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WWD photographer Steve Eichner sees it all and shares his unique perspective from the front lines of the Tribeca Film Festival.
April 23: Vanity Fair party at the New York State Supreme Court
6:46 p.m.: Snap some shots of the press photographers. World Trade Center in the background. Pretty.
7:14 p.m.: Something you rarely see at an event anymore: ashtrays and matches.
7:17 p.m.: Windy and cold. Party relocating inside to the lobby so the catering staff is rushing to move the tables and bottles of liquor inside. “Windswept,” Sandra Bernhard says when I shoot her.
7:27 p.m.: Only the three diehard smokers are left outside: Graydon Carter, Fran Lebowitz and Jonathan Becker. Graydon’s got his collar up against the cold. Jonathan puts a flower in Fran’s Lapel. Cute. Puff, puff.
7:28 p.m.: “Hey Christy, ‘Where’s Ed? Let’s get you two….”
7:30 p.m.: “I was out of town for that last event you invited me to,” I apologize to Marjorie Gubelmann. “How was it?” She replies: “Kinda crazy, kinda dirty actually. I was stuck in my booth but there were lots of shirts off. Not sure what was going on out there.” OK!
7:31 p.m.: America Ferrera ascending the staircase and showing alotta cleavage. She’s wearing a low-cut, little black dress. And the cold added a little extra to the situation, if you know what I mean.
7:42 p.m.: “What’s the coldest temperature you’ve gone surfing in?” SunHee Grinnell inquires. “Probably 20 degrees with snow and sleet. I’ve even been pelted by hail,” I tell her. “That’s so macho” she says. When I spot Mike Myers across the room, I tell her in my best British accent: “Does that make you hoooorny.”
7:57 p.m.: Lake Bell, pregnant, poses holding her stomach. “I guess congratulations are in order,” I say before retracting myself. “I think you’re not supposed to say anything unless you know for sure.” She laughs. “I was helping you by holding my stomach.”
7:59 p.m.: “Hey Anna can I get a shot?” She turns, poses, smiles and even takes a step over to a better background at my request. Seemed flattered that for once I actually asked her to pose.
8:27 p.m.: Returning from quick bathroom break, I see Gov. Andrew Cuomo chatting with Harvey Weinstein. Push my way through the crowd to catch the moment.
8:36 p.m.: Mayor Bill de Blasio and Robert De Niro are beaming posing with their beautiful wives. I can relate.
8:43 p.m.: First rule of party reporting: never pass up caviar.
8:56 p.m.: Selfie with Austin Powers. Had to.
6:39 p.m.: Spring Street is closed down with barricades, as if the president is coming. Hundreds of spectators. This must have cost a few bucks.
6:41 p.m.: The archway is strewn with purple lilacs for arrivals.
6:49 p.m.: I spy shrimp as big as my fist!
7:04 p.m.: “I like to F#@K it up it a little bit,” says p.r. dynamo Nadine Johnson rearranging the candles. “It’s too neat.”
7:31 p.m.: First arrival Sophia Loren. Still looks as good as my childhood fantasies. She sees the flashes and puts her hand up gesturing, “No photos, no photos!” She’s kidding.
7:38 p.m.: Still rocking that bull nose ring, Rachel Chandler.
7:42 p.m.: Anya and Joan Smalls pose for a photo op. Snap, snap. They’re pros at this.
7:56 p.m.: Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters gets here. Best concert of my life: The Wall, Nassau Coliseum, 1980; 15 years old, 12th row, two hits of mescaline. Need I say more?
8:01 p.m.: Tory over here by the lilacs. She gives me a kiss and shines that gorgeous smile for my cam.
8:06 p.m.: “Sorry man, but I just could not wait,” I admit to Stuart Parr. He was supposed to come and surf with me a few days earlier, but I was jonesing to get in the water and he was taking too long to drive out from the city. So, I bailed on him.
8:22 p.m.: Dennis Leary…Nice rug?
8:29 p.m.: Giggles, giggles, giggles. “Steve!…Can you?” Can I what Jen Brill? “He’s SO hot!” She’s asking me for a picture with some guy when another girl in the group blurts out, “Who?? The guy from “Homeland,” Rupert Friend?” “Yeah.” She’s blushing. OK, I’ll ask him. “Nooooo. I’m too embarrassed.” More blushing.
8:47 p.m.: A gloating Jamie McCarthy, a Getty photographer, tells me he got the shot of Sophia Loren and Robert De Niro together, THE shot. S–T. I go over and they are seated across the table from one another so I pop a shot of her with… Ron Howard.
10:03 p.m.: Time for a Facebook post. Pic of the giant steak I was just served: “One of the best parts of my job is getting to eat at places I’d never treat myself to.”
10:27 p.m.: After biding my time and waiting for the right moment, I see De Niro and Sophia getting up. This is it. I lift my camera as they embrace, kiss and say good night. I got it.