28 February 2014

86th Oscar Predictions (Part I)

I love the Oscars.

And I hate the Oscars.

Oh, Oscar...  I am your bitch.
Maybe not hate, but at times it can be incredibly frustrating paying attention to the whole awards season.  Granted, it's kind of trite to blame the Oscars as it's only the climax of three months of critics' awards and guild awards and this guy's awards and whoever else decides they have to award the movies of the past year.  Still, everyone knows the Oscars and takes the Academy's choices in consideration when selecting what movie to watch next.  Some want to see all the Oscar-winning films and others -- like my step-dad -- are of the mind that if a movie won an Oscar it's not going to be entertaining.  (My step-dad says it in jest since I'm pretty sure he liked The Departed and Unforgiven.)

Anyhow, I've been an Oscar-watcher since the 2000 race when Gladiator won Best Picture.  I'd watched a few Oscar shows before then, but that year was the first that I actually paid attention.  And started my journey of learning everything about the Oscars.  Everyone has one thing they're really good at and while I can write a decent screenplay, knowing the Oscars seems to be where I excel.  From memory I can name every Best Picture winner and how many and what Oscars it won.  I can name every Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress winner.  I have charts and graphs and pages of what awards are commonly won together and what nominations can best determine which nominee will win Best Picture.

All in all, I'm just a big Oscar nerd.

But here's the rub:  Knowing Oscar history does little to nothing when trying to predict winners for the current Oscar race.  Sure, there are some indicators you can look to for help -- the guilds are typically the best, the Golden Globes aren't as good but you can't ignore them -- but what ultimately happens is personal feelings play a larger role.  Sometimes those feelings are lucky (I held fast to Christoph Waltz winning last year and it paid off), but most times they're the bane of your prognostication (I should've known Carey Mulligan couldn't overcome Sandra Bullock in the 2009 race).

And that's why I end up doing two Oscar predictions:  The nominees I want to win and the nominees I think will win.  Sometimes they match, most times they don't.  Nevertheless, at the end of the night, my biggest concern is updating all my charts and graphs and pages of Oscar info, because really, whatever/whoever wins wins.  There's nothing that can change that, so it's best to accept the results and see how this year's winner matches up with various cross-references to past winners.  Really, I'm an Oscar historian:  I don't care too much about the winners, just how they fit in with Oscar history.

Anyway, I suppose that's enough about me and my Oscar history.  You're really only here to see what I'm picking to win so you can call me an idiot in the comments.  (Trust me, go to any Oscar blog/site and it's venom and vitriol from anyone who disagrees with you.)  I'll explain my choices as I feel (because maybe I don't want to tell you all my secrets) and breakdown some of the categories as well.  Also, while I think it's great the Oscars recognize short films, those are just too random to accurately predict.  Plus, I haven't seen them.  And it's a bit embarrassing to admit, but I haven't seen any of the Foreign Language Film nominees (I know, I know...) and I've only seen The Act of Killing from the Documentary nominees and Frozen from the Animated Feature slate.  So you're on you're own for those six categories.

So, after all this ado, here are my thoughts about the 86th Academy Awards.

27 February 2014

Writers Write -- So That's What I'll Do

So it's been more than a month since the last post -- I told you I'm not that great with this blogging stuff.  But something's going to happen that'll strong-arm me into making regular posts and updates and what-all.

In the previous post, I laid out my plan of what I'm going to be working on.  Thing is, a few days after that post I started working on a totally different script I didn't even mention.  I've got about 15 to 20 pages before the first/rough/vomit draft is complete. 

It's weird, writing I mean, planning out a script -- outlining or using notecards or whatever your method is -- versus what actually happens when you write the script.  I've got the same basic storyline for this script, but the scenes and paths that get us there are about 75% not what I expected.  If anything, I suppose that shows how you can pre-write and prep a script and still have the freedom to write whatever you want.  Remember, you're not bound to the prep work.  That's just to get you immersed in the story.  Writing the script is a different beast all together and you'll probably find things the made sense on the notecards won't work when put into use.  Also, it's your script:  If you want to change something, change it.  Go ahead.  If you don't like it or it doesn't work, you take it out.  Problem solved.

Okay.  Now on the nitty-gritty...