Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o on the red carpet before the show
Beth Hanna Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o on the red carpet before the show

My first time covering the Oscars red carpet came and went Sunday, with plenty of adrenaline, jitters, excitement, flusteredness, as well as a solid dose of hurry-up-and-wait.

Alfonso Cuaron

About 18 of us interview journalists were crammed into a narrow pen right at the mouth of the Dolby theater. We each had a one-foot spot to stand in, which meant I got friendly with the people to my right and left, while also mentally blocking out the leg cramps that set in after the two-hour mark.

The talent began to trickle in, primarily below-the-line nominees at first. With flipcam in my right hand and phone camera in my left (it turned out to be quite the balancing act), I started filming and clicking and point-and-shooting away. I got to chat with the soon-to-win “Gravity” VFX team and with “12 Years a Slave” editor Joe Walker, who’s now edited all three of Steve McQueen’s films. I was thrilled to have “The Hunt” star Mads Mikkelsen and director Thomas Vinterberg come my way. I got to talk with them about the two-year journey the film’s had since its Cannes debut in 2012 (where Mikkelsen deservedly nabbed the Best Actor award) to its Oscar nomination in 2014. Such is the slow distribution path for indie arthouse cinema. 

Julia Roberts

At about 4:40pm, 20 minutes shy of when the carpet was supposed to wrap up, the major nominees and non-nominees with serious star wattage started to flood by. Lupita Nyong’o, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Christian Bale, Alfonso Cuaron, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor, Penelope Cruz, Emma Watson, Will Smith and more seemingly came in on a tidal wave of Major Famousness. Very few actually came over to our desperate journalist pen (Steve Coogan, Nyong’o and Sally Hawkins were notable exceptions), but I was able to nab flipcam of most of them passing (complete with me nerdily muttering to myself every now and then, “O-o-oh there’s Penelope! Cruz! Oh! Oh! There’s Julie Delpy!”).

The highlight from this unreal 20 minutes was Cate Blanchett, passing by two feet away from me, turning to a friend and gushing about how gorgeous pal Sally Hawkins looked -- I got that on video, too.

Alas 4G became non-existent in the heat of the red carpet action, so my hopes for tweeting were sunk. But the best of the pics and video I took are in this post, after the jump. Enjoy.