Awards Archive for October, 2009

Honorary Awards

LOS ANGELES (October 21, 2009) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA), a national non-profit trade group committed to protecting the rights and credits of producers in film, television and new media, announced today that John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering will receive the 2010 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures. The award will be presented to Lasseter at the 21st Annual PGA Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at the Hollywood Palladium. Lasseter is the first producer of animated films to be awarded the Selznick Award by the PGA and was the co-recipient of the PGA

Why Can't Gotham Get Serious About Movie Awards?

I like IFP. I want to support IFP.
But regardless of how they keep on trying to make The Gotham Awards the first step on the road to Oscar – neck and neck with the idiotic National Board of Review – the event remains a very nice place to be honored… and completely meaningless when it comes to the rest of the award season.
A few years ago, 2004, they figured out how to pick the lowest hanging fruit of the awards tree – awards for actresses – with the “Breakthrough Actor Award” and got behind Catalina Sandino Moreno, then Amy Adams, then Rinko Kikuchi, then Ellen Page, and last year, Melissa Leo.
Best Feature has been less successful in pushing nominees along since the category was launched in 2004. The first two – Sideways and Capote – got in. The last three – Half Nelson, Into The Wild, and Frozen River – did not.
Breakthrough Director Award has gone to Joshua Marston, Bennett Miller, Ryan Fleck, Craig Zobel, and Lance Hammer… only Bennett went on to a nomination (or his film with it).
In the four years of “Best Ensemble,” six films have won… only Babel got a Best Picture nod.
Writing and below-the-line awards were dropped over a decade ago.
And so… congrats to everyone who is being honored at this party.
This year, they are putting their bets on A Serious Man and The Hurt Locker. A 10 film Oscar BP list makes this safer than in past.
And for Breakthrough Actor, there is only one actress… which should make Jeremy Renner, the only actor on the list with a shot at an Oscar nod, a little anxious. (I wish him the very best of luck, indeed.)


Indie Party Catch Up…

The Indie Spirit Awards are adding to the changes. First, it was the move to Friday night instead of Saturday afternoon. Today, they announced that the event will take place downtown in a tent. Oh… and Dick Clark Productions, which made the truly irrelevant HFPA into an awards season institution, is – with Overture chief Chris McGurk’s wife, Jamie McGurk, sharing duties – exec producing the show. ( I don’t mean to devalue McGurk’s producing skills by making the Ovation connection, but it is a very unusual conflict of interest.)
And what’s going to be “indie” about it? Well, they are going to be on live at 8p pst, so it will be late in NY. The show will still be in IFC, though with Dick Clark’s company involved, you have to know that they are chasing a “broadcast network” for 2010 or 2011.
We’ll judge the changes when they happen. But so far, it looks like one more effort by FIND to chase the establishment instead of building something of weight that really can make a difference in the community of indies… that is, for more than one night in a tent of already familiars.
Meanwhile, The Gotham Awards continue their bizarre chase of The Indie Spirits with an OCTOBER 19 list of nominees… excuse me… for what year?

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon