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By Lauren M. Murphy
OSCAR WEEK is one of the most exciting times of year for the entertainment-industry elite. From parties to pampering, celebrities take part in a whirlwind of activities leading up to—and including—the big day. And oftentimes it’s up to EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services to make sure they arrive at their destinations safely, in style and on time. Having worked directly with the Academy for several years, the drivers at EmpireCLS know exactly what they’re up against. “There’s so much advanced planning that goes into Oscar week for us,” says David Seelinger, EmpireCLS chairman and CEO.
In the days prior to the awards show the EmpireCLS crew scouts event parking, goes over details with the celebrity security teams (including providing them with a driver’s background information), pinpoints routes and transports people to and from their destinations.
And Oscar day starts early for the EmpireCLS staff and chauffeurs. “We meet at 5 AM to go over street closures, car cleanliness, traffic and celebrity product requests,” says Seelinger. Those requests can include anything from specific foods to bottled water kept at a certain temperature. But it is the safety of their passengers that is of paramount importance to this team. The company has retired police officers on staff to help out in any sticky situations—oftentimes those situations include members of the press (read: paparazzi). “You have to always be on guard about the paparazzi because some of them will do anything to get information,” says Seelinger. “Our chauffeurs have been through a high level of training that includes evasive driving, and that’s why celebrities come to us and trust us.”
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