Tag Archives: lists

15 Reasons We Love Dishing on the Oscars

Host Neil Patrick Harris is set.

Host Neil Patrick Harris is set.

We love talking and reading about the Oscars as much as we love going to the movies, it seems. And as Oscar Night has morphed into Awards Season, there’s more to read about the Academy Awards than ever.

Here’s a list of 15 fun or smart pieces I’ve come upon recently, broken up into categories – from storytelling to fashion, from diversity to travel and parties.


All 20 acting nominees are white, and many observers complain that “Selma” was the victim of the mostly white Academy’s tendency to ignore achievements by African-Americans.

1. Oscar spotlight draws attention to movie industry’s failure to reflect a diverse America, from The Associated Press.

The lack of nominations for “Selma” director Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo were a particular flashpoint, viewed by many as unjust oversights not only because they merited honoring, but because their absences furthered an ignoble Oscar history.

2. Martyred genius Alan Turing of “The Imitation Game” spawned this piece: Why do gay characters have to die in order for actors to get Oscar nominations?


th-13. The Hollywood Reporter talked to a voter about “Selma,” who said, “There’s no art to it.”

4. And another who didn’t ‘get’ the movie “Birdman” and found  “Whiplash” offensive


5. How content marketers can learn from Hollywood’s menu of offerings, from the Spin Sucks column for marketing and PR pros.

Profits from big summer blockbusters and popcorn thrillers can help to offset smaller returns on indie films and niche documentaries.

Each type of movie content has its place in the overall scheme.

Just as production companies need to produce different types of movies, your content strategy needs to include different types of content.

6. How Marketers can win the Oscars.

No award show is bigger than the Oscars. Last year, 43 million people tuned in, earning it the largest nonsporting television audience since the finale of Friends. But the event isn’t just about a few hours on a TV screen. Through digital, audiences are engaging with the Academy Awards well before, during, and after the actual event. On Google alone, there were tens of millions of Oscar-related searches last year. It would likely take decades to watch the variety of Oscar-related content on YouTube. This all adds up to many new opportunities for brands to participate in these massive cultural moments beyond the telecast.

7. Do you trust your audience? Storytelling lessons from a great movie


Here's hoping for a bumpy night. (Notable loser: Bette Davis did not win for her greatest role, in "All About Eve.")

Here’s hoping for a bumpy night. (Notable loser: Bette Davis did not win for her greatest role, in “All About Eve.”)

8. How to throw an Oscar party — my piece on Coca-Cola’s Journey site.

9. From The New York Times, 8 trips inspired by Oscar-nominated films – including a visit to The Martin Luther king, Jr., National Historic Site in Atlanta.

10. How movie fans are voting on Twitter.

11. A look inside the swag bags worth $167,000 that even the losers get.

12. Download the nominated scripts for free.

13. From Groot to Godzilla, Visual Effects Oscar Hopefuls Reveal Their CG Secrets.


14. Harper’s Bazaar has pictures of all the Best Actress dresses through the decades.

15. Oscar has had his regrets, particularly about ‘Crash’ — Academy members reassess past Oscar decisions.

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5 Great Lists and 1 Free Download to Help You Write Better

ON READING: Which book should you pick up next?

The blogosphere is full of great content about content — writing about great writing, useful tips about how to be useful. I love it. Here are six posts I’ve come upon lately that engaged me and helped me. Share your favorite posts or ideas, too. Thanks.

grammar, grammarly, write well, write good, how to write, improve your writing, jay croft, blog, storycroft.com, storycroft, write hard die free, write free die hard, how do i write better

From Grammarly’s Facebook page

  • 15 Content Ideas That Your Followers Will Love to Share, by Kim Garst. She says, “It’s GREAT if our current readers like what we have to say, but what types of content are they most likely to share, retweet or link to?” I’m combining several of these with this post — it’s a list, it’s curated, it’s a roundup…
  • Fifty (50!) Tools Which Can Help You in Writing, by Roy Peter Clark at the great Poynter Institute. The first one’s a bad link, but don’t let that stop you from the rest, which include Seek Original Images, Show and Tell, and Self-Criticism.
  • 13 Vital Reminders for Writers, on The Conversationalist. Tips from great artists like Toni Morrison, Hemingway and Leonard Cohen My favorite, at least today, is from Isaac Asimov: “You are my idea of a good writer because you have an unmannered style, and when I read what you write, I hear you talking.”
  • Words that Get Content Shared, an infographic shared on PRDaily, “aggregates a few studies that look at which words will prompt people to retweet, share, and engage with your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.”
  • The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well, a free download from HubSpot, demystifies writing for non-writers with a helpful no-nonsense guide that should help anybody who’s afraid or intimidated to get past it, get better and get the work done well and on time.

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Classic-Movie Watch List for Summer: 31 More after ‘Sullivan’s Travels’

Sullivan's Travels, ew.com, top 100 movies, 100 greatest movies, movies, veronica lake, joel mccrae, preston sturges, dvd, video, classics, catching up with classics

Heaven at home: popcorn and “Sullivan’s Travels” ready to go.

Here’s a story that will be a source of pleasure all season and combines three of my favorite things: movies, lists and the young woman who inspired it.

My friend Ellen came home from college and said she wants to catch up on classic movies over the summer. I’d been thinking about doing something similar and pulled up EW.com’s list of the Top 100 All-Time Greatest Movies for reminders and suggestions. Turns out I’ve done OK according to Entertainment Weekly, having seen 68 of these.

But I’d like to at least make a dent in the other 32. I started on Sunday evening, with “Sullivan’s Travels,” a classic Preston Sturges comedy and No. 96 on EW’s list. Short review: LOVED it. It’s about a Hollywood director who decides he needs to find trouble in order to make serious movies, and it’s full of sharp dialog, arresting images, and verbal and visual wit, with two appealing and funny stars, Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake.

So glad I finally made that journey, and I look forward to sharing notes with Ellen as she starts her own adventure. Her father and I grew up at the movies together, and I love that she’s become a cinephile, too. Next up for me: “A Face in the Crowd” with Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal (No. 93).

How about you? What classic movies have you somehow failed to see? Any interest in catching them now? Send me a comment in the link at the top.

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