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What are Oscar night's biggest problems?

What are Oscar night’s biggest problems? Putting metal detectors on the red carpet, closing busy streets, and handling the huge media pack are just the beginning

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Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

We’re officially in the under-one-month mark until Oscar night. For most of us, that means figuring out what kind of popcorn to eat during the March 24 Academy Awards telecast. For John Pavlik, director of communications for the Academy — the man in charge of overseeing all coverage of the Oscars — it pretty much means 500 hours without sleep. EW.com managed to catch him between meetings and phone calls to ask a few key questions about this year’s show.

What’s been different about planning the Oscars this year?
A lot more meetings. A lot more worries. We’re in a new theater and we don’t get into [the Kodak Theatre] until March 4 when our lease starts, so we’re all on pins and needles until then. Every potential issue we know about we’ve solved, but the stuff we don’t know about has us a little worried. And, of course, we won’t know that we don’t know it until it’s too late.

What potential issues are you facing?
How do you do this thing in a shopping center? How do you do it in a major downtown metropolitan area? How do you do it when the stores will be open until Saturday night? How do you do it when you have to close down those streets that people drive on? We’re not anxious to make everybody angry but we know we will.

Even with traffic and pedestrians, the red carpet will still be there, right?
Sure. Hollywood Boulevard from Highland to what used to be Orchid will be red carpeted. It’s a longer distance than in previous years, but the first portion of the carpet will be the Magnet-o-meter. They’ll be doing bag searches and confiscating things — like cameras. Let’s hope we don’t have to confiscate any guns.

Speaking of which, are there any security concerns this year?
We’ve been paranoid for a long time, so it’s hard to ramp us up much more than we already are. Whatever more we do probably won’t be noticeable to guests. I can’t go into any details about security but the whole point is to make this event as pleasant as possible while still making everyone feel secure and be secure.

How many LAPD officers will be there?
A bunch, but I can’t tell you the number. Not only LAPD, though — all different kinds of law enforcement agencies will be involved.