This Sunday brings the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, and with it, all the hype, glamour and…technology Hollywood has to muster. That’s right. With a movie about Facebook one of this year’s top contenders, it’s only fitting that the 2011 Oscars are going high-tech.
Last year, more than 13 percent of TV viewers multitasked on their laptops, phones and tablets while they watched the Academy Awards, so this year why not ditch the tube entirely and enjoy the show on the “second screen?” Roll out the red carpet, breeze past both the paparazzi AND your TV screen and log in with our top 5 picks for the very best, up-to-the-minute Academy Awards coverage…on the Web.
Oscar.com – For premier coverage, go straight to the source at Oscar.com where ABC and the Academy Awards will begin covering red carpet arrivals at 3:30pm, PT. Once the show begins, viewers can access live streaming of the awards show, a live “My Oscar Picks” prediction game, live tweets and entry into the “Thank You Cam” where winners make their acceptance remarks. Diehards who don’t want to miss a moment can also pay $4.99 for the “all access” experience with additional live streams, a “360 cam” that allows users to select and pan multiple cameras and a live stream of the post-show Governors Ball.
Apps – For a slightly cheaper fee, just $.99, iPhone, iPod and iPad users can download the “Oscars Backstage Pass” app on iTunes and gain access to live cameras both on the Red Carpet and inside the Kodak Theater during the show. Android users can also enjoy the show with the “Live From the Red Carpet” app featuring Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic from E! Entertainment. Free options also include Oscar Quotes which lets you scroll through the best Oscar acceptance speeches from past award shows, and Oscar 2011 which lets you catch up on all things Oscar with a countdown to the red carpet and links to information on all the best picture nominees.
People.com – People magazine readers won’t have to wait for the newsstand to see coverage of the awards this year. People.com will roll out an online game called “Red Carpet Trivia Live” that will stream trivia questions and celebrity factoids to users in real time throughout the ceremony. Trivia questions will be pushed to the viewers every few minutes and will be synched to the celebrities or awards categories currently on screen. Players will be able to drop in and out of the contest via a set of rounds, and there will be a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of the game’s sole sponsor, Sprint. The site will also feature its usual online live red carpet coverage with live blogging and live cams from the Red Carpet and the Kodak Theater.
Twitter – If you want nonstop conversation, action and opinions on the awards, in under 140 words, head to Twitter where it will be a virtual Oscar-related hashtags bonanza. Here’s a quick guide to hashtags 101: ABC and the Oscars are asking fans to submit their suggested Red Carpet questions with the double hashtag #ask #oscars. Jen Chaney, a Celebritology blogger on Washington Post, is crowdsourcing her Red Carpet questions with the hashtag #oscarspotting. And MTV will follow suit, but with @mtvnews attached to the hashtag #oscars. You can also go straight to the host, er source, by following James Franco, who joined Twitter just in time for the Oscars, where he’s both host and nominee.
Oscar Preview – For movie lovers and movie betters alike who want more than just the show, check out the Academy’s “Road to the Oscars” video series which takes you behind the scenes of this year’s Best Picture awards race and each of the 10 nominated films. The first segments, hosted by Chris Harrison with EW.com’s Dave Karger, are up now with new ones posted daily between now and Sunday. And since the Oscars for Best Actor and Best Actress are pretty much locked in by Colin Firth and Natalie Portman, the Washington Post’s Celebritology blog decided to add some suspense to the race with an only-on-the-Web “speech generator” that lets you write their acceptance speeches for them. It’s just, as they say, like Mad Libs, for the Red Carpet. Just make sure you finish before the orchestra music fades you out…