And the winner is... YOU!
Here's how the Oscars can help every Actor...
from Beginner to Pro!
The Academy Awards are probably the most amazingly ingenious marketing and PR machine ever invented. They are PT Barnum at his best. Give the people what they want and they'll pay to see it. And why not? On May 16, 1929, the Hollywood film industry dished it out by holding the first awards banquet at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. It was hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and created as a way to honor all those who made outstanding contributions to the art and craft of film production. But they soon realized it was also a great way to publicize up-and-coming talent and new projects soon-to-be released.
As such, even today, the Oscars are not just a celebration of a past year's achievements, they are also an important barometer of who and what Hollywood believes will lead the trends in the year ahead. For actors, whether new to the game or seasoned pros, the awards are a way to predict where the industry may be heading in terms of casting. While I won't say the winners are rigged, we all know that award ceremonies can be very “political.” Meaning there is a deeper agenda at play than just entertaining the masses and patting each other on the back at the same time. If producers and studios know that certain actors and actresses have been very popular recently and have two or three films coming out in the next year or two, there is no better way to boost their appeal than to give or at least nominate them for best acting awards. That way, movie-goers will be much more likely to want to see them in their new films, and the box-office can sleep a little easier at night. Similarly, the Best Picture nominees give a hint at what kinds of “thematic material” the powers-that-be in Hollywood may potentially be giving preference to in the near future.
By watching these perhaps not-so-subtle clues, it's possible for actors to see trends and figure out where they can best focus their energies on the vast and ruthless landscape of casting. If there were absolutely no huge “historical epics” at the Oscars, then actors may not want to waste time submitting for any historical epics. If, on the other hand, small, intimate, and intense psychological dramas that take place in Sweden are big in the nominations, actors may want to watch for those kinds of casting notices and spend some time brushing up on their Swedish.
It's never, ever easy for actors to predict anything about their careers. But smart actors who want to take as much control as possible, will watch for every Hollywood trend and pattern they can discover to help inform their decision-making as they venture forward to audition for new film and TV productions. And in many ways, the Academy Awards are sending out a road map of which highways to travel on in the year to come.
~ Andy Clemence
© 2020, Andy Clemence