*Once again I was honored with access to cover the BET Awards this year, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, as well as an invite to cover BET’s CEO/President Debra Lee’s Pre-BET Awards Invitation Only Dinner.
This years’ event highlights – for me – included the opening performance by Mary J Blige looking radiant in all white; the voice of MC Lyte as again the official BET Awards announcer; Kevin Hart and Nick Cannon’s “The Real Husbands of Hollywood” skits; the multi-wins and multi-outstanding performances by Chris Brown, and all the action and fun I had backstage in the Media Room.
Invited celebrities and industry heads that walked the “yellow” carpet at the Debra Lee Pre-BET dinner seemed to be enjoying the well-deserved pampering by BET. The dinner was held at a beautifully decorated facility in Culver City – home of the Sony Pictures Studio Lot.
The BET Awards has surely become the Oscar/Grammy Award black version, though many of our black celebrities were missing, those in attendance made sure to shout out to those who weren’t there in many ways, reminding me how black entertainers have become one family – everyone looking out for each other.
BET Awards ’11 had Los Angeles on lock-down from the airport (LAX) to the Shrine Auditorium. Their use of bright and different colors, such as adding yellow and green carpets events, radiated into one happy, festive and enjoyable event. It also set-the-tone for what both events would turn out to be, an extravaganza for black entertainment.
Comedian/actor Kevin Hart was the host of BET Awards ’11 and Nick Cannon kept things rolling for the red carpet arrivals. BET’s 106 and Parks’ Terrance J and Rosci had the red carpet area hopping with performances from Lloyd, Diggy, Mindless Behavior, and Nelly. The awards performances, aside from Chris Brown and Mary J, included Kelly Rowland, Trey Songz, Rick Ross, Alicia Keys, DJ Khaled, Lil’ Wayne, Jill Scott (loved the red outfit) and Beyonce’ via satellite (love the Afros on her dancers).
This year BET Awards, which attracted 7.7 million viewers, presented Steve Harvey with the Humanitarian Award and Patti LaBelle with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Chris Brown led in BET wins, followed by Rihanna.
For a complete list of BET Award ’11 winners, and times and dates for re-airing log onto www.bet.com/BETAwards.
Screenwriter and Director La Monte Edwards’ film King of Paper Chasin’ airs on The Movie Channel July 1, 2011
*Screenwriter and Director La Monte Edwards, known for his work on music videos for such artists as Naughty By Nature, Coolio, De La Soul, Jive and MCA Records, Average White Band and Heather B, has his first feature film – King of Paper Chasin’ – airing on The Movie Channel (TMC) July 1, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. The film is already on DVD at RedBox.
“It basically came from rapper DL Clark,” said La Monte about where the concept for the movie came from. “I was doing a music video for Dwayne and he had an idea for a movie based on his life. I (immediately) wrote the script.”
As the say, “the rest is history.” King of Paper Chasin’ is about a guy who realizes that in America you can do whatever you want to and make money, as long as you hustle. The film is an Urban crime/drama that follows the character as he gets involved in anything that will bring him paper (money). The films stars DL (who is also producer); Lauren Hooper (“Dreamgirls,” “Ragtime,” “Hair,” “Westside Story”); Jason Rivera, Piarry Oriol, Joseph Michael Somma (“Ed,” “Third Watch,” “Rescue Me”); J. Steven Williams, Al Thompson (“Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”), and Dennis La White.
“I took his idea and created the characters,” Edwards said about the film – which takes place in New York. “Before the TMC deal we got a distribution deal with E One Entertainment, they put it on DVD a few months ago. They (also) brokered the deal with The Movie Channel (TMC).”
E3 Expo attracts gamers from all over the world hungry for new technology and video games
*Recently the Los Angeles Convention Center was the home to the biggest electronic entertainment event in America (maybe the world), when the E3 Expo was held recently. Thousands of “gamers” came to be the first to play with (and buy) the new technology and video games, but it was the E3 Expo celebrities (some with voices and characters in the games) that had the press (like me) excited.
“I’m a gamer,” said Billboard winning singer/songwriter SisQo when questioned by the press why he was there. “I have them all!”
Grammy Award winning T-Pain was there as well at the Nintendo booth with SisQo. Actor Ice-T and Lester Speight, who both have characters in the Gears of War game, were at the Microsoft both to greet fans and promote the new version 3.
Exhibitors such as gaming systems Nintendo, Xbox and Play Station was there along with a very long list of software companies such as Konami which held a press conference to announce new games as well as new technology called Transfarring that allows their Xbox and Play Station games to be used on Nintendo systems; Majesco which expanded its #1 selling Zumba Fitness video to Wii; Bethesda (The Elder Scrolls V and Prey 2), Nexon (The Dragon Nest), Paramount, Gazillion, Jagex (Transformers), and so many more – spent in the millions on their booths. Some exhibit booths looked like actual stores and office buildings.
“Zumba brings it (dance fitness game) into the interactive world,” said Lisa Roth the producer of the Zumba Dance Fitness Game. “Dance has been a genre in gaming and the new Wii technology has allowed us to reach (more people). There are 30 tracks exclusive to the game. We work with our own producers and those (that are popular) that do have licensed music.”
Software companies seem to be using more and more “popular” or high-profile people in their games as characters and voice-over actors. I have no doubt it was that strategy that was the reason for the droves of celebrities, media and the thousands of people lined up to see such characters are there in the flesh.
For my coverage of the E3 Expo in video clips and pictures log onto my www.Youtube.com/FreelanceAssociates page.