During and leading up to the golden globe awards, Hollywood buzz is flowing. It starts with the People’s Choice awards, Golden Globe wins, and on to the Oscars® for the movies and the stars. After 22 years of working in the motion picture industry, I'm used to it; in fact, I've come to expect and look forward to it. Its rather exciting as the studios, both big and small, position their exposure outreach in favor of their films and participants. With the declared winner from this year’s 38th year for the People’s Choice Awards, and the 70th Golden Globe Awards, the road to Oscar® is officially open!
Words like ‘precursor’ and ‘indicator’ are associated with the globe winners as the most likely winner of the Oscars is the common perception, or, misconception. Those of us who actually work in the motion picture industry know that the winners of Golden Globes are not even close to an indication of who might win an Oscar®! It does make for interesting conversations and helps with the ‘buzz’ and excitement leading up to the Oscars®.
The true indicators are awards in the working crafts like the Directors Guild Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. These awards are given by the industry, to industry workers (actors, technicians, etc) while the Golden Globes, who are actually the press movie reviewers and critics, don’t work in the industry, and don’t have a vote on who wins an Oscar®! The Oscars® are given by the Motion picture industry, to motion pictures industry workers and, the Academy nominating and voting members are from the various working professionals who vote in their classifications for craft awards.
I have had the good fortune of working for twenty plus years in the industry, and the past six years as a movie reviewer and writing industry articles. We in the industry watch the ‘craft awards’ very closely. Craft awards like the Directors Guild of America awards, Writers Guild of America awards, Screen Actors Guild awards, and the Cinema Audio Society awards are but a few of the true indicators of possible Oscar® winners. Here’s a quick look at each of these ‘super’ awards presentations: the movie goers ‘The People’s Choice Awards, the press’ Golden Globe Awards’, and the motion picture industry’s Oscars®.
The Golden Globe Awards: In 1944, a group of journalist from around the world was in Hollywood for the purpose of delivering an impartial view on motion pictures and their impact. They were known then, and to this day as, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association”. In order not to be swayed and influenced by the powers in Hollywood, net even the Academy Awards® choices, it was important to them that they give their awards before the Oscars®.
Today, with almost a hundred or so members from just as many countries from around the world, the Golden Globe Awards are presented. Keep in mind; this is the ‘press’, from around the world with diverse, broad perceptions, and expectations.
The People's Choice Awards: These awards can be generally stated as reflective of the movie-going, TV watching, and music listening general public and an American awards show recognizing the people and the work of popular culture. The show has been held annually since 1975 and is voted on by the general public. Procter & Gamble and Survivor magnate Mark Burnett produces the People’s Choice Awards.
A switch to online voting took hold when the winners of the 31st People's Choice Awards, which aired January 9, 2005, were decided by online voting rather than Gallup polls, with a nationally representative sample of men and women ages 18 to 54.
The Academy Awards®: The Oscars® on the other hand, are awarded by the U.S. Motion Picture Industry, for motion picture industry workers, based on creative presentation of ideas / and the technical excellence of producing a motion picture. The Academy was formed in 1927, and is a professional honorary organization of motion picture artists and craftsmen. The primary goal of the Academy is to “advance the arts and science of motion pictures.
The Oscar® voters, about 6,500 or so, represent the working crafts which only vote in their categories. Actors vote for actors, directors vote for directors, and so on. All of the members vote for best picture. Our British counterparts in motion picture production have a very similar award structure for honoring the best in movies. The British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) is the UK's organization which honor's their best in film, Television and interactive media. Created in 1946, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts has more than 4,000 members consisting of professionals working in the film, television and interactive industries.
The various unions and guilds, which represent all of the persons working on film projects, have awards & ceremonies honoring the best within the working craft fields in the motion picture industry. These are the awards that we, as working technicians in the industry, follow closely.
Industry awards such as the Directors Guild Awards for best director are voted on only by Directors Guild of America members and, the SAG Screen Actors Awards for actors and again, are only voted on by SAG (Screen Actors Guild) members, about 120,000. If you've been following along, you would have noticed that with these 2 industry craft awards, 5 of the 6 major categories for the Oscars®, are represented by these 2 craft awards: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. Best Picture is the ‘wild card’ because there isn’t a craft award for this overall category. That’s why on occasion you’ll find that a director might win an Oscar® for ‘Best Director’ but his film didn’t win ‘Best Picture’!
I took a quick look and these two jumped right out at me, the winner of the SAG award has gone on to win an Oscar® 12 of the last 16 years or so! As for the “Best Director” Oscar® winner, well the results are just as weighted for the Directors Guild of America (DGA) award winner. How’s this for a statistic, only six or seven times in the Directors Guild's 60+ year history, has the DGA winner NOT gone on to collect the Best Director Academy Award®! So, when we in the industry see or hear comments by radio, TV, or film critics say things like “the front runners for the Oscars®, based on the winners of the Golden Globes” are likely to be...” (Long pause…) we just smile”...
The complete roster of all 5,765 or so of voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a closely guarded secret. Academy voters are less diverse than the movie going public, and even more monolithic than many in the film industry may suspect. Oscar voters are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male, Blacks are about 2% of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2%. Oscar voters have a median age of 62, voters younger than 50 constitute just 14% of the membership. Nearly 50% of the academy's actors have appeared on screen in the last two years and membership is generally for life.
And now, for Oscar predictions in the major categories for 2012! These are who I think should win, not who I think will win. My predictions of who will win are based on the results of the various craft awards, which look to be completed by 20 February 2013. My predictions on who will win will be in the Thursday 21 February 2013 issue’s Film! Section.
My “Best Picture” goes to ‘Argo’, it’s a moving film from director/star Ben Affleck as he fills in the blanks behind 1980 joint CIA-Canadian plan to extract 6 American diplomats from Iran. With an all-star cast the film moves briskly along with finely chiseled characters... My “Best Director” goes to Behn Zeitlin for ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’, his feature film debut, principal cast of first time actors in starring roles, and locations that truly tested the skills of production, delivered a powerful story of survival and human fortitude. My “Best Actor” goes to Hugh Jackman for his performance in ‘Les Misérables’ which required singing virtually every line while portraying a wide range of emotional feelings from despair to extreme happiness throughout the film. My “Best Actress” to Emmanuelle Riva, who captures the essence of a bright and vibrant senior woman sliding into helpless dementia, after having a stroke in ‘Amour’. My “Best Supporting Actor” goes to Christoph Waltz for delivering a mesmerizingly warm and calculating character’ in ‘Django Unchained’. And My “Best Supporting Actress” goes to Anne Hathaway for a stunning performance in the ‘femme fatale’ riches to rags role in ‘Les Misérables’.
Be sure to read my predictions on who will win in the Thursday 21 February 2013 issue of AZ Weekly Entertainment Magazine’s Film! Section and online.
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