Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Pre-Oscar Drama


Editors Note:  Join Julia as she live blogs the Oscars right here! Check back all night long!

The limos are out, the nail salons are packed, and the paparazzi have been staking their claim on the red carpet space since before dawn. After some clouds this morning, all the starlets who got their hair blown out and the red carpet watchers must be relieved that we're now getting some sunshine. The week before the Oscars in Los Angeles is like rush week at a very well-funded fraternity. Jam-packed with fun, boozy parties and beautiful people. Then today the less pleasant "rush" selection process happens, and some favorites get "hosed." Oh, and the sitting around all day isn't as glamorous as it looks either.

This Oscar week is a multi-hundred million dollar marketing bonanza: not just an opportunity for stars to build up their brands, but a chance for corporate entities to hook themselves to, well, rising stars. Vanity Fair is eponymous with the Oscars, hosting the hottest party tonight and a handful of more intimate events, including one I attended on Tuesday. And LA Confidential held a huge bash at the Mondrian hotel to honor Forrest Whittaker's nomination, also populated by a ton of stars.

But the hottest spot this week was the Soho House's temporary Los Angeles set-up. A private club in New York and London, favored by media types, Soho House took over the house from Entourage -- that gorgeous Spanish style mansion that Vince's character and his entourage live in. The house had a by invite-only restaurant, various lounges and bars, a pool room, and special spa set up by the Diamond Information Center and rooms decorated and sponsored by Delta and Sony. Subtle marketing messages, and with A-listers throughout, the sense that this spot up above the Sunset strip was the center of cool. Miramax held a dinner, attended by Bob Iger and his wife Willow Bay, and Peter O'Toole and Helen Mirren both swept in, looking glamorous. At another table sat Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox, looking luminous. Everyone was enjoying the fun, before the hard part starts with the actual event today.

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