Friday, February 12, 2010

A Kinder, Gentler Red Carpet

After four years of covering red carpets at the Santa Barbara Film Fest, I've come to learn that an actor's popularity among the general public can often be gauged by the size of the media crowd in the press pit adjacent to the walkway.

Sandra Bullock clearly got a bigger turnout last Friday than Julianne Moore did last night, despite the fact that Moore is arguably the better actress. After all, Moore has no less than two four Oscar nominations to her credit, while Bullock is up for her first one this year.

Julianne Moore on the red carpet last night.


So while there was plenty of elbow room in the press pit there was no shortage of media types who were anxious to talk to her as she arrived to receive the Film Fest's Montecito Award. With homework keeping my able assistant out of the press pit, I had to shoot the video. I was able to catch Moore as she spoke to Steve Libowitz of the Montecito Journal. I apologize for the poor sound quality but the gist of the question is, what does she look for in a role? Her answer, "a good story."

Moore struck me as not being nearly as tall as she appears on the screen. She arrived only about 20 minutes before the program was about to begin. Compare that to Bullock who arrived a full hour before the scheduled 8 pm start and spent more than an hour talking to fans and the media.

But Moore was certainly warm, gracious and personable. Which are good qualities in an actor as well as a star.

Julianne Moore makes her way up the red carpet after passing my position on the press line.

Photo credit: Dan Seibert

More photos from last night by Dan Siebert at Edhat and from Chuck Cagara on my Film Fest photo gallery.

Tonight the Film Fest's Cinema Vanguards Awards are being presented to Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard and Christopher Waltz. The program is at 8 pm at the Lobero Theater.

You're on your own for finding films to see today. The complete schedule is posted at Edhat.
© 2010 by Craig Smith and