The venue is partly a construction zone. Security is tighter than ever because of heightened terrorism concerns. And to top it off, the weather forecast has kept producers of today’s Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton guessing about a crucial logistical concern: to tent or not to tent?
Juggling all of these factors and more is all in a day’s work for Barry Adelman, exec VP of Dick Clark Prods. who is marking his 20th year as a Globes producer.
“We’re at the mercy of the weather,” Adelman admitted as he prepped for the final 24-hour work day on the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards.
This year’s ceremony is also at the mercy of Ricky Gervais, who is returning to Globes hosting duty for the first time since 2012. Adelman said Gervais adds a level of unpredictability that producers eagerly embrace.“There’s a sense of danger about Ricky. What’s he going to say? What’s he going to do,” Adelman said. Gervais and his writing team — which includes his longtime cohorts Matthew Robinson and Jon Macks — have kept their plans for the show close to the vest.
Adelman and others will get a glimpse at today’s dress rehearsal, “but that doesn’t mean he’ll do the same thing in the show.” And that’s just fine, he added.
“We want to let Ricky be Ricky,” Adelman said. “I think there’s now an understanding between Ricky and the stars in that room that probably didn’t exist in the first year that he hosted. His attitude is, ‘It’s just a joke, what is everybody getting so excited about?’”
Gervais will have plenty of material to draw on, from the last-minute revelation of Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone interview with drug lord El Chapo to the ongoing Donald Trump media circus.
Security in and around the Hilton is always tight on Globes day, but will be even more heightened this year following a rash of terrorist attacks and domestic shooting incidents. Spokespersons for the Beverly Hills Police Department and Los Angeles Police Department declined to comment on specific changes this year. For the first time, party guests won’t be able drive straight up to the hotel or be dropped off by car services, but will have to take shuttles from various locations in the vicinity.
As for the issue of Mother Nature’s role in the show, Adelman and his team plan to make the call early this morning on whether the plastic tenting stays up over the red carpet that lines the circular driveway of the Hilton. Regardless of what the Doppler radar shows, tenting will remain over the limo drop-off area because that portion of the tent is too cumbersome to remove on short notice while crews are busy prepping other aspects of the carpet.
The ability of Adelman and his team to maneuver around the Hilton is constricted this year by the construction underway on the 12-story Waldorf Astoria Hotel right next to the Hilton, which has long been Hollywood’s HQ for award ceremonies and charitable events.
The Waldorf project has also cramped the availability of space for the backstage media and production rooms. That means reporters, photographers and sundry kudocast players will be packed into one big room this year when the winners come back to exult with trophies in hand. That promises to get noisy.
Adelman emphasizes that the Dick Clark Prods. team has dealt with construction projects at the hotel and surrounding areas in the past. He has no doubt that everything will go smoothly despite the close quarters. “There’s such good communication between our group and the hotel and Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” he said.
One of the biggest challenges of producing the Globes compared to other award shows is the fact that the telecast originates from a ballroom that also serves up a sit-down dinner to about 1,300 guests.
“We have to clear out of the International Ballroom by about 1 p.m. so they can set up for dinner,” Adelman said. “Usually when we watch the dress rehearsal, there are people already setting up the place settings and centerpieces.”
Adelman has high hopes for several new touches that producers have added to this year’s show, including what Adelman calls the “BFF factor” for presenters. Producers made a point of pairing stars who are close friends off-camera in the hopes of generating more spontaneity during the telecast. Those duos include Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence, Ken Jeong and Kevin Hart, and Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
“There’ll be a nice chemistry between the presenters,” he said. “It should be fun to see these people play off each other.”