The Oscars: A Night with the Stars
One Sailor's Perspective of Covering the Oscars for AFN
Man, what a blur. Ten hours down on the red carpet, dodging rain and crammed with more than 200 photographers and broadcasters into what seemed like a can of Pringles. I have never felt more like a sardine in all my life.
All for the hope that screaming like a banshee would pay off-and someone famous would come over to me and do a quick interview.
For those of you who don't know, I work at the American Forces Network. AFN is a TV Network where we broadcast programming for our troops all over the world, as long as we don't air commercials. To summarize, they watch the Super Bowl just like you do, but when the feed cuts to commercials, they don't get to see the funny Cheerios commercial or the moving Budweiser commercial. They get Public Service Announcements and command information. We basically fill the commercial break with spot material and promos. Obviously, we run out of spots and promos very quickly, so we look to fill that time with other material, some of which are celebrity shout outs, if possible.
That's where events like the Academy Awards come into play, as well as others, like the Grammys, the Spike TV Guys Choice awards, Golden Globes etc. My team's job is to work the Red Carpet, in uniform, fight the masses and hope for an interview. It is an incredible experience to go through individually. But not only is it an individual adrenaline rush, it is a very necessary task.
You see, AFN is an extremely unique entity. We have a global audience of people who are looking to us, sometimes as their only source of news, sports and entertainment. My team is tasked with getting a message from the stars, to the troops. That is why we are there. Not for "selfies," not for food, and not for personal agendas.