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Matinee: 'How USA Today Photographers Shoot The Oscars' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

27 February 2016

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 124th in our series of Saturday matinees today: How USA Today Photographers Shoot the Oscars.

This short clip (really, just 2:40) from USA Today covers a lot of ground from the red carpet to backstage at the Oscars. And it was just published yesterday, so what you see is what you'll see tonight at the Oscars, otherwise known as the 88th Academy Awards.

USA Today photographer Dan Macmedan meets you outside on the red carpet to explain how he shoots the action on the red carpet. There are about a thousand members of the press covering the event but only 80 red carpet photographers.

The trick is to get the stars to beam their heavenly gaze at you. Macmedan reveals a few of his tricks, which require a lot of background work. But the truth is, he admits, they really do want to cooperate. "Believe me, they want to see their picture in all the magazines and newspapers the next day," he says.

The red carpet, of course, leads the attendees to the Dolby Theater where the attendees will eventually find their seats, the virtual curtain will rise, Chris Rock will rock and the show will go on. And a very lucky few will make it backstage cradling a golden Oscar.

USA Today photographer Robert Hanashiro will be there to meet them along with five other photographers, an elite group if there ever was one.

They're so elite you'll never see them. "We have to be invisible," he says. If any of the photographers are seen on the telecast, they are all banished.

Hanashiro looks for the moment when the winner is just coming back from the stage. The acting is over, the heart-felt acceptance speech has been interrupted and the real person, unguarded, comes out. "You get a wide range of emotions," he says. That's what he's looking for.

Because after that they're, well, gone with the wind.

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