Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sprite Bikini Contest

I'm working on the Nim's Island Premiere photos. In the meantime, enjoy this Sprite Bikini Contest

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Alicia Keys has a Fresh Take on TV

One of my fav artist, Alicia Keys, has taken her acting career to the small screen in a new micro-series created by Dove Go Fresh.

In "Fresh Takes," Keys plays Alex, a twenty-something year-old living the life in the big city with her two girlfriends.

According to a press release Alicia states, ""I am so excited to be starring in 'Fresh Takes' because it puts the pressures that I deal with every day in a new light and opens my eyes to the reality that I can be successful in many different ways and have every reason to feel beautiful right now. I hope the series inspires other 20-somethings to get a fresh take on the pressures in their lives and start enjoying the ride."

Along with Keys, Desi Lydi stars as Diana and Jessalyn Wanlim as Lizzie in the series.

"Fresh Takes" will air on MTV for the next five weeks during the airing of "The Hills on MTV," Monday nights at 10pm.

You can check out the preview and first episode at

Friday, March 28, 2008

A sad day for Asian Americans in Entertainment

With much regret, I just found out that the only national Asian American Cable channel AZN TV will cease transmission as of April 9, 2008. According it's website, it states "The management of AZN Television regrets to announce that the channel will be taken off the air effective April 9 9 at 12pm. WE thank you, our loyal viewers, for your support of AZN over the years.

It's sad to see how mainstream media has not supported Asian American Talent also which also includes Madison Ave (advertisers). It seemed apparent as I attended AZN's Asian Excellence Awards Nominations last Wednesday. There were only a handful of video outlets and at least 10 event photographers in attendance.

Hosts of the 2008 Asian Excellence Awards - Carrie Ann Inaba and Bobby Lee.

Asian Americans are the last ethnic group to have a major recognition in mainstream media. Hopefully, there will be another Asian media outlet that helps enhance and gives a voice to Asian American talent. One in particular is ABS-CBN which had fostered a deal with Directv offering its Filipino programming as a package to TFC Direct Subscribers. This however, still does not open the eyes of of mainstream American to the talent that Asians and Asian Americans are capable of since the majority of TFC Direct Subscribers are Filipino.

Asian/Filipino music channel MYX may be the only one to keep and show Asian influences in entertainment alive. Until then, "Over The Shoulder!"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The stars do run in Run Fat Boy Run

This past Monday was a complete blur for me and the other photog as the celebrities seemed to literally run through the carpet at the Los Angeles Premiere of "Run Fat Boy Run." The movie is about acharming but oblivious overweight guy who leaves his fiancee on their wedding day only to discover years later that he really loves her. To win her back, he must finish a marathon while making her realize that her new handsome, wealthy fiance is the wrong guy for her. The movie stars Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton and Hank Azaria. Directed by David Schwimmer and written by Michael Ian Black.

Back to the carpet - Amanda Bynes was about to walk to the side of the carpet along with the general public when we spotted her trying to sneak into the movie theater. She didn't walk fast enough because we started calling out to her to walk the carpet boy was she booed when she kept walking, but once the boos got louder she came back to appease the photogs.

Not so with Diablo Cody, has she gotten to big for her stripper pole? Apparently, she was sneaking in also and the boos didn't detract her from ignoring the red carpet photogs. Well Miss Cody, looks like the red carpet photogs now have you on their list of least workable celebrity to shoot on the carpet. One photog blurted out, "Go back to your stripper pole!" Oh wow! That was bad!!!

As for the rest of the celebs, Miss Thandie Newton was a joy to shoot as you can see I got a full on eye contact with the beauty and my lens.

Simon Pegg seemed a bit surprised like it was his first premiere. I'm sure he's done more. Must be the flashing lights.

David Schwimmer took a quick stroll but I think another photog scared him away with her shouting that she didn't get the shot. As you can see in this photo, he even pointed in the photog's direction.

Oh my fav of the night was comedian Russell Peters. He even joked about me saying something to the effect "Hello my Filipino Pare, Kumusta Ka?" I was floored and laughed a bit and gave him a hang loose sign.

Any who, until next time, "Over The Shoulder to Nim's Island!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Amy Winehouse's Crack Pipe Parody

While I'm processing the photos from the "Run Fat Boy Run" Premiere, you can enjoy this funny parody I found on myspace making fun of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab." Enjoy!!!!

"Crack Pipe" ("Rehab Parody" - Greg vs. Amy Winehouse

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Miss Guided gave me a surreal night life

Watching the television commercials of the new ABC series "Miss Guided" reminded me of the "Samantha Who?" series and the funny Judy Greer has become one of my fav actresses.

As I sat watching the first episode, I was floored to see that the high school backdrop seemed familiar from the the school colors to the school mascot. All of a sudden, I see the main quad of the Long Beach Polytechnic campus and low and behold, it was my former high school alma mater. How a show I was enjoying became a surreal experience trying to figure out what parts of the school was used and what was either another school or location. Whoa, what a night thinking to myself, wait was that the hall that.....or omg there's the section of the quad I used to eat lunch.

Long Beach Poly Jackrabbit mascot. The school adopted the jackrabbit because of all the jackrabbits running rampant on the parcel where the school was built.

The front entrance of Long Beach Polytechnic High School. Our school motto "Enter To Learn Go Forth To Serve"

This wasn't the first time I was excited to see my high school used as a location shoot from the film "The Other Sister" to Paris Hilton's "Nothing In This World" music video, entertainment has made me relive my high school years whether I liked it or not.

Oh well, Snoop Dogg and Cameron Diaz are the most known Pop Culture individuals today that have roamed the hallowed halls of Long Beach Polytechnic High School and that's not including sports.

Cameron Diaz in her Polyettes outfit (drill squad).

Anyone else been reminded of their high school years because the use of their school in a production?

Kylie Minogue hits us with an X

For all you Kylie Minogue fans, here's a press release direct from her record company regarding her new album coming out this April.


First U.S. Single “All I See” Features New York Rapper MIMS

(March 20th, 2008, New York, NY) — On April 1st, American fans of international pop superstar Kylie Minogue will finally get a chance to hear what the rest of the world is already buzzing about when Astralwerks / Capitol Records releases X — the multi-platinum icon’s tenth studio album and first all-new set of songs since 2003’s Body Language.

Hailed by British music bible Q as “a radiant collection of euphoric, occasionally dreamlike electro-pop,” X finds Minogue pairing her breathy, elegant vocals with sexy, stylish synths and minimalist beats on such irresistible dancefloor fillers as “2 Hearts,” “Wow,” “In My Arms,” and “All I See,” a bonus track featuring New York rapper MIMS. Minogue, who shares songwriting credit on seven of the album’s 13 tracks, collaborated with a host of top-notch songwriters and producers, including Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams, Natasha Bedingfield), Cathy Dennis (Britney Spears, Spice Girls) and Bloodshy & Avant (Madonna, Britney Spears). The digital version of the album will also feature “Magnetic Electric,” a bonus track available exclusively on iTunes. Already certified platinum in the U.K. and Australia, X is also Minogue’s first album since undergoing treatment for breast cancer, which cut short her spectacular “Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour” in 2005.

“This album is much more of a celebration than anything I’ve done before, with some room for reflection as well,” Minogue says. “I started work on it a year and a half ago when recording was far off in the future, because no one wanted to pressure me. But I had to get back into the studio just to test myself and get some things off my chest, which I did. To finish was a great relief and an inspiration in that I knew, ‘This is what I do and this is what I love doing.’ It has its challenges, but I’m ready for more.”

Over the course of her extraordinary 20-year-career, Minogue has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and scored 46 hit singles, including five Top Ten dance-chart singles in the U.S.: “I Should Be So Lucky,” “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” “Love At First Sight,” “Slow,” and “I Believe In You.” She also won a Grammy Award for “Best Dance Recording” for “Come Into My World” in 2003. Minogue has performed for royalty, inspired a 2007 costume exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, and had her likeness replicated in wax four times by the world-famous Madame Tussaud’s (only Queen Elizabeth II has had more models created).

Minogue shows no signs of slowing down in 2008. She began the year being honored by the Queen with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her services to music, and has already earned a host of honors for X, including a BRIT Award for “Best International Female Solo Artist.” In May, she will hit the road for a three-month, 50-date European tour, entitled KYLIEX2008.

For its online premiere, X will be available for streaming in its entirety on Minogue’s official Myspace page ( from March 25th to March 27th.

For more on Kylie Minogue, including news updates, photos, streaming audio and video, and downloads, please visit

My George Clooney moment

Hi again. OK. So I was out of town (covering a different junket) and didn't get to cover "Leatherheads." (Your regular blogger here subbed for me.) Naturally, I was a little disappointed not to get a chance to see Mr. Clooney but work is work. Imagine how surprised I was to get on an elevator the day after the junket and see none other than Danny Ocean, oops, I mean George Clooney standing right there. I'd like it say it was just him and me, and he whispered in my ear that he was sick and tired of dating 20-year-old supermodels and he preferred an age-appropriate, real and  normal looking woman, but alas he was too shy. He did, however, comment on the lovely red rose I was holding given to me by my new BFF Russell Brand (a very funny British comedian) moments earlier at an interview (he makes his Hollywood debut in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall.") Yeah, ol George may not have swept me off my feet but at least we shared anh elevator moment for 14 floors. Eat your heart out, ladies!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Stop-Lossed" at the DGA with Ryan Phillippe

An interesting thing happened to me on the red carpet last night. I was given a lesson on the U.S. Military's stop-loss policy. As one of the publicists was explaining to me and another photog what the upcoming movie, "Stop Loss" was about, we were surprised at what the policy was about. Imagine, doing your duty and serving out your contract for the military. All of a sudden either the week that you were to finally get out of the military or years later, the military can call you back into action through their stop-loss policy.

According to web sources, stop loss is defined in the United States military term as the involuntary extension of a service member's enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond the normal end term of service (ETS) or the ceasing of a permanent change of station (PCS) move for a member still in military service. It was first significantly used just before and during the first Persian Gulf War. Since then, it has been used during American military deployments to Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s and extensively after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the subsequent War on Terror.
Federal courts have consistently found that military service members contractually agree that their term of service may be involuntarily extended, however the issue is still being debated in the public and political arena."

As I digressed for a moment, the premise of "Stop-Loss" is decorated Iraq war hero Sgt. Brandon King(Ryan Phillippe) makes a celebrated return to his small Texas hometown following his tour of duty. He tries to resurrect the life he left behind with the help and support of his family and his best friend, Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum), who served with him in Iraq. Alongside their war-time buddies, Brandon and Steve try to make peace with civilian life. All of sudden out of no where, the Army orders him back to duty in Iraq. Brandon's world is turned upside down and must deal with the reality of the military's "Stop-Loss" policy.

Last night, Ryan Phillippe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Victor Rasuk, Channing Tatum, Rob Brown and Director Kimberly Peirce took the stroll down the carpet sans military uniform. Along for the military movie ride were guests Steven Strait of the hit movie "10,000 B.C." and his wife Lynn Collins, Mr. MMA film star of "Never Back Down" Sean Faris, the lovely Jenna Dewan, Joy Bryant and Missi Pyle. Also Brad Rowe took that stroll as he celebrated good news his new indie gay wedding comedy film "For Better or For Worse" has secured its primary cast and production date.

Lynn Collins and Steven Strait take all the red carpet shenanigans in stride.

Brad Rowe's days will get busy with his new film project "For Better or For Worse."

Ryan Phillippe was a great carpet walker who also humored his fans by signing practically everyone's memorabilia who waited patiently across the carpet.

For some odd reason Channing Tatum was in a rush to get out of the limelight. Must be the flashes as one photographers asked him to open his eyes and he quiped back that he can't. But his former lovely co-star from "Step Up" Jenna Dewan was a gorgeous ham for us dress in her lovely yellow printed outfit, Dewan took steps to ensure we got our shots. However, Jenna and Channing did not take any time to do a two shot with each other.

Channing Tatum actually has his eyes open in this one.

Jenna Dewan on the steps to "Stop-Loss"

Victor Rasuk was a cool dude. After reviewing my photos, at least half of my pics had Mr. Rasuk licking his lips. Did he forget some lip balm earlier?

Wilson Cruz walked past the carpet and directly into the Directors Guild as we shouted for him to take a stroll on the carpet. Must be that New York Broadway mentality he may have developed as "I am an actor of the theater and I do not do red carpet!" Just joking with you Mr. Cruz. If I was an actor I'd probably stay away once in a while. The flash gives me migraines.

Upcoming film actor Sean Faris came over to make his red carpet rounds. For a movie that wasn't promoted as much, Faris' "Never Back Down" did an expected $8million for its first opening weekend. I chided Sean about his haircut as he previously mentioned during the "Never Back Down" junket that he was running late for either the junket or an event and thinking he can make it to his hair cutting place in time but didn't because of traffic so he u-turned back home and shaved it all off himself. At first he gave me this quizzical look like, "What the hell" then he must of remembered me from the junket and started laughing and said, "Yeah! I've been cutting it myself."

Sean Faris cuts his own hair.

Missi Pyle is so craazyy....

Joy Bryant looking all cute and warm with her beanie.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why I no longer like Taye Diggs

As I was doing some work before heading to the office today, I was watching a repeat of "Regis and Kelly." I always thought of Taye Diggs of a good actor and I'm sure that shouldn't reflect personal opinions of various things in life. However, as a proud Angeleno, I was so pissed off when Regis asked him what he thought of living in L.A. while shooting his new tv show. Of course he was proud of being a New Yorker and I do like NY myself, but he got it all wrong when he said that everyone has "too new cars and everything is pulled up." I didn't mind that too much because we are definitely a car culture. But the damn fool said something about the food trying to get a hamburger is hard in L.A. since everyone is talking about "Sushi Sushi Sushi" saying it with a effeminate voice. Hey sucker Diggs, L.A. has great burger places that puts N.Y. to shame from Fatburger, Tommy's, and In-N-Out burgers.

Diggs, you must be only hanging out in Hollywood, West Hollywood or Beverly Hills. That may put a face on L.A. but get out and experience the other parts. From the Valley to Long Beach.

Maybe Diggs should go back to NY and do Broadway shows. Hello, Hollywood gave you the biggest break you needed with "How Stella Got Her Groove." New Yorkers always has to say something bad about L.A.

"L.A will always be my lady while NY is my b**tch."

LL Cool J Launches Spring Line of Todd Smith

LL Cool J has conquered the entertainment world from music, television and film. He's now moved to the fashion world with his spring launch of his menswear line "Todd Smith by LL Cool J." He's taking the cutting edge form of young men's active wear and made it to his own. With strong graphics, LL Cool J and his team of designers has got it right without making the line look like a typical rapper's threads.

I had dispatched my good friend Alex Sanchez to take photos for me. I was still nursing a supposed flu that I thought went away. Unfortunately, the event didn't go smoothly for photographers who were invited to cover the event. As my photog Alex mentioned to me, while the other photogs and him were standing waiting to take pictures, an obnoxious Macy's employee told them they had to sit down because it's about the fans and not about the photographers. Thank God that Alex and the other photogs just bit their tongue and dealt with the situation as they took the photos of LL Cool J and his models.

Overall, the event went pretty well except for that one lapse in judgement of the Macy's employee. Did she realize that the photogs are here also for exposure and publicity for LL and so that the fans will see photos of LL in magazines and newspapers.

Oh well. Until next time, "Over the Shoulder!"

Next posting will be photos of the "Stop-Loss" Premiere.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Get Verizon Fios Internet if you can

Okay. I know this really doesn't have anything to do with Red carpet or entertainment but indirectly it does. As a photographer who has to upload photos that are large in size or uploading a bunch at a time, Verizon Fios is a God-send. Verizon Fios is the new fiber optic way of getting the internet connection, television and telephone service to your home.

As for me, I was slightly skeptical in the true download and upload speeds. Imagine connecting to, watching various music videos, tv shows, etc online with not sputterings of connections. I am on what Verizon calls the 15/2 plan. That is 15mbps download and 2 mbps upload. My brother has definitely seen the difference as he watches various tv shows via the internet at his place. No more waiting for buffering.

Check out the link and you'll see my speed test of my service. Try it yourself. Here's my results

Imagine in the future if movie studios started releasing movies via the internet and having the fast speed that Verizon Fios. And if you use itunes, downloads are like a flash.

So I guess this post about Verizon Fios does deal with entertainment. If you live in an area that has Verizon, I'd say dump your cable modem or dsl for Verizon Fios and you'll be able to connect to my blog quicker and photos download on your web browswer faster.

Friday, March 14, 2008

George Clooney's been with Ben Affleck

Today was a pretty cool day as I covered the junket for "Leatherheads," the upcoming movie directed and starring George Clooney. One funny question was "Why weren't you a part of the Jimmy Kimmel/Ben Affleck video?" Unfortunately for Clooney, he was out on a shoot so he didn't get to participate even though he loves Jimmy Kimmel and has been with Ben Affleck too as he said laughing. He states that Ben Affleck was great to be with.

I'll be posting more from the junket in the upcoming days.

Check out "Leatherheads" a sporty comedic period piece about the coming of age of the football and a bit of romance thrown in.

Sean Faris faces the public - Never Back Down Opens Today

Finally, Sean Faris' debut lead role in "Never Back Down" will been seen by the general public as the movie opens nationwide today. As for my long awaited feature on Faris, here it is:

Q&A: Sean Faris
March 12, 2008

Entertainment News Wire
HOLLYWOOD _ Sean Faris bears an uncanny resemblance to Tom Cruise. When he was 10 years old, he even fooled his family's neighbor who said he looked like Cruise by replying, "Yeah, he's my dad. But I'm living here with my uncle because my dad travels all over the world." The story spread around the neighborhood until Faris' sister spilled the beans.

Resemblances aside, Faris can stand on his own two feet when it comes to acting. In the upcoming film "Never Back Down," he plays Jake Tyler, a conflicted Midwestern teenager whose anger at his father's death leads him to become a fighter. Djimon Hounsou ("Blood Diamond") plays mixed martial arts coach Jean Roqua, who formally introduces Jake to the world of MMA and teaches him how to choose his fights wisely.

Dressed in a ribbed gray sweater and jeans, and seated in a Beverly Hills hotel overlooking Rodeo Drive, Faris is clearly enthused about his first major lead role.

Q: So how are you doing?

A: I'm doing it!

Q: You broke your back halfway through filming. That's crazy! How'd you deal with it?

A: Yeah, it was rough. It really made filming the rest of the movie quite tough. Just the mental aspect of it and the painkillers did not help me with that at all. I got very depressed and I thought like a different person for a while. I mean, it didn't affect my acting. I was still me in the scenes. But it created a whole other challenge, a whole other obstacle to overcome.

Q: Seeing you wince in pain in some of the fight scenes was that real pain?

A: That was real. I was in pain for the entire last few months.

Q: Will that cause you not to do any more MMA-themed films?

A: I'll do it in a second. Just limit the number of takes. We shot so many angles many takes and that's the sacrifice we had to make. Only, next time I do a film, we'll hire a stunt guy. I'll try it a couple of times, and when it's hurting in comes the stunt guy who's getting paid to get hit. I'm getting paid to act.

Q: When you knew you got the role, what was your first reaction? When did reality finally set in that you had grueling work ahead of you to learn MMA?

A: Well, when I found out I was, like, butt naked in the shower. And I was like, "Yeah! Hoooo!" I was like, "I get to learn MMA." Then, when I got to work, I was like, "It's really hard."

Q: What attracts people to this type of sport?

A: It's new, it's different and has instant gratification. A fight lasts only 15 minutes. It has fewer rules. It's more action packed.

Q: Djimon Hounsou mentioned that MMA is like a chess game. Do you believe in that philosophy?

A: Yes. It's a chess game with blood. With MMA, one moment, one mistake, one moment of not thinking can change a whole ball game. The champion can be on top but doesn't think about the opponent's legs. Then homie can reach and grab around and create a leg lock. If you slip, the fight's over. It's all about the moves. It's not just skill, it's experience and knowledge.

Q: While you were training, what was your favorite move?

A: I loved the hanging arm throw. It just feels really cool. I love being in the hanging arm throw or doing the hanging arm throw.

Q: Working with Hounsou _ a two-time Academy Award nominee _ were you in awe?

A: At first it was like that, but then we did rehearsals together and it was just work. I appreciate that I worked with a great actor who gave me on- and off-camera responses. It makes the job easier, because you have a great actor working with you. Djimon also let me lead a lot and push him also. I really appreciated that.

Q: Did Djimon give you any pointers?

A: Acting pointers? No, except for: "Save it, Sean." It's because I'm the type of actor where I want to give my all every time. He said, "You're doing great. Just save it until the camera gets close to here (Faris holds his hands to his face)." I said, "OK, I got you dawg, I gotcha." You just don't want to use it all up.

Q: Are you one of those actors who gets stuck in an emotional mode even after shooting?

A: Sometimes it is hard to let go of your character. I'm not talking about those people that think of mom dying or what have you. I don't pull that b.s. I think of what's going on in that scene. I allow the scene to affect me. But when you do that, you open yourself up to those emotions yourself. When you're in the middle of a scene and your character is in a horrible bad mood, it's really hard sometimes to let that go. Usually you just go home and try to let it go during your personal time.

Q: What do you want to see the audience get out of this? And do you think you were able to portray a typical MMA fighter _ his heart and his passion for the sport?

A: The second question, "Yes." I don't think there is a typical MMA fighter, but I think Jake portrays an MMA fighter of today. Once he's trained, his values are pretty evident. Discipline and self-control are two important elements of an MMA fighter, I believe. As far as the audience, I hope they receive the message especially the younger audience that if you think this sport is cool, don't go mix it up in the streets and set it up as an underground club with your friends. Because it will be unregulated and you could get hurt. If you really want to do it, go take a class and go fight competition. I completely advocate that. It's a good way of letting things out of your system and letting your anger out if you have any. And I just hope they realize it's not a movie promoting fighting it's a movie promoting fighting for the right reasons: to defend yourself and the ones that you love.

Sean Faris with co-star Amber Heard. Heard plays Faris' love interest in the film.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Filipinos In Hollywood - Book signing with Carina Monica Montoya

It was a nice warm Saturday afternoon that could've been a beach day. However, there were more important events to attend to. One of them was the book signing event of "Filipinos In Hollywood" by Carina Monica Montoya. It was a pleasure to hear anecdotes about the Tiki Ti bar in Hollywood, Filipino scene designers and others that have helped shaped Hollywood while being an invisible minority called Filipino-American. Carina has brought the texture and voice to the Filipino experience in Hollywood with her book.

Author Carina Monica Montoya autographs her book for a fan.

Along with her appearance at the Filipino American Library in the Historic Filipino Town in Los Angeles was award winning scene designer Ben Resella. Mr. Resella shared his life story of how he ended up designing backgrounds and props for various Hollywood sets, one being "Hello Dolly."

Set designer Ben Resella displays his copy of "Filipinos In Hollywood."

We were also treated to the presence of Hollywood celebrity event photographer Sthanlee B. Mirador. Mirador has captured various Hollywood notables but also is proud to take pictures of celebrities with Filipino ethnic roots. He was instrumental in sharing photos with Carina to help tell the story of Filipinos in entertainment.

Sthanlee B. Mirador along with Carina.

About Tiki-Ti, I was surprised that the bar was created by a Filipino American. The bar was opened in 1961 by master mixologist Ray Buhen, who was there at the start of the Tropical Drink craze at Don The Beachcomber’s legendary restaurant. His son and grandson, Michael and Mike Buhen now carry on his tradition; together, they practice the “Lost Art” of Exotic Cocktail mixing in the last of the great neighborhood tiki bars. Another surprising news was that most of The Beachcomber restaurant workers were Filipinos. Buhen took the Filipino dessert Halo-Halo and basis of the dessert was incorporated into many of the tropical drinks served at the Beachcomber. Many Fiipino workers labored hard squeezing the lemons and grating the ice to ensure that the world renowned tropical drinks were proudly served at the restaurant. Vist for more information on the bar.

Master cocktail mixologist Ray Buhen.

What little tidbits I learned about the Filipino-American experience in Hollywood has empowered this red carpet blogger to embrace his Filipinoness and incorporate into his American experience.

For more info on Filipinos in Hollywood visit

Charlize does more than Sleepwalking

Last Thursday was definitely not a sleepy night as there were many events to cover from the American Idol Top 12 to Eva Longoria hosting a restaurant opening. For me I ended up at the Directors Guild of America waiting patiently for Miss Charlize Theron to show up for "Sleepwalking." A film she stars in and produces.

Charlize looking lovely as always.

According to Yahoo's description of the movie, it goes a little something like this: " A moving drama about the deep familial bond that develops between a 30-year-old man and his young niece after the girl's mother suddenly leaves town. Forced out of her home after her boyfriend is arrested, Joleen Reedy (Charlize Theron) needs a place to stay with her 11-year-old daughter, Tara. She turns for help to her younger brother, James (Nick Stahl) --a simple and overly trusting man who doesn't hesitate to welcome them into his modest rental apartment. Almost as soon as she moves in, however, Joleen hits the road with another man. Utterly ill-equipped to be the sole guardian of an adolescent girl, James does his best to make his distraught niece happy. But before long, things spin out of control: he loses his road crew job and Tara (AnnaSophia Robb) is put into foster care. Additionally, old wounds from his emotionally abusive and sometimes violent father begin to reopen as James is forced to re-examine his life. That's when James makes a fateful decision that will bring his life full circle and force him to face his demons. He takes off with Tara and the pair assumes new identities as father and daughter. What starts out as a ploy to evade authorities takes on a deeper significance as James strives to become the dad Tara never had, and for the first time finds a true purpose in life. "

As we waited patiently for Charlize to show up, we were treated to the presence of Jenna Jameson, Tito Ortiz, The Hills star Audrina Partridge, Susie & Cory Feldman, Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick, and Jud Tylor. From the movie, we also shot Dennis Hopper, AnnaSophia Robb, and Nick Stahl.

Audrina Partridge takes a break from "The Hills."

No gossip here as Ed Westwick makes his way through the red carpet.

The Feldmans sans Cory Haim. Thank god!

The funny thing about this premiere was the quickness the publicist had each star pose on the carpet. Charlize only had four step and repeat spots before she was ushered in to the lobby of the DGA. She was looking lovely in her black dress with her sultry eyes staring at my camera. I can still remember the day I did a 1:1 interview with Charlize for "Monster."

Charlize Theron's eyes are mesmerizing.

Young Anna Sophia Robb definitely is a young actress to reckon with. She's a nice young actress who patiently poses for the cameras. No attitude or anything of that sort.

AnnaSophia Robb is no demon child in this movie.

Nick Stahl was a cool cat also. I wish Cory and Susie Feldman posed more but they were rushed off the carpet almost as soon as they arrived. Dennis Hopper was a cool gentleman as he walked the carpet and took time to head back to his fans to sign autographs before he was ushered back to the red carpet to do video.

No longer hiding from cyborgs, Nick Stahl is a grown man.

Dennis Hopper with wife Victoria.

Unfortunately, Mr. Woody Harrelson didn't make it to the carpet and from our understanding wasn't planning to since we asked the security if he had a limo. No limo for Mr. Harrelson. That was our cue to blow the joint and "Sleepwalk" our way back to other events happening that night or go straight home to edit photos.

Until next time, "Over the Shoulder!"

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Stuck in a Dungeon at the NuVision Filipino Awards Show

Last night was supposed to be a grand gala event for Filipinos, kind of like the Oscars or the Latin ALMAS. However, it was a crazy precarious event that didn't bode well for typical red carpet photogs who cover events like movie premieres, Oscar Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and the Golden Globes. As one of my only other Filipino American event photographer persuaded me to clear myself for the Nuvision Worldwide Media's First Inaugural Filipino American Visionary Awards I was hoping for the best. I'm sure that the producers of the event were trying to make this a star studded event that would become a worldclass award show to be respected by the Filipino and Filipino American Community worldwide.

For the negative, the press weren't treated with dignity. From coming to the event at 4pm to being stuck in the press room waiting for awardees and presenters to come back for photo ops and interviews, we were ready to keel over from lack of refreshments and food to keep our minds working overtime to ensure great coverage. Unfortunately, the major awardees that did not come backstage included Filipino rap star Francis Magalona, Tito Vic & Joey, Nia Peeples, Bong Revilla, Rudy Fernandez, Robert Jaworski to name a few.

Jasmine Trias belted out a few songs on stage.

Francis Magalona shows off his 3 Stars and the Sun pride necklace.

Host Dingdong Avanzado along with wife Jessa Zaragosa arrive on the red carpet.

Happyslip did not have and "Disaster" on the carpet.

Tito Sotto looks so mestizo.

Brian McKnight shines on the carpet.

Michael Copon is a boy in motion.

Rudy Fernandez and Lorna Tolentino take in the flashes from the photogs.

Bong Revilla and Lani Mercado made it to the carpet. No snobbing here!

Kuh Ledesma gives us quick smiles after performing the finale song.

Jesse Hart tells the photogs to keep it low. Whatever, I'm still shout "To Your Left!"

However we still were given great press opp from Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, of The Black Eyed Peas, Presenter and WWE star Batista, Nora Aunor, Local Los Angeles newscasters Jean Marteriz & Bob De Castro, former Miss America Angela Perez Baraquio, famous Filipino Comedian Dolphy along with presenter Nora Aunor, The Basco Brothers. Also gracing the backstage was the lovely Veronica Loren of the Independent film "August Evening."

Anna Maria Perez de Tagle loves her Visionary Award.

Famous Filipino Comedian Dolphy poses with his award along with presenter Nora Aunor. No ganga backstage!

Richard Gutierrez shows off his Visionary award. But wait, take a look a little close I think he forgot to apply some wart remover on his finger.

Richard loves the camera and his award.

Batista removes his barong to display his Filipino Greek tattoo along with his guns!

Granted he is a big pop star in Europe, Billy Crawford is still proud of his Pinoy roots with his Filipino Adidas jacket. Now I'm gonna get me one.

Martin Nievera loves his media peeps. He actually missed the finale to hang out with the photogs in the press room.

Speaking to her manager Santiago Douglas, Veronica Loren will be gracing the Philippine Island with her beauty, acting skills and a debut single. Douglas believes that the Philippines should be one of the wonderful stepping stones for Loren's future world domination. I'm sure he sees the vision that Filipinos love their stars and hopefully Loren becomes one that will shine bright in the P.I.

The lovely Veronica Loren knows how to make yellow/gold the color of the night.

Anyways, being so used to the way Hollywood movie premieres and award shows are handled, to my surprise I couldn't believe not a single PR person was controlling the press room. I felt like I was at some fan convention as the other photographers started posing with the celebrities after finishing their duties in the press room. Imagine wanting to take pictures with celebrities at the Oscars. We'd be thrown out immediately. I guess there is definitely a different mentality in with the Filipino photogs.

Enough of my rant. I'd have to say that with a little fine tuning and including Filipino community groups or a committee to decide who receives awards will definitely give this event the respect it should have. Kudos to NuVision for trying to do an event on a large scale like this. Hopefully, they take after community based organizations like National Council of La Raza and the NAACP's award shows to give awards to true talent and individuals in the community no matter if they are Filipino or not, who shows their strength in helping empower and broadening the cultural importance of Filipinos in the U.S. and the world.

Until next year, we hope that egos are put aside to find the common goal of showing the positives of Filipinos no matter if they are in entertainment.