Are You Ready for Oscar’s Biggest Night?
The 2013 Oscars telecast is only a few days away, Sunday, February 24. Everyone involved with the show, from the directors to the writers to the crew, from host Seth MacFarlane to the various presenters and musical guests, have been working hard for the past few weeks. Hopefully they will be ready on Sunday. My question is are YOU ready, as a television viewer? Here are a few quick things you can do to get ready for the big night.
No, I’m not going to say that you should run out and watch all of the nominated films before Sunday. You’ve probably seen a few of them, and let’s be honest, the general public does not make a point to watch all of them. However, here is the trailer for one particular nominated piece that is simply fun to watch.
For a limited time Disney had the full version (just over 6 minutes) of this lovely short, Paperman, available through YouTube for free, but unfortunately they have taken that down, as it will be available soon on the Wreck-It Ralph DVD. (You can still view it for $1.99 on YouTube.) The groundbreaking technique used in this film could be the future of animation. It combines computer-generated and hand-drawn images. Together with a touching short story, Paperman could walk away with the Oscar for Best Short Film – Animated.
One thing that many people like to do on Oscar night is predict the winners. At the official Oscars website you can link to Facebook and make your predictions, and challenge your friends. For some of the categories, they have even included a link to a short video that tells what the actual voters are looking for when judging certain aspects, such as cinematography and production design.
There are other interesting things on the website as well, including videos, pictures, and a history of the Oscars. Also, if you don’t want to do the social media thing but just play along at home, there is a downloadable and printable Oscars ballot. While you’re at the site, you can get information on the official app for the Oscars, available free for various devices. The app has extra exclusive content currently, and will have added content during the telecast as well. You can also use it to make your predictions if you prefer.
Every year, a poster is released for the Oscars, and I think this year’s design is wonderful. English artist, graphic designer and illustrator Olly Moss created this year’s poster, and it is a celebration of 85 years of Oscars. Moss has taken the Oscar statue itself and created unique statuettes to represent each of the Best Picture winners in the history of the awards. If you click this link you can view a special photo gallery of each one. The website folks have designed it in such a way that you can have fun seeing if you remember each film based on it’s special statuette. Think of it as a pop quiz before the big show, and a nice way to remember these fine movies.
With the (excellent) film Les Misérables nominated in several categories including Best Picture, 2013 is the perfect year for the theme that was chosen by this year’s producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, “celebrating the music of the movies.” As you prepare to watch the show, you may want to review some of your favorite musical movie moments. There will be singing and dancing during the telecast, involving more than just the songs nominated for Best Original Song. Of course Les Mis will be featured, but also on hand for musical performances will be Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago), Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Shirley Bassey (popular James Bond theme singer), and Barbara Streisand (The Way We Were, A Star Is Born). MacFarland may even get in on the act, as it is being reported that the host, along with Kristin Chenoweth (known for her musical theatre work as well as here television career), will be performing a special musical number at the close of the show. While they did not address this last tidbit, Zadan and Meron did give a great interview to the folks at The Wrap. Unfortunately, contrary to previous rumors, Zadan and Meron seemed to indicate that we will not see a gathering of Bond actors, that they never said that was part of the Bond anniversary tribute, nor did they reach out to any of the six actors. However, in all fairness, they did promise some surprises, and have said that they are not telling everything that they have planned, so perhaps this is a smoke screen? Doubtful, I’d say, given their statements, but one trend these days in the entertainment industry does seem to be misdirection. (Note – the story at The Wrap does contain some mild adult language.)
Oh, last but not least … don’t say that you’ll be watching the Academy Awards. This year’s celebration is being specifically presented and advertised as just “The Oscars” rather than by their more formal title. There has been much speculation as to why that might be, but personally, I like it. I think it shows that the Academy and those involved with the show can change and grow with the times, and it reaches out to not necessarily a younger audience, but perhaps a more diverse audience. One thing is for sure – #Oscars is much easier and faster to type than #AcademyAwards, and I certainly think that there will be tweets galore on the big night.
These are just some things you can do to prepare for Oscar night. I’ll be ready, with a bucket of popcorn and a soda, and it will hopefully be an entertaining night. With MacFarlane, singing and dancing, and other potential must-see moments, this year’s show could definitely be a winner.