Tag Archives: Oscars

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.

DIVERSITY

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?

BRUTAL HONESTY FROM VOTERS

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

MARKETING/STORYTELLING

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

JUST FOR FUN

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.

LOOKING BACK

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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Oscars Get Personal with Sweet Support from the Academy

Jim Farmer, gay film festival, Out on Film, Atlanta, Oscars

Jim Farmer’s passion for movies drives Atlanta’s Out on Film.

Like millions of movie fans, Jim Farmer will be glued to the tube for Sunday’s Academy Awards.

But this year, Farmer — a lifelong Oscar fanatic — has an extra reason to be excited. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences gave his Out on Film festival its first-ever national grant for its most recent event. And more than just the money came the acknowledgement and exposure that only Hollywood’s biggest guns can provide.

Out on Film is Atlanta’s annual gay film festival, which Farmer has programmed since 2008. It’s grown every year since then, to a record attendance of 8,000 in 2014. Over the course of a week right before the annual gay Pride celebration, Out on Film presents more than 100 movies at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema.

Farmer’s focus from the start was on branding Out on Film as a vital, independent celebration — with consistent scheduling (year-round events, but with the festival always the first week in October) and high-quality programming.

“When it comes to marketing and putting butts in seats, you could get a ‘naked guy’ movie and sell out every time,” says Farmer, who has worked in theater marketing and entertainment journalism.  “But we focus on quality films that otherwise might not make it to Atlanta, and also on the diversity within the LGBT community.”

The Oscar grant helped secure last fall’s opening night, with a red carpet and appearances by the makers and some cast members of “Blackbird,” which stars Mo’Nique and will be released widely in April.

“We try to focus on our festival as an event,” Farmer says. “It’s not just seeing a movie. You can watch a movie on your iPhone these days. But there’s nothing quite like seeing a film that is a story about us, for us, told by our filmmakers and experienced together.”

Alec Mapa, Out on Film, Atlanta, gay film festival, Oscars, Jim Farmer

Guests have included actors like Alec Mapa, on the right.

Grants don’t come easy, of course. At the same time the Academy shared its gift, the state of Georgia declined to support the festival, although it had for two previous years.

“It gives us a lot of momentum,” Farmer says about the Oscar grant. “We reached a lot of people last year that we had never reached. The Academy put us on their website. The Academy issued a press release… It was tremendous in terms of the exposure and awareness that we got.”

And more personally, it was a shot of confidence for Farmer, who grew up watching the Oscars and hangs on every development of awards season.

He’ll be at home with his partner Sunday night, not at a party where people might talk over the broadcast. “I don’t care if it lasts four hours. I don’t care if the speeches are long and rambling. I want to see every moment and hear every word.”

And maybe offer up his own version of “I’d like to thank the Academy…”

Jim Farmer’s Oscar predictions

Farmer says it’s easier to call many top categories nowadays, with so many pre-Oscar awards.

But he agrees that three top categories are a lock for Julianne Moore (Best Actress in “Still Alice”), Patricia Arquette (Best Supporting Actress for “Boyhood”) and J.K. Simmons (Best Supporting Actor for “Whiplash”).

After that, thing’s get a little more exciting He sees tight races between “Boyhood” and “Birdman” for Best Picture and Best Director, and expects “Birdman” star Michael Keaton to edge out Eddie Redmayne from “The Theory of Everything” for Best Actor.


 

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