The Oscars occurred this past Sunday in Hollywood. There were lots of laughs, gaffes, extensive thank you speeches, and a pizza delivery man became an overnight social media sensation. Ellen Degeneres even broke a twitter record for the most retweeted tweet of all time. So it’s obvious that lots of people tuned in to experience this very special night.
On the other hand, there’s a side of the Oscars Ceremony that the television audience doesn’t get to experience. Here’s what goes on outside of the Dolby theater and away from the red carpet.
There were camouflaged women with unidentified black logos on their sleeves. That’s a TracStar system they’re standing next to.
Various men equipped with ear pieces and walkie talkies. These men were wearing beige cargo pants, beige workboots, and jackets with an unidentified red logo. I was unable to tell if they were armed.
This is the standard private security contractor outfit, and identical to the what Craft International employees wore during the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Notice how the Craft International contractors are gathered around a vehicle equipped with a TracStar system. Just like the above photo of the camouflaged women.
There was also this unidentified man standing with LAPD at the Hollywood Blvd., vehicle checkpoint. He was dressed in your typical private security contractor outfit. His hat and shirt had some kind of logo on it that I couldn’t identify. When he removed his jacket though, there was a badge attached to his belt. Couldn’t see what it was, but there was an SUV with a FBI BOMB SQUAD decal attached to its door that was parked close by. So maybe he was FBI? Your guess is as good as mine.
Public sidewalk checkpoints, bag searches, and hand held metal detector swipes.
Despite watching people give up their rights to walk on a public sidewalk, bottlenecking large groups of people like this in such a small area is extremely dangerous and actually puts people’s lives at risk. For instance, Rafi Sela, airline security expert and the former chief of security for Israeli airports, has been very critical of United States airports and their use of this cattling method.
“The TSA conveniently packs hundreds of travelers together in cramped security lines. Terrorists love crowds because they can inflict the most harm that way … So what does American airport security do? It gathers folks together in long lines BEFORE they’ve been scanned at all.””
The usual snipers on a rooftop.
Here’s some better shots from 2013. You can see the high powered rifle perched up against the building.
While photographing this event, I was live weeting what I was witnessing to @oscarceremy and @pauldetrick.
But after I tweeted the sniper photo, my Twitter account stopped functioning properly and I could no longer send pictures of what I was seeing. It was a bit strange and rather timely.
I was forced to either give up on the tweet, or save it as a draft. As you can see, I tried many times to tweet the image of the camo-clad women. (the private security contractor draft occurred earlier in the day; it was because of user error and not due to the sudden problem with my Twitter account).
Besides all of this, there were MRAPs and plenty of heavily armed police officers carrying weapons that resembled your typical AR-15. Unfortunately, I only photographed them will my film camera, which is the reason why they’re not included in this post.
So there you have it. An inside look at the other side of the Oscars that you don’t see on the world-wide television broadcast.
How about we break Ellen’s record by retweeting this post over a million times.