And the Winner Is…

Oscar 1 Academy AwardsSo you have been nominated for the Academy Award. Thoughts of your acceptance speech have run through your head a couple thousand times, admit it! Your biggest fear is that you will forget someone. Face the hard truth. You’ll get up there and fail because you refused to write it down, for fear of jinxing yourself. You are a superstitious lot.

Your dream comes true and you win The Oscar:

First you feign shock. You let tears well-up in your eyes while demurring to the others in your category – even though you are secretly so completely stoked to beat out a couple of them. Then you will look out at the adoring faces in the crowd and rattle off the names of your producer, director, actors, etc.

You’ll thank your parents with the overused standby, “Because without them, well, I wouldn’t be here tonight,” –insert tired chuckle from crowd–  followed by other significant supporters in your life.

Without boring everyone with a list of the obvious, I thought I would help remind you of the one person you should thank, but so often is overlooked. No, it is not your 2nd grade teacher.

I am talking about the magical inventor responsible for the germ of the idea. The creator of the seed that grew into these towering productions. The architect of these monumental films is the original writer of the novel or screenplay. They may not be a flashy, red carpet, Hollywood-type at all, but someone who is proud to have watched their baby grow into something golden.

oscar 2 Academy Awards

Writers of the films up for best picture – You can jot them down on the palm of your hand.

AmourScreenplay by Michael Haneke

ArgoNovel by Antonio Mendez “The Master of Disguise”

Beasts of the Southern Wild –  Stage Play by Lucy Alibar “Juicy and Delicious”

Django – Anyone who accepts an award for this movie is off the hook since Quentin Tarantino wrote the screenplay and directed the film. Be sure to mention him at some point, but you will be screwed if you start thanking the producers. There are 14 of them!

Les MiserablesNovel by Victor Hugo

Life of Pi –  Novel by Yann Martel

Lincoln – From all the press surrounding this film, I believed that Spielberg had written the screenplay, but the credit goes to Doris Kearns Goodwin who wrote the novel.

Silver Linings PlaybookNovel by Matthew Quick

Zero Dark ThirtyScreenplay by Mark Boal

There are many other films represented through nominations in categories not listed here. Take a moment and IMDb them to discover the original writer. Scribble his or her name on your palm. They may be watching in the comfort of their living room and will want to thank you for remembering.

Will you be watching on Sunday night?

77 thoughts on “And the Winner Is…

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  1. I probably won’t watch. It’s too long. The speeches never thank the right people, as you point out. I don’t care who is wearing whom. The writing is so important and it never gets the real recognition it deserves. How sad.

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    1. I agree! And they all seem to say the same things. Once in a while someone really captures brilliance up there, but not very often… I usually work on something while I watch and look up once in a while….
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I will be watching. This is so true. Without the words there would be nothing to grow. I would also like to thank that person, who at one point said: “This would make a great movie!” and then they acted on that thought.

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  3. I love the glam … only once a year … so I enjoy it.
    Have only seen one of the movies above – Argo .. that is a brilliant movie. Ben has made a good job. I think the thank you speech … is what it’s and I don’t take them too serious.
    Only a show for the galleries. I’m going to check out some of yours here.

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    1. Hey great!
      A lot rides on some of those thank yous. A mention here or there is priceless recognition when millions are watching. Hey! Imagine how many hits I would get if one of them mentioned, Susie Lindaus Wild Ride! Hahaha!
      I love the glam too.. Wouldn’t it be fun to be on that red carpet to do some real ogling??

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    1. Hahaha! You empathize. I get nervous for the one’s that don’t act for a living. They are usually wearing some ill-fitting dress, but have the most heart-felt speeches!
      I thought I was over my stage fright and then I went to a screen writing class as part of the Boulder Film Festival. The teacher (Tod Davies who wrote “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) encouraged questions from the class and when I finally spoke I went all “deer in the headlights” and blanked out..abadaabadaabada….It was horrifying!

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  4. Since I’m all about the sparkle, yes! I’ll be watching the red carpet pre-show and the Oscars. I will DVR it just in case one of the speeches makes me cringe. In years past we’ve gone to an Oscar party, but this year it will just be me and the dogs curled up on the couch. I’ll be wearing my jammies and they’ll don their best fur coat. I might even make snacks appropriate for the occasion, we’ll see. 😉

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    1. Sounds wonderful! I love it when pets wear their very best for the occasion…
      I am going back to Wisconsin and it occurs to me that I may miss parts of it. I better DVR it too!
      It is a great year for movies and I will be curious to see who wins along with all the wonderful eye candy!

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  5. Hi Susie,

    You nailed it! This is a pet peeve. Not just for the Oscars but any time I watch a movie I want to know who wrote it, even if it wasn’t a novel first. A movie is collaborative but… hello… you can’t collaborate from a blank page. There has to be something THERE. And that’s the greatest creative leap, IMO.

    Thanks for all the info!

    Nia

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    1. Thanks Nia! I have been so sensitive to this since I started writing 2 years ago. I am going to Tweet the writers with accounts and see if it gets a retweet or two! You never know who may see it. Maybe this will be the year of the writer!

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  6. Very valid. One asks oneself how many times it has been said, ‘That movie would make a great book.’ Usually, a book starts the process.
    The speeches are a no-win situation. Either the boring conventional, or the ones who try to be unconventional and funny, and generally end up by falling flat on their faces.

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    1. And I for one wouldn’t pick up a screenplay to read.
      The worst speeches are the ones that mention politics. Not the time nor place. They should mention the Colonist and Wild Ride blog instead. Now that would rock!

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  7. This is so true! The original writer of the book or screenplay hardly ever gets mentioned. Most of the speeches are too long and contrived. I really think many of the winners know they have won in advance from their PR group and have in mind what they will say anyway. Occassionally you do see an upset winner who has no clue though. Those are fun as they stumble through their speech.

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    1. I love when the underdog wins against an older more seasoned actor. Sometimes their applause for the winner is thinly disguised… I don’t think anyone really knows. It will be fun to watch this year and see how many writers get mentioned…
      Sally Field – You like me! You really like me!

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  8. Ever since I was young, I’ve always paid attention to who wrote the screenplay and who directed it. I’m secretly only watching to see if it’s man or a woman. I still look after I see a movie. First, I guess which one I think it is, depending the roles of the characters and their status. It’s a pretty dead give away. I’m always pleased when I see a woman’s name.

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    1. You are so cool to do that! I have often thought for sure that a woman wrote a poignant tale and have been surprised by the male author. Hopefully women will become better represented in the years to come.

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  9. Dude what a great post. I often dream of that moment 🙂 I’m crazy like that. But I do love your idea that they should originally thank what sparked the amazing idea in the first place and I’m hoping that the writers will have enough sense to do so when they get up there. The actors usually don’t, except for Daniel Day Lewis who had awesome words for the writer when he won the Golden Globe. And you bet I’ll be watching. You bet! It’s like my SuperBowl. I’ll probably have nachos and be thinking about my dad, we always used to watch these events and argue who should win. 🙂

    OH! And I saw that you have Life of Pi in your picture. Dude I am totally reading that book right now. Cayman gave it awesome reviews so I thought I would pick it up before watching the movie 🙂 Happy Oscars 🙂

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    1. That is so great! I haven’t read it yet, but plan to. That is wonderful to have such great memories of your dad. I am flying out tomorrow to visit mine and celebrate his 87th birthday!
      Thanks so much Guat! I love the movie choices and will be watching…

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    1. Are you back yet?? I bet you filled your backpack!
      I have a lot of reading to do as well… This was a fun little research project. We’ll see how many get mentioned on Sunday!
      Thanks Mike!

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    1. Thanks Cathy!
      Someone mentioned on FB that they thought that the director reshapes them so much that they become their baby, but I would disagree and say, you should always remember who gave birth to the story…

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  10. As someone obsessed with both the Oscars and books, I obviously love this! Also, when I was in 7th grade, I swore I would win an Oscar and promises my English teacher that I would thank her. I haven’t seen her in years but still think about that every Academy Awards!

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    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 It was a fun little project.
      Maybe you will win an Oscar! Just keeping imagining it!
      It is wonderful how some teachers make such an impression on us.
      Have fun watching!

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  11. Good point and no I will not be watching. I might tune in to catch a few awards, but I can’t sit through all of the foreign film, cinematography, lifetime achievement awards, yadda, yadda, yadda. It’s too long and boring.

    Besides, most of the movies that are usually nominated – not this year – but most years, I’ve never even heard of much less seen. And, usually I don’t really care who wins. I like who I like and what I like and no award is going to change my opinion.

    So how’s that for you?

    Now, when my book, the one that’s not published yet, is made into a movie and wins, I will not only tune in, I will be present in the audience. Funny how that little detail drastically changes one’s standing on a issue.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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    1. I am sure that it will change your point of view! One year a friend of mine won for best documentary so you never know! Some years I have been less interested, but this year, I think the movies have merit and it will be fun to watch!
      Thanks Patricia!

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    1. Thanks Renee! Let me know when you are nominated so I can Tivo it! 🙂 Of course you won’t use a pen name… I will be watching this year and will be curious to see who mentions them… Thanks!

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    1. That’s the way to think. You are heads and tails ahead of us with your screenplay being made into a movie right now! Just don’t forget the little people…. 🙂 I did take a screenplay class on Sunday with Tod Davies….

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  12. I’ll be watching and waiting to hear YOUR acceptance speech…, and see what “wild” gown you’ll be wearing. (really…, I never watch those things)
    Paul (…yes…, PapaBear).

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    1. I LOVED that movie! I have never cried so much during a movie in my life. It took me a few minutes to recognize Hugh Jackman an I knew he was in it!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      I am visiting in WI with spotty Internet, but we have cable!

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