A year ago at this time, Scott Feinberg (pictured) had just signed a contract with The Hollywood Reporter to join the publication as lead awards blogger and tumbled into his first-ever trip to Telluride. This weekend, he’s back in the picturesque Colorado mountains, ready to handicap 2012 Oscar hopefuls alongside a small group of LA journo regulars that includes Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Gregory Ellwood (Hit Fix), Steve Pond (TheWrap) and Pete Hammond (Deadline).
“It’s funny, the one place where we all end up is the Santa Barbara Film Festival,” Feinberg told FishbowlLA via telephone yesterday shortly after arriving in the rain. “It’s weird. Some of us can’t make it to Telluride, some of us can’t make it to Toronto. But the one that it just seems, year after year, all the usual LA Oscar beat writers end up at is Santa Barbara.”
Everything is walking distance in Telluride. It’s also a place where, with a very few exceptions, outlets pay the same hefty price for journalist passes as attendees. And because locals are used to living next to the likes of Ralph Lauren, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Cruise, the already secluded event has a welcome, casual feel for A-list attendees. Starting with today’s traditional kick-off picnic.
“At the end of last year’s awards season, George Clooney told me Telluride had been one of the highlights of the circuit, which he was on for a whole six months,” Feinberg recalled. “He felt that he could walk around here with no bodyguards, no entourage… Of course, one or two people might still ask him for photos. But it’s nothing like LA or Toronto.”
Last fall, Feinberg was the first to confirm that the Academy had dropped Brett Ratner as TV show producer. He’s got no scoop, yet, on who might host next February’s telecast, but agrees with FishbowlLA that the selection of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron as the latest producers suggests it will wind up being someone in the song-and-dance tradition of Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman.
As far as which actors and pictures will be contending at the Dolby next February, Feinberg says he will be catching up with the much buzzed about Paul Thomas Anderson drama The Master in Toronto and has his eye on a couple of Telluride films. “I’m very excited to see Hyde Park on the Hudson,” he said. “I’ve already seen Rust and Bone, which is another film here, and I do think that Marion Cotillard – who’s receiving a special tribute here – will be very much in the thick of things again.”
Before jumping on the plane to Colorado, Feinberg posted the latest in his ongoing series of intimate Flip Cam celebrity Q&As, featuring an actor who has yet to be nominated for an Oscar. Today, on Richard Gere’s 63rd birthday, you can watch Feinberg’s conversation with the Arbitrage star here.
Previously on FishbowlLA:
Hollywood Journalist Recalls His Long History with Ernest Borgnine
Martin Sheen Shows THR Reporter the Way