3 Ways Not to Get on a Red Carpet … and other Takeaways from the San Diego Film Festival

Sandy Young's post about red carpet crashers



I posted the above in the early morning hours of the day following the 14th Annual San Diego Film Festival’s Opening Night, premiering “Septembers of Shiraz” and featuring Adrien Brody on the red carpet.

All sorts of interesting people try to get on the red carpet, and for a city that has few true red carpets (for celebrities and notable figures) on an annual basis, I thought I’d share some basics:

  • Only celebrities and notable figures get to walk the red carpet – this may seem obvious, but many cannot resist the allure of the cardinal walkway (see above). Primarily, media have come to interview and photograph the featured talent. They have deadlines and limited time, and Joe San Diego is not who their editor wants them to interview.
  • Media are lined up along the red carpet with still photographers first, videographers and then print media. This line-up is in order of what will take the shortest to longest amount of time, and keeps the talent looking fresh from the top.
Adrien Brody interviewed on the red carpet in San Diego

Courtesy San Diego Film Festival – José Islas

  • Media are given name plates that are placed on the ground alongside the red carpet. This is so each media outlet knows where to stand and talent knows who they are speaking with. And yes, ABC News gets better placement than the local community paper; please don’t argue.
  • “What time is Celebrity X coming?” We may know an approximate arrival time, but since when are celebrities on time for anything?
  • Each person walking the red carpet will be accompanied by a PR rep/handler who, if the celebrity is lesser known or for talent behind the camera (e.g. a director or screenwriter), will introduce the talent and why he/she is here. We also help the talent move down the line. Sometimes they may only want to take still photos or speak to certain outlets, which we will facilitate.
Jack Henry Robbins

Courtesy San Diego Film Festival – José Islas

  • Repeat: Only talent and PR reps/handlers are allowed on the red carpet. The media can get just as starstruck as the general public and want their picture taken on the red carpet with Celebrity Y. Pictures are fine (although top-level red carpets don’t allow them at all between media and celebs), but media need to stay on their side of the velvet rope to avoid crowding the carpet (and potentially causing red carpet run-ins/tripping!)

Last tip: Leave your stilettos at home. There are no chairs on the red carpet and it can be a long night.

It’s a lot of activity in a short amount of time, but is pretty rewarding once the carpet lights turn on and the cameras start flashing …

Red Carpet JWC


*Special thanks to our LA PR agency counterpart for the San Diego Film Festival Prodigy Public Relations – #SDFFPR!