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Entries in Oscars (7)

Sunday
Dec252016

Congratulations to 'Bon Voyage' Director Marc Wilkins on Making the Oscars Shortlist!

Drifting through an ocean of dead bodies, two holiday sailors find themselves on a rescue mission that puts their fears and ideals in a dramatic conflict with the hopes and dreams of Syrian refugees. That is the synopsis for Bon Voyage, a Swiss film currently in the running for an Oscar nomination. Directed by Marc Wilkins, the Mediterranean sea drama made it out of the 137 films that qualified as possible contenders in the BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT category.

Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Bon Voyage is among the 10 films that will advance in the voting process for the 89th Academy Awards, Wilkins has been hard at work making sure his film is introduced to members of the Academy who haven't seen it. Members of the Academy will select five nominees from among the 10 shortlisted titles; the final nominess for the 89th Oscars® will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

As Bon Voyage heads to Australia where it will screen in January at FLICKERFEST, I'd like to take a moment to say bravo to Marc Wilkins! Your short features some of the best cinematography I've seen this year. Here's hoping you get that nomination!

Thursday
May052016

Reese’s Outlook on the Oscars 

Vinyl hijackers known as the Popcorn Snobs are catching up on their theme, ‘The Taking of April A-Z,’ as they run this blog for the next 12 (or so) days.

It’s Reese here and I’m back to discuss the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. These coveted honors, given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, come with prestige but prestige doesn't pay the bills. The golden trophies would look (and probably feel) much better if they were accompanied by some type of useful bonus such as a monetary prize or guaranteed job on an upcoming movie.

Financial rewards obviously may not be a big deal for certain Oscar winners who happen to also be top industry players; able to negotiate million-dollar contracts for their work. Still, cash can come in handy and make a significant difference in the lives of the men and women who win Academy Awards for their contributions to craft departments such as grips, makeup artists, gaffers, sound technicians, musicians, editors and set designers. There are times when even some A-list talent, including two-time Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank, can benefit greatly from monetary prizes.

Swank’s first Academy Award for Actress in a Leading Role came from her performance in the romantic drama Boys Don’t Cry (1999). She later found herself in a tough spot when her health insurance card was declined while trying to fill a prescription. The insurance company informed Swank that she didn’t meet a $5,000 minimum in annual earnings to qualify for health coverage.

At a day rate of $75 for her role in Boys Don’t Cry, the actress had made just $3,000 total, from working on this movie. “I had an Academy Award, and no health insurance…the life of an actor,” laughs Hilary Swank in a 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace.

This is a prime example of how great the Oscars would be if they came with cash prizes. While this may seem expensive, there are ways the Academy could share the wealth among all the many difference awards given out each year. Film studios could designate a percentage of profits to a general pot that gets divided up among all categories at the Oscars. It would also be neat if philanthropists and estate planners gave funds to be designated as prize money for select Academy Awards. The bottom line is this…. Oscars should pony up the dough! 

Why do YOU agree or disagree with Reese's outlook regarding adding financial bonuses to Oscar winnings? 

Thursday
Feb252016

Hey Academy, how about an Oscar for 'Earned It' by The Weeknd?

Dear voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,

Knowing the 88th annual Academy Awards are a few days away, I'm writing to encourage your recognition of one of the most acclaimed musical compositions on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack -- "Earned It," performed by Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) -- as Best Original Song.

The tune excels at seducing listeners into believing our needs and desires will be met in ways that can only be fully understood through the experience of surrendering to an outside force. It is spellbinding in the same way that Fifty Shades of Grey portrays it's protagonist Anastasia Steele as innocent and unsuspecting prey that gets wrapped up in Christian Grey's web of mind games, control and eroticism. "Earned It" is a force that pulls at us like the ropes that bind actress Dakota Johnson's body in the music video, also helmed by Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Tom Mackay, Executive Vice President of A&R at Republic Records describes working with The Weeknd as an unbelievable experience; in a collaboration with Universal Pictures that resulted in the singer's first Top 5 single of his career, on the Billboard music charts. Written by Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Quenneville and Stephan Moccio, "Earned It" is also the only song that appears in the Fifty Shades of Grey twice. In addition to the singer winning his first Grammy award for this tune, in the category of Best R&B Performance, The Weekend also scored a Best Song Written for Visual Media nomination for "Earned It."

Universial Pictures, music buyers that crowned Fifty Shades of Grey with the highest selling multi-act compilation soundtrack since Get Rich or Die Tryin (2005) and the largest debut for a soundtrack since Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009), and The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences recognize that this is more than a hot tune.

It just works....on all levels, and for the right reasons. Period.

The track's arrangement, led by Abel Tesfaye's performance, lends itself to the hynotizing nature of the film it was made for and is as magical as any Best Original Song can get.

Wouldn't YOU agree that 'Earned It' by The Weeknd deserves an Oscar?