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The Spirit Awards opts for bleachers to enhance its red-carpet experience.

A cheering mob, rabid fans holding up signs for their favorite stars, young girls swooning at the sight of their movie idols -- definitely not one's typical independent film red-carpet gauntlet. But this year, Film Independent's Spirit Awards show is going semiglam and putting up bleachers for fans to watch stars such as Ryan Gosling, Edward Norton, Robin Wright Penn and Michelle Williams walk up to the tent at the event's usual locale on the beach in Santa Monica.

Although the tent will be a little larger than in years past and the monetary prizes for such honors as the IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award, Axium Truer Than Fiction Award and Axium Producers Award are bigger than ever before, that doesn't mean the always-eclectic ceremony will resemble other awards shows of the season, with musical production numbers, timed acceptance speeches or, heaven forbid, a black-tie dress code.

"We've got no time for stage design," longtime show producer Diana Zahn-Storey says. "We don't get into those big gimmicks like that."

And as far as the language goes, Sarah Silverman will host for the second consecutive year, and she will set the tone. "I'm sure there will be a lot of bleeping -- we don't cut anyone off," says Zahn-Storey, referring to the ceremony's live airing on IFC beginning at 5 p.m. EST. AMC will air an edited version of the broadcast later at 10 p.m. EST.

"I think it's fun," Film Independent executive director Dawn Hudson says of the changes. "We kept the tent the same size for many years, and this allows more people to participate in the awards."

MORE SPIRIT AWARD COVERAGE:
Prize possessions: Spirit Award coveted by veterans and newcomers
No experience required: Nominees offer fresh perspective
Show time: Bleachers enhance red-carpet experience
Dialogue: Film Independent's Dawn Hudson
2007 Spirit Award Nominations
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