Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oscar Picks

Keith Demko of macon.com's Reel Fanatic blog and I have teamed up for our Oscar predictions this year. Last year, we did a podcast, but this year, it's full video.

You can check it out here:

The Oscars will air Feb. 24 on ABC, complete with writers and actors now that the strike is over. Though I rarely watch a full Oscars telecast, I prefer it to the option of three hours of clips from previous shows, which was the plan had the strike continued.

Speaking of the strike, now that it's over, here's an amusing tale. As regular readers of this blog know, I am trying to break into the world of professional screenwriting. My latest work, completed in November, is an animation tale. Since animation wasn't part of the contract that was being disputed between the studios and the writers, I could sell a script (in theory) without being a scab, since I don't qualify as a member of the WGA.

Anyway, as I called around in November after the strike had started, a number of companies said they wouldn't discuss my script until after the strike was over, even though it was technically legal to do so.

Finally, I called the WGA and asked about the status of animated scripts. They acknowledged that it was true, animated scripts weren't covered.

WGA LADY: Let me ask you, are you a member of the guild?
ME: No, ma'am.

WGA LADY: Do you ever want to be?
ME: Of course.

WGA LADY: Then maybe you don't want to try to be selling a script during the strike.

I stopped trying after that, since I didn't want to cross picket lines even though I wasn't a member of the union. Wednesday was the first official day I could start calling production companies about my script once more. Of course, me and the 20,000 members of the WGA, all of whom have TV and movie credits and agents, so the strike ending now really helps me very little. But if I ever do sell anything, then hopefully the concessions the union won will be of great benefit in the future.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: TVGuide. com is reporting that "Lost" (ABC, 9 p.m.) has proven so successful on Wednesday's that the ABC suits are considering airing the show in the 10 p.m. slot behind "Grey's Anatomy" when new episodes start airing in April. An "Ugly Betty"-"Grey's"-"Lost" trifecta would be powerful indeed. The Web site is also reporting that "Lost's" eighth episode, which actor Michael Emerson told me ends with a gigantic cliffhanger and shocking twist, may be pushed back to April to air with the five episodes left to be filmed. I guess we'll see. It's followed by "Eli Stone" at 10 p.m. tonight.

"Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC, 9 p.m.) finds Omorosa and Piers on the same team for once, leading to all sorts of wackiness. It's followed by "Lipstick Jungle," which should make at least one reader of this blog happy.

Kara is back (albeit with amnesia) on "Smallville" (CW, 8 p.m.), followed by the always-entertaining "Supernatural" at 9 p.m.

Finally, Fox is airing the NAACP Image Awards, hosted by Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin.

2 comments:

Zodin2008 said...

Phillip,

I tried watching the little Pod Cast - well, I guess you and Keith are working with a shoe string budget so it's not so much a criticism as it's hard to sit through the whole thing with how much stopping and buffering the video does.

If you can clean that up, it's quite an entertaining little number and you & Keith make a great southestern version of Siskel & Ebert.

You also said Wednesdays for "Lost" and of course you in fact meant Thursdays. But yeah, I would love to see "Lost" go head to head with ancient, "ER" and finally 'slay the dragon'. It would be great if "Lost" was the show to finally put that ancient medical show out of our misery.

The only thing I will say about the Oscars is this: will they ever get to a point of nominating movies and actors from movies that people actually want or went to go & see?

I saw "Juno". I do want to see "Michael Clayton" but with a 3 month old, going to see movies has been a rather rare occurrence the last 3 months. Still, movies like "Atonement", "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will be Blood" don't exact;y capture the eyes of a nation.

The last few years, I have seen siome **** type work from some very 'mainstream' films: "The Bourne Ultimatum", "Casino Royale", "Ocean's 13", "Knocked Up". The problem is films like these are too mainstream and too popular to be considered Oscar heavies.

The other thing I would like to see Oscar do and be more like the Golden Globes is have a separate category for Comedies and Comedy actors.

They could currently take all the dull technical and editing award stuff, flip that over into a 1 hour press conference on Saturday night, and add in another 6 worthwhile categories on the endless 3 hour Sunday show.

Just my 2 cents.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, they aren't going to change it up after 80 years, and I certainly don't want them to make the show any longer.

I didn't have any problems viewing the video on my system, but if you check out macon.com, our Webmaster should have it edited into segments for each category.