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.”