Sunday, February 27, 2005

Beginings and Endings

Oscar season is, oddly enough, very connected to my time in Peoria.

I was at Heritage Buick Mazda getting work done on my Miata in early 1996. Still unsure of whether this was the right move, I was watching TV in the waiting room and there it was... the fruits of my labor. After spending the previous six months working on the Miramax Academy Awards campaign, the movies and actors I was pushing were getting recognized with nominations.

This is from an AP article that year:
In order for a film to be considered in the Academy's foreign-language category,
it has to be officially submitted by the country of origin, and Italy elected to
enter another film last year, "L'America." "The Postman," however, is eligible
for best picture (and best actor, director, and so on) in this year's race
because it was released in the United States in 1995. Miramax must thus convince
Oscar voters their instincts are wrong -- "The Postman" should not be treated as
the foreign-language film it is. "We are having to run an explaining campaign,"
says Marcy Granata, Miramax's executive vice president of marketing and
publicity. "The challenge is to tell people, 'We know you love the movie, but
the category you think it's in, it's not.' " To bolster the Academy campaign,
Miramax sent voters "Postman" videocassettes remarkably early, before
Thanksgiving. The company also solicited favorable advertising quotes from some
unlikely critics: renowned authors John Updike, William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut,
Oscar Hijuelos, Isabelle Allende and Taylor Branch. The movie about poet Pablo
Neruda and his daydreaming mail carrier faces long -- but not insurmountable --
odds. Four foreign-language films previously earned best-picture nominations:
1937's "Grand Illusion," 1969's "Z," 1971's "The Emigrants" and 1972's "Cries
and Whispers." None of them won.
I was one of the people doing the "telling." That morning, I felt like my mission was accomplished so to speak and it was time to embrace the new challenge.

My last night at WEEK was also Academy Awards night... 2001. As I mentioned in a previous post, even Gina was off that night hosting her annual Oscar party. New adventures were again on the horizon.

No comments: