每次當我告訴朋友,等下要去採訪某某活動的紅地毯,大部份人會投以羨慕的眼光,以為真是什麼好康的事情. 沒錯,有時候我的工作聽起來光鮮亮麗. 但是背後真有很多不為人知的辛酸. 我想很多娛樂記者每聽到頒獎典禮,盛大首映會,慈善晚會時,只有一個想法, 那就是‘唉,又是一個挑燈夜戰的日子…’ 所以當我聽到amfAR 愛滋研究基金會要在香港舉辦盛大的慈善晚會時,我就知道麻煩大了. 第一次採訪amfAR 晚宴時,是在2008年去坎城影展採訪,每年他們在影展期間所舉辦的晚宴,是坎城最盛大以及最星光熠熠的派對. 由玉婆伊麗莎白泰勒所創立的這個基金會,會在派對時會拍賣珠寶,名畫,還曾經拍賣過跟李奧納多漫遊太空的機會. 拍賣金額每每創下高峰.
2008的amfAR,紅毯上有瑪丹娜,章子怡,R&B歌后Mary J.Blige等等, 不過當然當晚最大的爆點,是當莎朗史東走到我面前,問到她對於四川地震的想法,她脫口而出, “你知道達賴喇嘛是我很好的朋友,但是中國對他非常不友善,所以我聽到地震消息時候,我在想這是報應嗎？“ 語畢,現場包括我在內的三個華文記者目瞪口呆,當然之後她也被品牌DIOR 開除,跟百萬代言費說掰掰.
首次來到香港的amfAR 陣容也不容小覷,奧斯卡影后葛妮斯派特洛,維多莉亞貝克漢,凱特摩絲,’黑珍珠‘娜歐蜜坎貝兒.和楊紫瓊等等. 我看完名單就覺得累. 晚宴地點選在將君澳的邵氏影城,我一聽到邵氏影城又開始頭痛. 因為四年前李玟的世紀婚禮就是在那舉行. 大多數媒體是搭乘公關公司所提供的接駁車在香港上車,前往將軍澳,抵達目的地之後,司機將巴士停在影城後面的一個小山坡上. 其中一輛巴士司機先開門讓記者下車,而我搭的這輛,司機則是認為要等到公關的okay,他才開門,卻引起車上記者暴動. 有攝影記者開口直飆三字五字經,幹譙司機說,“友台的攝影已經下車了,我也要下去卡位！”, 司機受不了他們的髒話轟炸,開門放人,車門一開,所有記者大包小包的跑下車,開始賽跑到紅地毯. 而我穿著高跟鞋也顧不了太多,開始用百米跑的速度往前衝,堪稱我採訪生涯中最狼狽的一次.
還好,星期六時,巴士是開到紅地毯後面. 不需要賽跑去紅地毯. 但是走進紅地毯採訪區,卡位還是必備的. 在跟攝影記者商量,評估現場狀況之後,我決定卡在兩個外籍攝影記者之間,跟一排的電視記者旁邊. 沒錯,這就是我要“卡”的位子.
只不過活動還沒開始,就聽到香港攝影記者大聲地用英文飆罵站在他前面的大會指定攝影. 記者區是用欄杆圍起來,防止記者跨到紅毯上面. 但大會指定平面攝影以及電子攝影可以自由的在紅地毯上面走動,有時難免擋在媒體記者鏡頭前. 這位香港攝影大哥非常激動,因為那大會攝影就不偏不倚地站在他前面. 兩人爭吵的聲音引起香港跟國外公關關切. 其他記者也都備著看好戲的心態,因為這樣的立場對立,在紅地毯上,司空見慣. 不過當明星開始走上紅地毯上,那兩人也沒時間吵架了,因為要準備開工.
這真是我所見過香港最強星光的紅地毯. 如果是二線,三線或四線明星,名模和名媛,基本上都不會引起太大騷動.紅地毯走沒兩下,就會被公關請示慢慢移步. 也只好摸摸鼻子趕快走. 接著,楊紫瓊穿著一身Elie Saab 綠色閃亮晚禮服優雅現身了.
凱特摩絲在紅地毯上驚鴻一撇,但是不巧的是,她出場時間跟葛妮思派特洛尬上,我們的目光跟鏡頭都還在影后身上,凱特也快步的走進會場 黑珍珠“娜歐密坎貝兒” 在紅地毯上被攝影大哥們的破英文逗的笑了出來. 攝影大哥不斷地說 “Camel Camel!!” 拜託人家姓是”Campbell” 把人家超級名模叫成駱駝真是失禮.
不過當貝嫂維多莉亞一踏上紅地毯的時候,氣勢磅礡,hold 住整個場面. 所有攝影師陷入瘋狂,不停大叫, “Victoria, here, over here! To your left” “To your right”. 貝嫂當晚穿著她自己設計的白色高領禮服. 擺出她的註冊商標’三七步“以及她酷酷的嘴角微微上揚,要笑不笑,‘smiling on the inside” 表情,氣場真是強大.
就在紅地毯接近尾聲,所有明星都走過了,我和攝影準備打包走人時. 香港特首梁振英女兒梁齊昕一身黑色禮服走上現身,引起紅地毯上另一陣騷動,所有媒體記者驚嚇指度立刻飆高. 梁齊昕最近在香港成為新聞人物因為行為古怪,說要去拍個三級片導演的新片,最後又臨陣脫逃. 但是星期六在紅地毯上的她,眼神空洞,走路需要人攙扶,幾度背靠在紅地毯背景板上. 我旁邊的老外攝影不斷地說, “Oh my god, she’s so high!”. 最後在公關朋友的攙扶下,梁齊昕離開紅地毯,但是所有記者們面面相覷 難以相信剛剛所目睹到的景象. 而我驚嚇過度,並沒有拍到她的照片.
紅地毯結束之後,我和攝影進去會場,拍攝一些晚宴花絮. 現場衣香鬢影,杯影交錯. 一張門票價值兩萬港幣,相當於八萬台幣,能來到這邊的嘉賓,都來頭不小. 只是我眼角一瞄,看到一張沒有人坐的桌子,但是服務生菜還是照樣上. 一桌如果十個人的話,那桌布就浪費了八十萬台幣. 一個晚上下來,籌款總金額達到四百萬美金. . 但我唯一的想法是,為了愛滋研究,舉辦一個這麼盛大晚宴,請來那麼多明星,那麼多工作人員,如果把這些奢華的費用都省了,可能可以多籌個一百萬美金,會不會早點找到治療愛滋的解藥？ 還是上流社會都需要一個盛大場面,穿上華麗禮服,向世界宣告看我多有錢？ 才願意一擲千金,捐出巨款做善事？
Whenever I tell friends that I’m heading to a red carpet to cover a film premiere, an award ceremony, or a fashion event, a lot of times people’s eyes light up and say, “You have such a fun job!” I guess they assume that I’ll be all dolled up standing on the red carpet, exchanging air kisses with celebs and chit chat about whatever is up in their lives. No, that’s not exactly how it happens in real life. The truth is, you’re standing behind this metal barricade because they’re afraid you’ll do something stupid or crazy and jump over the fence. I mean, God forbid if reporters step on the red carpet! Gasp! No, We wouldn’t want that! Covering the red carpet usually equals long hours of waiting, in exchange for 2 or 3 minutes of the celebs’ time. Sometimes when the star is not in the mood to talk, they waltz right by you and it doesn’t matter if you’re screaming on the top of your lungs, practically begging for a soundbite, “Jennifer, Jennifer, who are you wearing?” “Kate Kate how do you like Hong Kong?” or “Robin, Robin did you cheat on your wife?” Okay, kidding on the last one. Yup, I hate red carpets. So when I heard that amfAR is coming to town for the first time, and throwing a star studded gala, I knew I was in trouble.
My first experience with amfAR was in 2008 when I covered their party at the Cannes Film Festival. The amfAR Gala is, hands down, the most glamours, glitzy, and extravagant event during the festival. I remember standing in a tiny, tiny space that was about 10 centimeters wide, and that was the spot I was assigned to do my job for the night. That year, the red carpet saw Madonna, Christian Slater, Mary J. Blige, Zhang Ziyi and many others. The biggest story on the red carpet for us was when Sharon Stone walked by, we asked her what she thought of the Sichuan Earthquake that just happened a few days ago, she replied, “You know, the Dalai Lama is a good friend of mine, and China isn’t very nice to him….and this earthquake happens, and I’m thinking, is that karma?” Totally WTF right?! When her quotes got out, it caused an uproar in China. People were very angry. At the end, Sharon Stone lost her million dollar Dior endorsement, and I guess karma came around to bite her in the ass.
Ms.Stone was not making an appearance at the inaugural Hong Kong gala, but Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Michelle Yeoh all rsvped.
After arriving at the red carpet and surveying the room, the camera man and I agreed on a spot. I decided that I was going to squeeze in that 10 centimeter wide opening between two photographers (de ja vu all over again) , and stick my microphone out whenever I want to interview someone. We then waited patiently for the mayhem to begin.
On a red carpet with star power of this magnitude, if you’re a B list, C list or worse level celebrity, photographers would take your photos with lackluster, and then the PRs would then usher you to the next marked spot and you would just move along the carpet. The TV reporters may or may not want to stick out their microphone to ask you questions. That’s because we are waiting for the stars that don’t need a last name.
Michelle Yeoh I love because she’s always so gracious, elegant and kind. She may or may not remember me, but she always makes me feel like we’re old pals. What I love about her the most is that she’s genuine with her answers. She doesn’t beat around the bush, or avoid questions, she thinks about it and delivers a sincere and eloquent reply.
Gwyneth Paltrow looks flawless in a navy blue Marc Jacobs gown. Even though I’m not a personal fan, I have to admit she looked impeccable and exquisite. You can see the smirk in her eyes when the emcee of the red carpet began the interview by asking her, “So, what brings you here this evening?”
Unfortunately Kate Moss made her entrance on the red carpet the same time as Gwyneth, and as much as we love Kate, our camera was fix on Ms. Paltrow. It glanced over to Kate for 30 seconds and then returned quickly back to G.
Sometimes the funniest part about covering a red carpet is listening in on the conversation between photographers because sometimes they have no clue who they’re taking pictures of. When Naomi Campbell came down the red carpet, there were a few voices that went, “who’s that?” “who?” One person replied, “Naomi Campbell” and then the next photographer started yelling, “Camel, camel! over here over here”.
When Victoria Beckham showed up on the red carpet, she shut it down. I mean, it was absolute mayhems, and then photographers were going CRAZY! “Victoria, over here!” “To your right!” “Look over here!” She walked that red carpet like she owned it. I love her signature “one-foot-behind-another”, that perfect posture pose, paired with icy cold look, and smiling-on-the inside facial expression. To see in person was something else. For Saturday night, Victoria Beckham owned the red carpet. It was all hail Queen Victoria.
Unfortunately the most of the international stars only spoke to the emcee of the red carpet. I did manage to grab Paris Hilton for a quick chat. She told me that she’s releasing a new single, new fragrance, and opening hotels in China soon, all the while still managed to maintain her pose, with both hands on her waist.
After two hours, it looked like the red carpet was wrapping up. I was looking forward to seeing Robin Thicke in person because he’s performing on Saturday night. But I guess after you lost $7.4 million dollars in court, the last thing you want to do is to talk to reporters. We were packing our equipment when the First Daughter of Hong Kong, Chai yan Leung was hit the red carpet, looking very either intoxicated or under the influence of medication. The photographers went crazy, and everyone was whispering, “OMG, she’s so high. What is she on?!” Leung leaned against the backdrop of the red carpet a few times, stumbled when walking and at the end required the assistance of a friend to walk off the red carpet.
Now, that’s what I call an eventful Saturday night!