March, 2011 – Rio de Janiero, Brazil

“RIO” Premiere

Christ the Redeemer is one the new Seven Wonders of the World so it was a must stop for me once I landed in Rio de Janeiro.  It was a foggy, rainy day but I still made the trek to the top with a few fellow junketeers.

Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city but what surprised me the most was just how difficult it was to communicate with people. Portuguese is the main language spoken and it’s hard to find someone that speaks English. And the ones that do just want to please you and will say “yes” to whatever you ask for. So not only in the language barrier insane, but culturally it’s so different than Europe, or anywhere else abroad I’ve spent time.

World Premiere & Beach Interviews for RIO

The 3D animated film stars Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg. Supporting voices were Jamie Foxx, will.i.am, & Carlos Saldana with music by Taio and all the music supervised by the illustrious Sergio Mendes.

It was a Blu Carpet for the title character and to add to the already colorful backdrop of Rio de Janeiro.  After party was a lot of fun with a private concert, food and Brazilian drinks.

The next day we did stand-ups at two locations…the helio pad that provided the most amazing scenic views.  It overlooked the entire city and you could see the Christ the Redeemer statue in the air too.

We then went to Forte de Copacabana which is the fort that over looks Copacabana beach.  More stand-ups, intros and just enough time to take in the view with waffles covered in chocolate!

In the afternoon all the celebrity interviews were set up on Copacabana Beach. The weather was perfect…warm and tropical, slightly overcast with just a hint of humidity.  All the talent seemed to be in good spirits.

And I couldn’t be on my first trip south of the Equator and put my toes in the ocean! So a few of us took to the beach for an impromptu photo shoot and silly time splashing around in the Atlantic.

 

We cleaned up and hit the town for the night…20th Century FOX set up a fantastic dinner at Rio Scenarium. It’s a multiple story night club, that is also a restaurant and bar and apparently at city favorite.  It was eccentric with old buggys, mannequins, umbrellas, chandeliers, you name there were multiple on the walls and ceilings.  We had traditional Brazilian drummers and dancers that seemed straight out of Carnavale! Everyone got in the action…some a little more than others!

Hang Gliding in Rio

Rio de Janeiro is known for Copacabana Beach, Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf and of course Hang gliding!  I visited all those locations but then I was willing to take a leap of faith…literally and soar over this beautiful Brazilian city. Placing my trust, and life, in the hands of my guide Marcello…

1500 ft in the air off the mountains that overlook Impenada Beach. I get my guide and he assures me the scariest part of the whole experience will be the drive to the takeoff point.  No joke…I get in this beat up old VW bug with our glider strapped to the top. It’s a stick shift, and then he races up a windy road that could rival Lombard Street in San Francisco and a wicked speed.

I survive. Then we unload and walk up several flight of wooded stairs until we reach the takeoff platform.  The view with amazing…but then it does cross my mind that this is really happening!  After I get suited up, we do a few practice runs as Marcello briefly describes to me what’s expected.

I did my due diligence with Marcello – I’m if I was going to trust the man with my life, I needed to know who I was working with! He has been gliding for more than a decade, he’s done it in 10 different countries and spent time in California for college at UCLA.  I felt much better.

One thing that took the edge off was remembering that I was actually working…called over the camera crew and did my stand-up intros for FOX’s new animated movie RIO. In the film the characters actually hand glide the same route that I was going to do and the animated guide in the movie was actually modeled after the man that runs company we went with.

Nothing left to do but begin the adventure!  Ran off the platform and a couple seconds later was lifted in the air and it was simply incredible.  Spectacular view, indescribable feeling and hands down one of the most awesome experiences I’ve had.

We didn’t really discuss the landing too much…but still went off without a hitch. Landed on our feet in the sand – pure success!  Even earned myself a card in the Clube Sao Conrado de Voo Livre…just in case I want to make this my new Brazilian hobby.

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“Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” 2011

January 2011

Our annual awards show!! I went with my amazing brother Ryan, Heidi Ortlip, and fellow BFCA member Jake Hamilton. Always a fun night celebrating the best of film for the year…once again held at the Hollywood Palladium.

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December 2010 – Paris, France

Took the Eurostar for the first time and went to Paris for a few days with Heidi Ortlip. It was December and the city was absolutely magical.  We stayed right on the Champs Elysee, which was blanketed in snow and looked storybook against the lit Christmas backdrop of the famous Parisian street.

Even though we’ve both been blessed enough to spend time in Paris before, we had to make trips to our favorite iconic spots – The Eiffel Tower and The Louvre.

While visiting The Eiffel Tower, we ducked into a little café called Café le Dome, across the park from the landmark to warm up and indulge in a latte and crepes, these were are staples, next to cheese and wine.  We met Timothy Pinto who was our waiter and soon became our friend. He lived in England for a spell so spoke fluent English and French.  We hung out the night and once we found out he was a musician and sold out arenas, we encouraged and impromptu private performance – brilliant!

Then next night he recruited one of his friends and treated Heidi and me to a wonderful night this beautiful city.  Started it off with a Seine River cruise complete with French champagne to toast the evening, then off to the Latin quarter for Greek food, and ending at The Student Bookstore which was a great little bar that looked more like a cave!

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World Premiere/Royal Premiere of “The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

December 2010 – London, UK

It was an absolutely freezing night in London for the World Premiere.  I’d expect nothing less in the middle of December but not only was 20th Century FOX making fake snow for the whimsical premiere, but actually snow was falling the whole evening.  Even with heat lamps, hand warmers and fully bundled, Heidi Ortlip and me thought for a brief, real moment that we might actually get frostbite!

Things heated up once the cast stated their interviews on the red carpet. Highlight was Liam Neeson who voices Aslan.

One thing that made this premiere at The Odeon Theatre unique from any other premiere I’ve done is that it was also the Royal Premiere and Queen Elizabeth attended with Prince Albert. It was all the talk in England and I have to say it was so impressive to see her and put on 3D glasses and watch this CS Lewis classic with part of the Royal Family.

The next day we walked all over the city taking in our favorite sites from Buckingham Palace, to the Thames River, Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and then finally landed at The Tower of London. Heidi and I wanted to see the Crown Jewels once and again and enjoy the stories of the Knights, and Heidi even got her replica Anne Boleyn necklace.

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“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

November 2010 – London, UK

It wouldn’t feel like a Harry Potter film opening without a trip to London to talk with the cast. This time Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have all wrapped their decade long roles as Daniel, Hermione and Ron as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 hits theatres. The second part of this final chapter in the film series is due out July 2011.

Did stand-ups and even live shots for my tv station. I normally stick to entertainment but I actually had breaking news for Marc Bailey and Lynda Martin back at home because there was rioting and fires that broke out over the cost of tuition for college students. The story was dominated all the channels in England and quickly made its way to the States, so I got to update everyone on the madness that almost made me miss my live shot and forced Mark S Allen from Sacramento and myself to literally get out of a cab and run the last distance through the street to our live location overlooking London.

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“The Social Network” – New York City

“The Social Network” was the opening night film at the New York Film Festival.  The After Party was held at The Harvard Club and the whole cast attended the black tie optional event on this prestigious property.  It was a great way to spend the evening! 

NY Film FestAfter Party Harvard Club

I did one-on-one interviews with the cast but first I attended the press conference where (Left to Right) Armie Hammer, Justin Timberlake, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and writer Aaron Sorkin shared their thoughts on making this movie, Facebook, and the real people they portray.  It’s fascinating to me that Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook at 19 years old in his dorm room at Harvard, and now at 26 years old, he’s worth billions – yes Facebook is worth 25 billion dollars – and 500 million people use the social site.  Talk about creating a game-changer, this is a generation-changing invention!

Social Network CastJustin Jesse AndrewJustin JesseJustin TimberlakeAaron SorkinHarvard Club Library

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UN General Assembly – NYC

The UN General Assembly takes place every September in New York City since the headquarters are in the Big Apple.  I was in Manhattan staying at the Loews Regency on Park for Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel’s new movie “Life As We Know It.”  I’ve never seen so much security in my life… but it wasn’t for the celebs.  Apparently several of the diplomats in town were staying at the hotel and it was HIGH SECURITY!  There were no less than 9 officers when I entered the hotel.  They set up a tent out front and screened all my luggage.  I hd to go through a metal detector and get wanded just to get in.  Once in the hotel, I was free to roam around but the lobby was flooded with Secret Service.  They barricaded the streets and lined it with vehicles manned and full of ammunition — I felt like I was on a movie set.  But it was all real!  At least I didn’t get bed bugs!

UN General AssemblySecret ServiceHigh Security

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