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MTV Sorta Likes Bloggers... But Not Really: 2007 Movie Awards Wrap-Up
MTV to Bloggers: We sort of like you but not enough to give a shit about your coverage.
LAist to MTV: We sort of like you but not enough to give a shit about your programming.
When LAist was invited by MTV to live-blog the 2007 Movie Awards from an on-site "blogging tent," we asked ourselves one crucial question: is this going to be a cool opportunity to offer readers a unique perspective on the event or is it going to totally suck? The answer: Both, but mostly the latter.
Inviting online journalists to live blog the MTV Movie Awards -- we were in good company alongside A Socialite's Life, Popbytes, TMZ, MeeVee and iVillage, among others -- had the potential to be an interesting experience that combined the best of mainstream media (money, resources, access, name recognition) with the best of the Web (immediacy, subjectivity, lack of corporate oversight).
I arrived at Universal Citywalk in the early afternoon and was directed to the press area, which was a large white tent set up in a parking lot maybe a couple hundred yards from the Gibson Amphitheater, where the show was being held. The press tent was subdivided into three "rooms," one for traditional print and electronic media, one for journalists doing one-on-one interviews and one for bloggers and assorted electronic media. MTV called this the blogging tent. I dubbed it the Blogghetto.
Sure, the Blogghetto was set up with tables, chairs, couches, Internet hookups, a video feed from the live show and LA's chilliest air conditioning system. Sure, MTV provided sodas, sandwiches and snacks. Sure, it was nice of MTV to invite us in the first place. But it was obnoxious, stupid and just plain pointless to shunt bloggers into a separate tent.
Although LAist was allowed to have a photographer on the red carpet, we bloggers weren't allowed anywhere near there, which is the one place bloggers absolutely, definitely should have been. That's where the most interesting stuff happens. That's what you should have online media constantly observing and writing about.
You're up against the Soprano's second-to-last episode. Don't you want actual bloggers writing/hyping/talking about your show?
To add insult to injury, the live feed in the Blogghetto didn't switch on until 10 minutes before the show, so we couldn't even watch most of MTV's pre-show.
Here's how awards shows work. After winners and presenters get off stage, they are corralled into a press room where waiting journalists ask them questions, and celebrities say funny things they couldn't or wouldn't say during an acceptance speech. We were promised by the MTV flacks that they would try to bring as many celebrities as possible into the Blogghetto. What that amounted to was Dane Cook and a couple of twits from The Hills. We could hear the excitement in the adjacent tent as celebrities came through and answered questions during the show (although even they didn't seem to get tons of visitors). In the Blogghetto we twiddled our thumbs and huddled together to keep warm.
Then there's the fact that the two-hour award show was nothing but a thinly veiled ad for Transformers, which is being release by Paramount this summer. Paramount is a subsidiary of Viacom, the same company that also happens to own MTV. If you were playing along at home, the drinking game would've been that you had to do a shot every time Transformers was mentioned. You would've been drunk within the first 45 minutes.
In the end, us bloggers got taken for a ride by MTV. For all the "access" we got, we could've done the exact same thing by watching an East Coast satellite feed of the live show at home and blogging about it. Basically, all we did was give MTV a free, three-hour long commercial.
Will the once revolutionary cable network that no longer understands the new media landscape please raise its hand? We mean you, MTV. Thanks for the scraps.
Click here for LAist's MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet Photo Essay. Blog photographers were allowed on the red carpet. Writers weren't.
Our aggregated live blog of the 2007 MTV Movie Awards appears in chronological order below.
MTV, the network whose prescient forays into reality programming placed it in the vanguard of youth-oriented television, has decided that since this little ole thing called the Internet is catching on big with the kids, the way to capitalize on the immediacy of Web 2.0 is to broadcast the annual Movie Awards* live and (more importantly) allow
schlubs like me high-stakes online journalists to live blog the event.
This means that you'll get to see and read about every nipple slip, cuss word and catfight you normally wouldn't hear about. And for all of this, we have to say thanks. Thank you to all the instant gossip Web sites that have ushered in this brave new era of celeb stupidity, thank you to MTV for inviting us to jump aboard your ship, and thank you to God or the defense department or whoever for inventing the Internet.
I'm here at the MTV Movie Awards now. I will be here all day. The awards start at 5pm. Keep reloading the page for updates. LAist loves you!
*Normally the MTV Movie Awards are taped, edited and aired several days later.
12:45 - Arrive at Universal Studios. Check in. Get press pass. Get bags searched. Feel pleased that I am able to sneak in a flask of Southern Comfort. (Note: I rarely mix blogging and boozing, but at an MTV event I feel like I have to.)
1:07 - Set up laptop in the blogger ghetto, which MTV has generously dubbed the Viewing Tent.
1:26 - Whip out binoculars. Keep on the lookout for Sarah Silverman sightings.
1:39 - Receive text message from my b/f asking me if I can arrange a threesome with Sarah Silverman.
1:40 - I Reply: Maybe.
1:41 - He Replies: No Jimmy Kimmel.
1:42 - I Reply: Ditto!
2:02 - Rendezvous with LAist paparazzi Joey Maloney. Strategize on best way for him to slip my phone number to Sarah Silverman.
2:30 - The "good press" (i.e. the model-looking chicks in lemon-yellow silk mini-dresses, the guys with bulky camcorders and the snazzy ladies from print magazines) are escorted to the red carpet. The rest of us have to stay in the blogging ghetto AKA the Blogghetto.
2:35 - Discuss with the other bloggers left in the Blogghetto whether we should be insulted because we were barred from the red carpet. I guess the red carpet couldn't handle the crushing weight of four more people.
2:38 - Decide not to be insulted. Instead, decide to be buzzed. Surreptitiously sip on SoCo.
2:55 - Share SoCo with other bloggers. Make new BFFs.
3:03 - Some tech person hooks up the sound system. Nice random mix of hardcore hip-hop and Sinatra tunes. Never considered it before, but Ludacris could do a killer cover of "Lady Is A Tramp."
3:05 - Make mental note to ask the kind, intelligent, generous and really good-looking MTV press people to give me a party pass. I might as well be sitting at home and blogging about the show; the real story is behind the scenes.
4:09 - Wireless connection goes down. For the second time. But tech guy David is awesome both times. Asks what site I write for. I tell him LAist. He seems genuinely excited. He likes the site. Now I am genuinely excited.
4:23 - It's time for another sip of SoCo. It's chilly inside the Blogghetto, but it's warm inside my belly.
4:39 - The nice Italian journalist lady returns from the red carpet. "Nobody except Jessica Biel has bothered to show up for the red carpet," she tells me. I can neither confirm nor deny. But when she says, "Eet was sad and horreeble," her Italian accent makes it sound like, "It was sexy and wonderful."
4:53 - The feed from the red carpet switches on in the press room. Stars are showing up on the red carpet. Tyrese, Josh Duhamel, Megan Fox and lots of others. Somewhere between the umpteen "exclusive movie clips," it becomes clear that this isn't a pre-show as much as it is an extended promo for Transformers.
4:59 - The pre-show, red carpet hostess lady mentions how indebted we all are to GM for making this the first commercial-free MTV Movie Awards. Ahem hem... what's your definition of commercial?
5:01 - Sarah Silverman clomps onto stage in high heels to a Lily Allen tune. The little black dress with the circle skirt looks great, but practice walking in those high heels, girl!
5:03 - Sarah on the racism of Spider-Man 3: "Did anyone else notice that as soon as he turned black he became an awesome dancer?" Cut To: Sam Jackson laughing. Cut To: Sarah ribbing the producers for cutting to a black man immediately after a black joke.
5:03 - Sarah on why she won't watch Pirates of the Caribbean 3: "I don't watch movies longer than Cisco Adler's balls."
5:03 - Sarah on Jack Nicholson: "You've literally been in everyone of my favorite actresses." Big laughs all around.
5:04 - Sarah on Tobey Maguire: "I see at least three famous vaginas in the audience tonight. Oh, Tobey Maguire... four!"
5:05 - Sarah announces that Paris Hilton will soon be going to jail. Nearly the entire audience claps. Loudly and for a long time. What's the half-life of schadenfreude?
5:06 - Sarah on Paris Hilton: "To make Paris Hilton more comfortable in jail, I hear they're going to make the bars of her cell out of penises." Big laughs. "I just worry she'll snap her teeth." HUGE LAUGHS. Cut To: Paris Hilton looking like she just swallowed a cockroach.
5:09 - Cue Vegas-style dancers and an old people's choir singing songs that are deliberately bleeped out.
5:10 - The cast of Fantastic Four -- another movie being heavily promoted at tonight's awards (looks like Viacom & Fox are BFFs) -- announces the winner of Best Villain: Jack Nicholson. He beats...
Tobin Bell - Saw III
Bill Nighy - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Rodrigo Santoro - 300
Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
5:11 - Sounding like he has a voicebox made of sandpaper, Jack Nicholson begins his acceptance speech with, "I don't give a fuck!" He thanks the troops, says "fuck" some more and exits.
5:24 - Gerard Butler wins Best Fight for his ab-tastic work in 300. The correct pronunciation of his name is Gay-hard. And that's not a reference to the homoeroticism of 300. Really. His speech is incomprehensible to me.
----- Somewhere in here Jessica Biel and Sarah Silverman almost share a lesbian kiss -----
Sarah Silverman and Jessica Biel get my vote for Best Kiss.
5:26 - Dane Cook comes out to introduce the nominees for Best Homemade Spoof or whatever the category is. He says some of the nominees were so funny they made him want to punch himself in the balls. However, he does not recommend doing this. I do. Especially if you're Dane Cook. In all fairness, Dane Cook at least comments on how wasted Jack Nicholson appeared.
5:30 - I can hear the press people and the MTV handlers trying to corral Jack Nicholson in the next tent over, which apparently isn't easy to do. We here in the Blogghetto have been promised by MTV that they will try to get as many celebs as possible in here. You know you're low on the totem pole when even Shia LaBeouf is too big to talk to you.
5:33 - Victoria Beckham in all her bobble-headed, bleached, anorexic, zebra print glory takes the stage with Chris Tucker to introduce Rihanna.
5:34 - Rihanna, who's channeling Elizabeth Berkeley in a dominatrix outfit that looks like a wardrobe castoff from Showgirls, takes the stage to sing a song about going your own direction. Or some empowering message that can only be enhanced by wearing a pleather bra.
5:36 - Rihanna continues to sing and grinds. Eva Mendes, gorgeous as ever, looks like she's trying to care. Andy Samberg, in a ratty old T-shirt, looks like he does care.
5:38 - I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry co-stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Jessica Biel -- love Jessica's 80s-inspired V-neck mini dress that's adorned at the bottom with what look like little metal studs -- introduce some award, which is really just an excuse for them to do a lame staged skit about how both of their first kisses were with the same girl, who it turns out was Adam Sandler in a wig. Ba-dum-bum.
5:39 - The coveted Best Kiss award goes to the obvious choice, Will Ferrell & Sacha Baron Cohen, beating...
Cameron Diaz & Jude Law - The Holiday
Columbus Short & Meagan Good - Stomp the Yard
Mark Wahlberg & Elizabeth Banks - Invincible
Marlon Wayans & Brittany Daniel - Little Man
5:41 - Sacha Baron Cohen, looking handsome as ever, berates Will Ferrelll for not calling him after their tender on-set moment in Talladega Nights. He pulls Will Ferrell in for a long, shameless lip-lock that leaves them both rolling on the floor like fictional lovers in a fictional meadow.
5:44 - It's time for the next movie spoof, something about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
5:46 - Total Number Of Celebs Who Have Visited the Blogghetto: 0.
5:50 - Sarah Silverman is inserted via the magic of VFX into a bunch of recent movies and (of course) Transformers. It's better than the old Billy Crystal montages at the Oscars.
5:57 - Jaden Pinkett-Smith, I think that's his name but regardless he's the child of Will & Jada, gives his dad's video acceptance speech for... wait, I forgot the award. Doh! That kid is ridiculously cute.
5:58 - Dane Cook jokes, "This just in, apparently Paris Hilton was so offended by Sarah's joke, she checked herself into jail early." NO ONE LAUGHS. Oh Dane... it's awesome being you.
6:00 - The FIB-u-less Orbit gum lady (What kind of accent is that? South African? British by way of Argentina? Australia meets Singapore?) gives the Dirtiest Mouth award to Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. Their acceptance speech, which is delivered by not-so-silent Bob, is only one sentence long but somehow manages to get 70% bleeped out. The Orbit gum lady vows never to date either of them.
6:25 - Sipping more SoCo. At this point it's not for fun, it's for survival. The Blogghetto is air-conditioned to a frighteningly cold degree. Hell, I'm stepping outside just to keep warm.
6:26 - Sam Jackson in his trademark Kangol cap (he must have stock options in that company), announces the nominees for MTV's first user-generated award, Best Movie Spoof. Will it be United 300, Texas Chainsaw Rehab, Little Miss Squirtgun?
6:28 - United 300 wins for Best Movie Spoof. The winner, a Kevin Smith look-alike named Andy, gives a speech about how his movie isn't a spoof of tragedy (like there was some controversy, like anybody really cared), it's a statement against tyranny. Oh.
6:29 - Bruce Willis comes out to introduce Amy Winehouse who's going to sing "Rehab." As he does he offers her an oddly emphatic congratulations on her recent marriage.
6:30 - As usual, Amy Winehouse has applied her eyeliner with a trowel. As usual, Amy Winehouse sings in her smoky, sultry style. People might criticize her look, but I Googled Amy Winehouse to find pictures of her before she went all Rosie-the-Riveter-Meets-Bride-of-Frankenstein, and I discovered one inescapable yet little known fact. If Amy Winehouse weren't all tatted out and made up like she is, she'd look just like a hundred girls I knew from Hebrew school.
6:34 - Dane Cook visits us in the Blogghetto. Despite my lack of interest in his comedy, he seems like a laid back, personable dude. Even though I like capping on him, I really don't dislike him. He gamely answers questions, revealing why he won't be in the upcoming Transformers movie. "I know this is going to sound like complete balderdash," he says, "but the reason I'm not in Transformers is because I really wanted to be in a scene with a Transformer. But due to time and budget constraints, the director, Michael Bay, told me that couldn't happen. So I said, if I can't be in a scene WITH a Transformer, I just want to be a fan!" He reveals that his shirt did not cost $600, that in fact it probably cost about $17.50. It looks like he's telling the truth.
6:36 - Total Number of Celebs Who Have Visited the Blogghetto: 1.
6:38 - Another improbable couple, Seth Rogen & Eva Mendes, are brought on to introduce Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet. He warns her, "I only make movies about impregnating beautiful women with my schlubby Jew Sperm." She squeals with delight, "I love schlubby Jew sperm!" Don't we all.
6:39 - I have no idea how people vote on a Best Movie You Haven't Seen Yet award -- Which publicist gave the most blowjobs? Which studio shelled out the most ad dollars? -- but surprise, surprise Transformers wins. Just in case you missed the 800 other plugs for Transformers during this
awards show big, fat commercial, Shia (pronounced sha-ya) makes sure to tell the audience the movie's release date. No, no, Clarice. That hamhanded segue just won't do.
6:41 - Some college dude named Josh Greenbaum wins some college award, it is announced over a loudspeaker.
6:44 - Andy Not-Samberg, the guy who won the Best Movie Spoof, comes into the Blogghetto. I refuse to count him as a celebrity. But I do ask how his film is a statement against tyranny. After his answer I still don't know. But I know that he thinks the warriors at Thermopylae and the passengers of United flight #93 are both heroes, and he somehow wanted to connect them in a movie. Also, he loves America, and he thinks 300 is the movie that will transform his generation. He may be right.
6:45 - Sarah Silverman in a weird schoolgirl dress (probably the only part of her wardrobe she actually chose) stands next to Andy Samberg, who's on stage for about two seconds before he's crawling on the ground or something.
6:46 - Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese, come out to present the Best Performance award. And they all happen to star in Transformers. What a coincidence.
6:48 - Wait, now it's an actual commercial for Transformers. It's getting hard to tell the official ads from the embedded ads.
6:49 - Johnny Depp wins Best Performance. Wearing a black blazer and
jeans plaid flannel pajama pants (?), he ascends the stage to a chorus of wild cheering and screams.
6:51 - Some chick and some dude from The Hills grace us with their presence. Why are they here? Oh right, they're on a show that's on MTV. Notice the cross-promotion. Together, I will count them as 1 celebrity, and even that's stretching it. Total Number of Celebrities Who Have Visited the Blogghetto: 2.
6:55 - And the winner for Best Movie is... wait, don't tell me... let me guess... Transformers. Ohmygod! It wasn't even nominated. This is the upset of the century!!! Just kidding. It's Pirates of the Caribbean. Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp accept the award. Their speech is mercifully brief.
6:57 - As is Sarah Silverman's closing. She ends the show by saying something like, "Alright guys, that's it. Sorry, Matt Damon." One thing I appreciate about those MTV producersm, they understand that brevity is the soul of wit.
7:00 - The show is over. We're waiting to see if Sarah Silverman will swing through the Blogghetto. Except for the Paris Hilton joke, all the best stuff happened on the red carpet -- Kevin Smith making out with his wife, Cameron Diaz clawing at Jessica Biel's face (just kidding about that one) -- and the blogging press wasn't privy to that.
7:03 - Confirmation: Sarah Silverman will not visit the Blogghetto.
Total Number Of Celebrities Who Visited the Blogghetto: 2.
7:05 - Conclusion: MTV sort of values bloggers but not really. They like us enough to invite us to the party, but they force us to sit at the kids' table and don't let us play with the adults.
7:10 - Best Moment of the Night: Sarah Silverman's hilariously scathing diss of Paris Hilton during her opening monologue. I'm told that Paris Hilton was supposed to present an award, but she never made it on stage. I think she was PISSED!
Saddest Most Obvious Realization of the Night: Although this was supposed to be an awards show, it was actuality a two-hour commercial for Transformers. I don't know how much of what happens on stage makes it to air, but the live feed in the Blogghetto was all Transformers, all the time. It's enough to make me hate the movie and hope it flops. Not that there's a chance of that happening.