The Entertainment Industry: It’s Not All Glitz, Glamour, and Red Carpets

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Cannes Red Carpet

Cannes Red Carpet Photo by Rita Molnár.

Every January the awards season kicks off, beginning with the Golden Globes. Then we make our way to the SAG Awards, The Grammys, The Oscars, and later on, The Tonys and The Emmys.

These are it is safe to say, the major ceremonies broadcast throughout the year that we eagerly look forward to, anticipating, guessing and hedging our bets on who is going to win or lose.

In recent years, though, it seems the pre-show has taken on just as much importance as the actual ceremonies. What do we see?

Celebrities arriving in their limos, walking the red carpet in designer attire and who, are carefully primed, primped, and attended to by small armies of stylists, dressers, make-up artists, and publicists.

These events are televised to a worldwide audience complete with klieg lights, adoring fans, and the press and media eagerly scuffling to get their three or four minute on-camera or audio bite.

Eventually the actual presentation begins and as we gather around our wide screens, computers, or mobile devices we’ve come to accept the fact the minor awards will be handed out first.

What we really want to see are the big winners or the upsets in the major categories. But, how many of us stop to consider the months and even years it takes to see any one of these projects developed and produced?

Considering and Respecting the Extended Workforce Making the Film and Television Industry Possible

film crew

Grant Crabtree filming on set circa 1950s.

Considered what goes into developing these projects and the workforce needed to make it happen: actors, actresses, extras, singers, writers, composers, arrangers, creative crafts people, producers, editors, technicians, engineers, electricians, permits, crews, drivers, production assistants, agents, publicists, managers, lawyers, designers, art directors, copywriters, computer artists, marketing agencies, salespeople, photographers, caterers, exhibitors, etc.

The list is virtually endless.

Stop for a moment and think about the assistant director on a set. He or she is in charge of a 75-100 member crew and is responsible for all the set-ups and, that all guild regulations are adhered to, before the director shouts, “Action.”

Think of that person at 3:00 AM, in fifteen degree weather and the overhead crane freezes, but still has to get that last shot before dawn.

Consider the legions of artists, agents, managers, lawyers, paralegals, proofreaders, and assistants painstakingly negotiating contracts and hammering out the deals. Their job is not to be creative like the artists they represent, but to help their clients produce, license, and achieve the most favorable results in the most informed and protected manner whether it’s for an actor, musician, playwright, or producer.

Contemplate the diversified groups of CGI artists, modelers, and designers, meticulously sitting at computers, making sure coding, backgrounds, and other components match seamlessly as a game’s publication approaches. Or, the stage managers, backstage crews, and pit musicians on Broadway, at the Met, or in Vegas, ensuring that each performance is presented without a hitch.

These are the people who deliver and make the magic happen.

They, and so many more like them, are all part of the creative process, and for the most part, we will never know who they are. Without them the movie won’t be made, the song won’t be recorded, the game won’t be published, or the show won’t go on.

They don’t get to walk the red carpet and have their moment in the spotlight. The glitz, glamour, and red carpet are the public persona the industry presents on behalf of itself, but it amounts to one half of one percent.

We’re not aware of the early morning calls, emails, texts, and problems, the studio sessions running into overtime, and other obstacles that have to be dealt with when they arise. They are the people, the unsung heroes, who deserve a walk down the red carpet, who deserve to have the spotlight on them, and get the standing ovation, too.

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Ron Greenfield

Ron Greenfield

Ron Greenfield has worked in a number of careers in the film and entertainment industry, most notably as a creative director at CBS/FOX, and the Vice President of Marketing and Creative Services at Spelling Entertainment Group.

He also served as the Chief Marketing Officer for the firm of Software Magic, he worked on developing console and online gaming concepts with companies such as Electronic Arts, Atari, Activision, Dreamworks Interactive, Mattel, and Lucas Arts.

His work also appears in the Hollywood Journal and on his website Aspects of Entertainment.
Ron Greenfield

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About Ron Greenfield

Ron Greenfield has worked in a number of careers in the film and entertainment industry, most notably as a creative director at CBS/FOX, and the Vice President of Marketing and Creative Services at Spelling Entertainment Group.He also served as the Chief Marketing Officer for the firm of Software Magic, he worked on developing console and online gaming concepts with companies such as Electronic Arts, Atari, Activision, Dreamworks Interactive, Mattel, and Lucas Arts.His work also appears in the Hollywood Journal and on his website Aspects of Entertainment.
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7 Comments

  1. I say Amen to what you said, Ron! Yes, actors and directors are vitally important, but so is the unseen army of worker bees, all of whom need to know and do their jobs correctly in order for the production to work. The awards shows might seem tedious when all the “bees” are getting their awards, but surely their efforts are just as deserving as those of the red-carpet walkers!

  2. Your admiration for the hundreds of people behind the scenes is well-taken. My only comment is that most of us behind the scenes don’t want the red carpet. I think praise from our peers is more important than the klieg lights and getting dressed up in front of the cameras. Perhaps a private award party for our colleagues is better than expecting the general public to be interested in our hard work. Just a thought.

    • Point well taken, but the awards shows are, from one point of view, praise from our peers and acknowledging that. A private party or special kind of awards show, I’m all for that. It would be nice to see on one of these awards presentations, a tribute to all the faceless people who make the magic happen. Now that would really be something. A segment on the Oscars, Tonys or Emmys, devoted to all these people so the audience would get some idea what really goes on behind the scenes. Now that would be something. Thanks Mitch for the comment.

      • Except that the purpose of telecasts is not to appreciate “people”. It’s to promote an industry, and that’s why stars are so important. Two completely different purposes. We all deserve recognition, but not necessarily on an expensive TV show. My opinion.

        • Short answer here Mitch. I think it’s a combination of both. Yes, it is to promote the industry, which ever one it is, but it’s also to recognize outstanding work. All the glitz and glamour is yes, to present a public face of the industry to the world, but it’s also to acknowledge excellence in any category. I would just like the industry as a whole acknowledge what it takes to get there whether in music, film, theater, or gaming or any other facet of the industry.

  3. Pingback: Working with James Gandolfini and Reese Witherspoon Before They Were Stars | Quotes Yes

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