery doesn’t charge while in the camera, so I wish I had bought and brought a back up battery.

Memory Cards – Make sure you have a high capacity memory card and/or bring extras. I had a 65GB memory card in my SLR and a 8GB in my point and shoot camera and they were enough.

Battery Charger – a charged battery charger is essential for your phone and/or camera which does recharge via USB cable. Don’t forget the USB cable for your phone, too!

Small fan – a small battery operated fan or an Asian stylefolding hand fan is great.  The Oscars are held in February, but unless it’s raining, you will get quite warm sitting in the sun for several hours (my check-in time was 9:15am and arrivals don’t even begin to begin until 2:30ish—and that’s press type people.)  I would recommend the folding fan since you can also use it as a shade over your head to block the sun, they\’re very inexpensive, compact, and you don\’t have to worry about the batteries dying.  I had a small battery operated fan and the batteries died way too soon since I was using it so much!

Sunscreen! – I wish I had brought some, though I rarely burn, and we were lucky the couple in front of us had some and let us use some of theirs.

Cushion – I wish I had brought something like this inflatable seat cushion.  I was sitting on my coat, but that was somewhat lumpy and became very uncomfortable, no matter how I folded it, after a few hours.

Hand wipes/ Baby wipes – There are portable bathrooms and hand-washing stations, but if you just need to wash your hands from that messy chocolate bar you just ate, hand wipes will be your best friend.

Cards or phone games – You will be sitting for several hours before anything starts happening, games will give you something to do with your guest and others around you.I recommend Heads Up!

Wear light layers – It gets warm sitting in the sun and being surrounded by hundreds of people, but as the arrivals begin, the sun starts to set behind the building across from the H&H Center.  Dress comfortably.  I didn’t want to dress too casually, so I wore a very light cashmere sweater (thinner than a t-shirt, actually), and nice, soft, and comfortable dress pants (they fit like a yoga pant so they aren’t binding nor pinch.)  Bring a coat or jacket.


Tablets – Okay, bring them to pass the time, but seriously don’t use them to take pictures!  You block the view of the people behind you! 

This is the only picture I kept, but this lady only used her tablet for pictures.

Large bags – I used a vintage stewardess (they weren’t called Flight Attendants in the 1960’s) bag and that was large enough, yet slim enough to put under my seat in the bleachers.  Backpacks would be a bit bulky so messenger bags, laptop bags are ideal. You’ll be receiving a large tote bag filled with swag and snacks, so you’ll need room to store that as well.  I didn’t bring my purse, just my wallet and a few other necessities (lip balm, keys, face powder, etc.)

Professional cameras/zoom lenses – These are prohibited by the Oscars Fan Experience organizers.  For example, I bought a Canon EOS T3i with a zoom lens.  The lens doesn’t expand past 10 inches.  The reason behind the banning of “professional zoom” lenses is to prevent blocking the view of those around you.

Large items or any items for autographs.  There is only 1 section were celebrities might give an autograph or two, but it really doesn’t happen. The celebrities are on the press side of the red carpet, not the fan side. 

Before the Big Day:

If you can, check out the area a day or two before Oscar Sunday to take pictures and see the area which you won’t have access to on Sunday.  We went there on the Friday before to do just that.  See OSCARS Fan Experience Part 3 post.

Also, try to see as many of the nominated pictures as you can.  I tried to at least see all of the Best Picture Nominees, and managed to see all except 2 of them.  AMC Theaters (and possibly, Regal Cinemas) usually have Best Picture marathons the weeks leading up to the Oscars which can be a lot of fun, too.