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360-degree cameras to deepen online Oscar ogling
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Celebrity watchers won’t need to dress up to feel like they’re at the Oscars this year.
For $5, they’ll be able to gaze around at whomever they wish, focus in on a dress or a bowtie and watch A-listers brush past them up the steps to the Kodak Theatre _ all on the Internet.
And for the first time, viewers will be able to peek at an exclusive after-party called the Governors Ball and watch winners have their name plates engraved and attached to their statuettes.
Half a dozen 360-degree cameras have been set up for the task. Inside each are 11 separate cameras feeding a constant stream of video online.
Viewers can look in any direction with the control of a mouse as the streams are blended together in one seamless video. That means you can glance down at someone’s shoes or stare up at the sky. (Unfortunately, rain is again in the forecast.)
Accompanied by about two dozen other fixed-position cameras around the venue, the setup marks the largest online push for the Oscars ever. Imagine about 30 flies on the wall and the chance to flit between them and listen in.
Much of the impetus came from two-time Academy Award-winner John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and a member of the Academy’s board. Pixar’s short movie “Day & Night” and the animated feature “Toy Story 3” are up for awards Sunday.
The home viewer only gets to see a fraction of what goes on at the Oscars, and this was an opportunity to impart the experience of someone attending, Lasseter said.
And no show would be complete without a view of the screaming, jostling paparazzi angling for a shot.
“It is so funny and so insane,” Lasseter said in an interview.
Because home viewers will be able to linger on the red carpet longer than the stars, “it’s going to give the viewer at home more access to the Oscar ceremony than even people going to the Oscars,” he said.
Coverage extends before, during and after the show.
Viewers who do not want to pay $5 will get some features free on the Oscars website for ABC, which has televised the awards show every year since 1976. They include some of the fixed-position cameras on the red carpet and the popular backstage thank-you cam.
Available only for a fee are the 360-degree cameras and access to the Governors Ball.
Also part of the paid access are backstage cameras in a new array of positions, including one that lifts the curtain on what the superstar audience does during commercial breaks. A map of the scene plus camera positions will help users decide where to home in.
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