Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

BOPMadness 2018: final results and comments

March 24, 2018

BOPMadness 2018: final results and comments

It was a good year for the team!

It’s been a few weeks since the Oscars ceremony, so a quick summary:

I’ve been doing an Oscar predictions thing for decades. Anybody can play. Players rate every nominee in every category based on what they think the Academy will do. I aggregate those guesses and put them out before the ceremony. Our system tends to do pretty well (although I don’t get them out soon enough to help you in your office games).

We break it down into two categories (and the overall):

  • The Big Six: the acting categories, Best Picture, and Best Director
  • The Incredibly Difficult Maven Section: everything else

Let’s start with the Big Six:

The group scored a 97%! We called every category except for Best Picture (we went with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Montana…but we did have The Shape of Water second).

  • Best Picture: The Shape of Water (we gave it an 86%, and Three Billboards a 92%): I got this one wrong: I was concerned that the plagiarism allegations were going to affect it. This is a major win for geeky movies…it’s rare for a non-musical geeky movie to win
  • Best Director: Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water: we were 100% on this one. Nothing else was even close. Obviously, I picked this one as well. Another advance for geeky moviemakers
  • Lead Actress: Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Montana: we were 100%
  • Lead Actor: Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour: 100% Oldman has a lot of geeky credits, so this is a pedigeek win
  • Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell in Three Bilboards Outside Ebbing, Montana: 100%…and another pedigeek win
  • Supporting Actress: Allison Janney in I, Tonya: 95% (but we picked it as the winner…Laurie Metcalf was closest at 85%

The team picked every category except Best Picture, and scored a 97%. Two of our players scored 100%: Marianne and Scott. Amazing! I personally got a 94%. By the way, I make my guesses before I see anybody else’s guesses, just to be fair.

Now, the Incredibly Difficult Maven Section.

There was a complication this year. I keep trying to find a best way to do this online. This year, I went with an Excel form…that was good for analysis, but it had a limitation I didn’t realize at first. You can only have 100 questions in a survey…since each nominee is a question, that wasn’t enough. That meant that there were two surveys: that’s also been true with some systems in the past but because I realized it up front, I could make the instructions very clear. Fully a third of our players didn’t complete the second survey. That affects those individuals scores, but I’ve decided not to have it affect the team scores. The percentage of the prediction will be based on the guesses on those questions, not the non-guesses, and that seems fair.

  • Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele for Get Out: 95%, and we got it right as a group. This is another win for geeky movies
  • Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory for Call Me By Your Name: 100%
  • Cinematography: Roger Deakins for Bladerunner 2049: we missed this one, but just barely. ūüôā The group picked Hoyte Van Hoytema for Dunkirk. I personally missed this one…I really underestimated the love for Bladerunner 2049 throughout…I gave this the lowest possibility, a one out of five. The group gave it a 70%, and we gave Dunkirk a 75%. That means the group still gets four points our of five, since that was our second highest
  • Costume: Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread: 90%, and we called it
  • Film Editing: Lee Smith for Dunkirk 95%, and we called it
  • Sound Mixing:¬†Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten for Dunkirk 95%, and we called it
  • Sound Editing:¬†Richard King, Alex Gibson for Dunkirk 95%, and we called it
  • Visual Effects: John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover for Blade Runner 2049: 65% chance for the group, and we had a couple of ties, so we got 2.5 points. We picked War for the Planet of the Apes, but we weren’t confident on this. I really blew this one this year, and made this this least likely
  • Makeup and Hairstyling: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick for Darkest Hour: 100% and we called it
  • Original Song: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez or “Remember Me” from Coco: we gave it 85% and we called it
  • Original Score: Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water and we called it unanimously (100%)
  • Animated Short: Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant for Dear Basketball: we called it with 85%
  • Live Action Short: Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton for The Silent Child: we picked DeKalb Elementary with 80%…but we had this picked second at 70%, so we get 4 points
  • Animated Feature: Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson for Coco: wnanimous at 100%, so we get this one
  • Best Documentary Short: Frank Stiefel: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405:¬†We were pretty sure it was going to be Heroin(e) or Edith+Eddie…we gave them both 85%. We only gave the winner 50%, and we get 3.5 points
  • Best Documentary Feature: Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan for Icarus:¬†we thought it would be Faces Places…we ended up with 2.5 points, and had predicted the winner at 55%
  • Foreign Language: Chile won for A Fantastic Woman. We had that one at 90% and we called it
  • Production Design: Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau, and Jeffrey A. Melvin for The Shape of Water: 90% and we called it

We did well on this! We called 13 out of 18 and this is always tough. We got enough right and were close on others, so we end up with a 90%!

George Monkey was the Maven winner with 93%! Congratulations, George Monkey!

For the last accounting, looking at the overall:

The team scored 94%.

Our overall winner was George Monkey with 93%.

This year’s winners:

  • Big Six: Marianne and Scott (tie)
  • The Incredibly Difficult Maven Section: George Monkey
  • Overall: George Monkey

I’ve learned some things about the way I did it this year…hopefully, next year will reap a benefit from this year’s experience in that category…and that next year is another good year for the predictions!

Thanks for playing, everybody! See you in the movies!

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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Find Bigfoot (on the big screen) this weekend in SF! Loren Coleman, Daniel Perez guest speakers

March 9, 2018

Find Bigfoot (on the big screen) this weekend in SF! Loren Coleman, Daniel Perez guest speakers

There is something special about watching obscure movies and TV shows in a movie theatre with a crowd of enthusiasts. Don’t get me wrong, I typically spend hours a week watching videos in Virtual Reality (which for me, is the killer app for VR at this point), and sure, that one-person experience is my favorite way to watch movies and TV shows…by myself.

However, I’ll never forget spending over night in a theatre watching “bad movies”. There is something about that communal experience that satisfies an important part of the human psyche.

And, you know, it’s just fun. ūüėČ

The key to something like this working is the curation, the decision for what videos to be shown and in what order.

This weekend (March 10th and 11th)

Super Shangri-La Show

brings their uniquely geeky programming skills to

The Great Bigfoot Bonanza

at the historic Vogue Theater in San Francisco.

I really wish I had known about them earlier! I became aware of this event through the

Twitter feed of Loren Coleman (@CryptoLoren)

the “Curator of Cryptids”, the leading expert on cryptozoology who has appeared on many TV shows, runs the

International Cryptozoology Museum in Maine

and whose

Creatures of the Outer Edge (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

one of many successful and significant books he has authored on cryptozoology and Fortean topics (he also has a Master of Social Work ((MSW)) degree, and his book, The Copycat Effect (at AmazonSmile*) has been getting a lot of interest lately in its analysis of the intersection of mass media and mass murder), is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Full disclosure: I’ve had some correspondence with Loren Coleman over the years, donated a specimen to the museum, and had some other interactions, but we have never met in person and do not share any financial interests. Loren graciously said I could use the term “Weird World” after I started using it, not realizing he had already done so. I have always used the term “Bufo’s Weird World” since I became aware of it, but I have always appreciated that when we did not know each other. Loren has been similarly supportive of other people getting into this area.

The Super Shangri-La¬†Show’s past events certainly align with my tastes: they’ve shown the “Turkish Star Wars”, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (I have a giant theatrical poster of it somewhere), and a double feature of William Shatner playing dual roles (Star Trek: The Original Series’ The Enemy Within and White Comanche).

This weekend has “Sasquatch Saturday”, which gives you a full day of documentaries and fictional movies (The Legend of Boggy Creek! John Carradine and Joi Lansing in Bigfoot!), and “Snowman Sunday” (Man Beast! Jonny Quest’s Murder in the Monastery!). I want to particularly point out the Ultraman episode, Phantom¬† of the Snow Mountain. The Bay Area was the TV home of Bob Wilkins (Creature Features) who was instrumental in bringing Japanese geekiness to the USA as Captain Cosmic.

The tickets for a full-day of entertainment including guest speakers are quite reasonable: $25 for just Sasquatch Saturday, $20 for just Snowman Sunday, or $40 for both. If you are able to be in San Francisco this weekend for a rare West Coast opportunity to see Loren (he speaks both days…another nice touch by the organizers which doesn’t always happen in these sorts of things), I’m sure it will be an event you will long remember.


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

BOPMadness final Oscar predictions (results will also appear here later)

March 4, 2018

BOPMadness final Oscar predictions (results will also appear here later)

Here are our final predictions for tonight’s Oscars! Thanks to everyone who played!

Each player/team ranks each nominee in each category. That enables me to come up with the percentage chance that the group gave of each nominee winning. Note that the players are predicting, not saying what they would like to see win.

As has happened in the past, we have some ties in the predictions. Let’s say two of the nominees in the same 5-nominew category are tied for being the most likely. If one nominee had the highest total and it won, we’d get five points. However, if there are two, we’ll only get 4.5 points.

I’ll put the winners in here, and we can see how we did. ūüôā

Before it starts, though, I’ll note our surest bests and longest shots:

Surest bets (100% chance):

  • Lead Actor:¬†Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour
  • Lead Actress:¬†Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Supporting Actor:¬†Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Directing:¬†Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water
  • Adapted Screenplay:¬†James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name
  • Makeup & Hairstyling:¬†Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Mainowski, Lucy Sibbick for Darkest Hour
  • Original Score:¬†Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water
  • Animated Feature: Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson for Coco

Longest shots (20%):

  • Lead Actress: Meryl Streep in The Post
  • Directing:¬†Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread

The Big Six

Best Picture:

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: 92%
  2. The Shape of Water 86% Winner [missed it: 8 points]
  3. Get Out 83%
  4. Dunkirk 69%
  5. Lady Bird 58%
  6. Call Me By Your Name 33%
  7. Darkest Hour/Phantom Thread 28%
  8. –Tie
  9. The Post 22%

Lead Actor

  1. Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out 65%
  3. Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread 55%
  4. Timothee Chalomet in Call Me by Your Name 50%
  5. Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq. 30%

Lead Actress

  1. Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water 75%
  3. Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird 65%
  4. Margot Robbie in I, Tonya 40%
  5. Meryl Streep in The Post 20%

Supporting Actress

  1. Allison Janney in I, Tonya 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird 85%
  3. Mary J. Blige in Mudbound 45%
  4. Lesley Manville in Phantom Thread 40%
  5. Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water 35%

Supporting Actor

  1. Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 100% Winner  [called it]
  2. Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project 65%
  3. Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World 55%
  4. Richard Jenkins in The Shape of Water 50%
  5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 30%

Directing

  1. Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird/Jordan Peele for Get Out 65%
  3. –Tie
  4. Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk 50%
  5. Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread 20%

The Incredibly Difficult Maven Section

Original Screenplay

  1. Jordan Peele for Get Out 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 75%
  3. Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird 70%
  4. Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor for The Shape of Water 35%
  5. Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon for The Big Sick 25%

Adapted Screenplay

  1. James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Dee Rees, Virgil Williams for Mudbound 75%
  3. Aaron Sorkin for Molly’s Game 60%
  4. Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green for Logan 35%
  5. Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber for The Disaster Artist 30%

Cinematography

  1. Hoyte Van Hoytema for Dunkirk 75%
  2. Roger Deakins for Blade Runner 2049 70% Winner [missed it: 4 points]
  3. Dan Laustsen for The Shape of Water 65%
  4. Rachel Morrison for Mudbound 55%
  5. Bruno Delbonnel for the Darkest Hour 35%

Costume

  1. Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread 90% Winner [called it]
  2. Luis Sequiera for The Shape of Water 75%
  3. Consolata Boyle for Victoria & Abdul 50%
  4. Jacqueline Durran for Beauty and the Beast 45%
  5. Jacqueline Durran for Darkest Hour 40%

Film Editing

  1. Lee Smith for Dunkirk 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Sidney Wolinsky for The Shape of Water 60%
  3. Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos for Baby Driver 55%
  4. Jon Gregory for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 50%
  5. Tatiana S. Riegel for I, Tonya 40%

Sound Mixing

  1. Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten for Dunkirk 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Tim Cavigan, Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater for Baby Driver 60%
  3. Michael Semanick, David Parker, Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce for Star Wars: The Last Jedi/Christian T. Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Brad Zoern for The Shape of Water 50%
  4. (tie)
  5. Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth for Blade Runner 2049 45%

Sound Editing

  1. Richard King, Alex Gibson for Dunkirk 95% Winner [called it]
  2. Julian Slater for Baby Driver/Matthew Wood, Ren Klyce for Star Wars: The Last Jedi 60%
  3. (tie)
  4. Mark A. Mangini, Theo Green for Blade Runner 2049  50%
  5. Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira for The Shape of Water  35%

Visual Effects

  1. Ben Morris, Michael Mulholland, Neal Scanlan, Chris Corbould for Star Wars: The Last Jedi/Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joel Whist for War for the Planet of the Apes  70%
  2. –tie
  3. John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover for Blade Runner 2049 Winner [missed it: 2.5 points]/Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Daniel Sudnick for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 65% Winner
  4. –tie
  5. Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Michael Meinardus for Kong: Skull Island 30%

Makeup and Hairstyling

  1. Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Mainowski, Lucy Sibbick for Darkest Hour 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Arjen Tuiten for Wonder 58%
  3. Daniel Phillips, Louis Sheppard for Victoria & Abdul 42%

Original Song

  1. Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez for “Remember Me” from Coco 85% Winner [called it]
  2. Benj Pasek, Justin Paul for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman 75%
  3. Sufjan Stevens for “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name 55%
  4. Raphael Saadiq, Mary J. Blige, Taura Stinson for “Mighty River” from Mudbound 45%
  5. Common, Diane Warren for “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall 40%

Original Score

  1. Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water 100% winner [called it]
  2. Hans Zimmer for Dunkirk 75%
  3. Carter Burwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 45%
  4. Johnny Greenwood for Phantom Thread/John Williams for Star Wars: The Last Jedi 40%
  5. –tie

Live Action Short

  1. Reed Van Dyk for DeKalb Elementary 80%
  2. Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton for The Silent Child 70% Winner [missed it: 4 points]
  3. Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen for Watu Wote: All of Us 65%
  4. Derin Seale, Josh Lawson for The Eleven O’Clock 50%
  5. Kevin Wilson Jr. for My Nephew Emmett 35%

Animated Short

  1. Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant for Dear Basketball 85% Winner [called it]
  2. Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer for Revolting Rhymes Part One 60%
  3. Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon for Garden Party/Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata for Negative Space 55%
  4. –tie
  5. Dave Mullins, Dana Murray for Lou 45%

Animated Feature

  1. Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson for Coco 100% Winner [called it]
  2. Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart for Loving Vincent 80%
  3. Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo for The Breadwinner 55%
  4. Carlos Saldanha for Ferdinand 40%
  5. Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito for The Boss Baby 25%

Documentary Short

  1. Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright for Edith+Eddie/Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin James Sheldon for Heroin(e) 85%
  2. –tie
  3. Frank Stiefel for Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 50% Winner [missed it: 3.5 points]
  4. Kate Davis, David Heilbroner for Traffic Stop 45%
  5. Thomas Lennon for Knife Skills 35%

Documentary Feature

  1. Agnes Varda, Rosalie Varda, Jr. for Faces Places 75%
  2. Kareem Abeed, Soeren Steen Jesperson, Feras Fayyad for Last Men in Aleppo 70%
  3. Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan for Icarus/Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes for Strong Island 55% Winner [missed: 2.5 points]
  4. –tie
  5. Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman for Abacus: Small Enough to Jail 45%

Foreign Language

  1. A Fantastic Woman (Chile) 90% Winner [called it]
  2. The Square (Sweden) 70%
  3. On Body and Soul (Hungary)/The Insult (Lebanon) 50%
  4. –tie
  5. Loveless (Russia) 40%

Production Design

  1. Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeffrey A. Melvin for The Shape of Water 90% Winner [called it]
  2. Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis for Dunkirk/Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola for Blade Runner 2049 65%
  3. –tie
  4. Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer for Darkest Hour 50%
  5. Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer for Beauty and the Beast 30%

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

24 hours left to make your Oscar predictions! See our current odds

March 3, 2018

24 hours left to make your Oscar predictions! See our current odds

Want to make your predictions for the Oscar winners? They are due by noon Pacific time, Sunday March 4th (so I can get our final predictions out to the world before the show).

I’m going to include in this post where we are at time of writing, but I do expect the final numbers will be different. My intuition is that the more people who play, the more accurate we are as a group (and we’ve been pretty accurate in the past), so feel free to let people know about it!

Here are the links:

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2018 Part 1:

https://1drv.ms/xs/s!AvkcopEaVSeijmSsbx6vG5Gcl96f?wdFormId=%7BE5793882%2D0660%2D4E4D%2DAB01%2DC36113A0B277%7D

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2018 Part 2:

https://1drv.ms/xs/s!AvkcopEaVSeijmYLK7pAZBjqYs8w?wdFormId=%7BAF2B6048%2DE94B%2D426C%2DA3FF%2D5FF981F1FB14%7D

Please complete both parts, and make a guess for every nominee in every category. That‚Äôs what makes this work: data!¬†ūüôā¬†Also, use each number only once‚Ķif it is a five-nominee category, don‚Äôt give two nominees both the number 5. If you do‚ĶI guess I‚Äôll have to randomize which one is which, but please use your intuition.

You don‚Äôt need to sign up or anything, just play.¬†ūüôā¬†I do require an e-mail address (which I use only for BOPMadness communications and do not share with the public) and I do require that you make guesses about every nominee in every category‚Ķthe more answers, I think the better we should do (based on the wisdom of crowds).


Our odds at time of writing:

Best Picture: Call Me by Your Name Best Picture: Darkest Hour Best Picture: Dunkirk Best Picture: Get Out Best Picture: Lady Bird Best Picture: Phantom Thread Best Picture: The Post Best Picture: The Shape of Water Best Picture: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
33% 28% 69% 83% 58% 28% 22% 86% 92%
Lead Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread Lead Actor: Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out Lead Actor: Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq. Lead Actor: Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour Lead Actor: Timothee Chalomet in Call Me by Your Name
55% 65% 30% 100% 50%
Lead Actress: Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Lead Actress: Margot Robbie in I, Tonya Lead Actress: Meryl Streep in The Post Lead Actress: Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water Lead Actress: Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird
100% 40% 20% 75% 65%
Supporting Actress: Allison Janney in I, Tonya Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird Supporting Actress: Lesley Manville in Phantom Thread Supporting Actress: Mary J. Blige in Mudbound Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water
95% 85% 40% 45% 35%
Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World Supporting Actor: Richard Jenkins in The Shape of Water Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project Supporting Actor: Woody Harrelson in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
55% 50% 100% 65% 30%
Directing: Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk Directing: Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird Directing: Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water Directing: Jordan Peele for Get Out Directing: Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread
50% 65% 100% 65% 20%
Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele for Get Out Original Screenplay: Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird Original Screenplay: Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon for The Big Sick Original Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor for The Shape of Water Original Screenplay: Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
95% 70% 25% 35% 75%
Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name Adapted Screenplay: Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green for Logan Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for Molly’s Game Adapted Screenplay: Dee Rees, Virgil Williams for Mudbound Adapted Screenplay: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber for The Disaster Artist
100% 35% 60% 75% 30%
Cinematography: Roger Deakins for Blade Runner 2049 Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel for the Darkest Hour Cinematography: Hoyte Van Hoytema for Dunkirk Cinematography: Rachel Morrison for Mudbound Cinematography: Dan Laustsen for The Shape of Water
70% 35% 75% 55% 65%
Costume: Jacqueline Durran for Beauty and the Beast Costume: Jacqueline Durran for Darkest Hour Costume: Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread Costume: Luis Sequiera for The Shape of Water Costume: Consolata Boyle for Victoria & Abdul
45% 40% 90% 75% 50%
Sound Mixing: Tim Cavigan, Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater for Baby Driver Sound Mixing: Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth for Blade Runner 2049 Sound Mixing: Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten for Dunkirk Sound Mixing: Michael Semanick, David Parker, Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Sound Mixing: Christian T. Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Brad Zoern for The Shape of Water
60% 45% 95% 50% 50%
Sound Editing: Julian Slater for Baby Driver Sound Editing: Mark A. Mangini, Theo Green for Blade Runner 2049 Sound Editing: Richard King, Alex Gibson for Dunkirk Sound Editing: Matthew Wood, Ren Klyce for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Sound Editing: Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira for The Shape of Water
60% 50% 95% 60% 35%
Film Editing: Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos for Baby Driver Film Editing: Lee Smith for Dunkirk Film Editing: Tatiana S. Riegel for I, Tonya Film Editing: Sidney Wolinsky for The Shape of Water Film Editing: Jon Gregory for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
55% 95% 40% 60% 50%
Visual Effects: John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover for Blade Runner 2049 Visual Effects: Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Daniel Sudnick for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Visual Effects: Stephen Rosenbaum,
Jeff White, Scott Benza, Michael Meinardus for Kong: Skull Island
Visual Effects: Ben Morris, Michael Mulholland, Neal Scanlan, Chris Corbould for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Visual Effects: Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joel Whist for War for the Planet of the Apes
65% 65% 30% 70% 70%
Makeup and Hairstyling: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Mainowski, Lucy Sibbick for Darkest Hour Makeup and Hairstyling: Daniel Phillips, Louis Sheppard for Victoria & Abdul Makeup and Hairstyling: Arjen Tuiten for Wonder
100% 42% 58%
Original Song: Sufjan Stevens for “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name Original Song: Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez for “Remember Me” from Coco Original Song: Common, Diane Warren for “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall Original Song: Raphael Saadiq, Mary J. Blige, Taura Stinson for “Mighty River” from Mudbound Original Song: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman
5% 85% 40% 45% 75%
Original Song: Sufjan Stevens for “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name2 Original Score: Hans Zimmer for Dunkirk Original Score: Johnny Greenwood for Phantom Thread Original Score: John Williams for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Original Score: Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water Original Score: Carter Burwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
55% 75% 40% 40% 100% 45%
Animated Short: Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant for Dear Basketball Animated Short: Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon for Garden Party Animated Short: Dave Mullins, Dana Murray for Lou Animated Short: Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata for Negative Space Animated Short: Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer for Revolting Rhymes Part One
85% 55% 45% 55% 60%
Live Action Short: Reed Van Dyk for DeKalb Elementary Live Action Short: Kevin Wilson Jr. for My Nephew Emmett Live Action Short: Derin Seale, Josh Lawson for The Eleven O’Clock Live Action Short: Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton for The Silent Child Live Action Short: Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen for Watu Wote: All of Us
80% 35% 50% 70% 65%

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

BOPMadness 2018! Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness: make your own & see what we say

February 25, 2018

BOPMadness 2018! Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness: make your own & see what we say

For more than two decades, I’ve been doing an Oscar prediction contest. We only play for that most valuable of all human possessions…braggin’ rights. ūüėČ I’ve developed a particular way that we do it, and partially as a result of that, we tend to do quite well as a group in predictions…two years ago we were 90% overall. Last year, we didn’t do as well, I think in part because of the Academy’s transition.

I’m doing it a bit differently again this year (just in terms of process)…I haven’t found a perfect method, easy for players to use to enter their guesses, and easy to analyze. This year, I’ve switched to using an Excel survey. I thought I’d be able to get all of the categories into one survey, but there was a 100 question limit, so there are two:

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2018 Part 1:

https://1drv.ms/xs/s!AvkcopEaVSeijmSsbx6vG5Gcl96f?wdFormId=%7BE5793882%2D0660%2D4E4D%2DAB01%2DC36113A0B277%7D

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2018 Part 2:

https://1drv.ms/xs/s!AvkcopEaVSeijmYLK7pAZBjqYs8w?wdFormId=%7BAF2B6048%2DE94B%2D426C%2DA3FF%2D5FF981F1FB14%7D

Please complete both parts, and make a guess for every nominee in every category. That’s what makes this work: data! ūüôā Also, use each number only once…if it is a five-nominee category, don’t give two nominees both the number 5. If you do…I guess I’ll have to randomize which one is which, but please use your intuition.

You don’t need to sign up or anything, just play. ūüôā I do require an e-mail address (which I use only for BOPMadness communications and do not share with the public) and I do require that you make guesses about every nominee in every category…the more answers, I think the better we should do (based on the wisdom of crowds).

Feel free to spread the word! There’s only a week left. ūüėČ

NOTE: the deadline for entries is noon Pacific time on Sunday, March 4th (Oscar day). That way, I can get the group’s predictions out before the ceremony.

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

2018 Oscar noms

January 23, 2018

2018 Oscar noms

This is preliminary, almost live-blogging…I’ll refine it soon this morning.

Some thoughts:

  • Wow! After the Screen Actors Guild went full Muggle with the winners, I was feeling a tad less confident that this would be the big year for geeky movies at the Oscars I had anticipated…but I was wrong. Complete embrace of geeky and hip movies…the Oscars have never looked as young as they do at 90
  • Love how they are presenting the noms! They are doing short movies with well-known people to illustrate the concept of the category. It also shows the non-traditionalality ūüėČ of the Oscars, to have them presented by Andy Serkis (best known as the mocap king ((motion capture))) and Tiffany Haddish, who is an up and comer in an edgy movie (in particular)
  • Blade Runner 2049 got a lot of recognition, as did Get Out and especially The Shape of Water
  • The buzz as a snub? Wonder Woman…that’s part of why I’m doing this without having put everything together carefully. It’s going to be a big flap online this morning
  • I had tried to anticipate what some of the nominees might be…I’ll get those into their proper nominations shortly…sorry, woke up with a cold this morning ūüôā
  • Beauty and the Beast also got a lot of noms
  • If you want to see the big name movies online, you can shell out for HBO and watch them on Now or Go (or, if you have AT&T for internet, you get it on DirecTV…although I have to say, I find that app particularly difficult to use). For the roughly $10 a month club, it’s definitely Netflix, at least for geeky titles

I’m going to call out the geeky nominees, and I’ll make some comments.

Best Original Song

  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Remember Me from Coco
  • Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, This is Me from The Greatest Showman

SFX (Special Effects)

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • War for the Planet of the Apes

Doc Short

Documentary Feature

Editing

  • Sidney Wolinsky, The Shape of Water

Sound Mixing

  • Christian T. Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Brad Zoern, The Shape of Water
  • Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth, Blade Runner 2049
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (original title)
    Michael Semanick, David Parker, Stuart Wilson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Sound Editing

  • Nathan Robitaille, The Shape of Water
  • Mark A. Mangini, Blade Runner 2049
  • Matthew Wood, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Production Design

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • The Shape of Water

Live Action Short

Animated Short

  • Revolting Rhymes Part One
  • may be others…

Best Animated Feature

  • Coco
  • Ferdinand
  • The Boss Baby

 Supporting Actor

  • Richard Jenkins, Shape of Water

Supporting Actress

  • Octavia Spencer, Shape of Water

Makeup and Hairstyling

No geeky nominees in this category

Costume

  • Jacqueline Durran, Beauty and the Beast
  • Luis Sequeira, The Shape of Water

Cinematography

  • Roger Deakins, Bladerunner 2049
  • Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water

Original Screenplay

  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water

Adapted Screenplay

  • Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green, Logan

Original Score

  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Foreign Language

Directing

  • Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out

Other geeky movies which had buzz in this category:

  • Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman

Lead Actress

  • Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

Lead Actor

  • Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out

Best Picture

  • Get Out
  • The Shape of Water

Other geeky movies which had buzz in this category:

  • Wonder Woman
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Coco
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Logan
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Downsizing
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin
  • Okja

A special Oscar is being awarded to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Carne y Arena, a virtual reality work.

Where can you legally stream any of these Oscar nominees without paying additional money (subscriptions required)?

Amazon Prime:

Hulu:

Netflix:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • The Boss Baby
  • Beauty and the Beast

HBO Now/HBO Go

Kong: Skull Island
Get Out
Logan

How about streaming if you are willing to piece pay to rent or buy? All links are to JustWatch:

Complete list of nominees from the Academy website:

http://oscar.go.com/nominees

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

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All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

The Geeky Golden Globes 2018: the results

January 8, 2018

The Geeky Golden Globes 2018: the results

While most of the media focus was on other topics, it’s worth noting how the geek-friendly nominees did at the Golden Globes last night.

There has been a sense that GF movies (and TV, but especially movies) have been gaining more respect in recent years. Certainly, box office and ratings haven’t been a question, but what about awards?

In the movies, the big news there was Guillermo del Toro’s win for Best Director. Unlike Best Picture, that one is not divided: The Shape of Water was competing on an even playing field. This does suggest that del Toro may be nominated for the same award at the Oscars. While GF works have been nominated for Best Director before (Stanley Kubrick was nominated for both 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, for example), and Peter Jackson won for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (and there were a couple of others), it is a rarity indeed.

For TV, The Handmaid’s Tale (based on Margaret Atwood’s novel) won the prestigious Best Drama award.

Now, let’s back up a bit…

  • Get Out had two nominations, including Best Actor and Best Picture (in the Musical or Comedy category), it didn’t win either. Still, it is really true that it is an honor just to be nominated. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Get Out nominated for a Best Picture Oscar (where there are more possibilities), and I could see it getting Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor nods (possibly other categories as well). I’m not suggesting that it would win those categories, but nominations? My guess is that the Academy voters will recognize it
  • The Shape of Water was also won for Best Original Score for Alexandre Desplat, and was nominated for Best Picture (Drama), as were Sally Hawkins (Best Actress), Richard Jenkins (Best Supporting Actor), Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress). Some of these could repeat in nominations at the Oscars
  • Coco won for Best Animated Feature: that’s a likely repeat nomination, and could win. It also had a nomination for Best Original Song for “Remember Me”: that’s likely to be a tough category, but is possible
  • Ferdinand was also nominated for Best Original Song for “Home”
  • Stranger Things and Game of Thrones were also nominated for TV
  • Caitrona Balfe was nominated for Best Actress, Drama for Outlander…the winner was Elisabeth Moss for Handmaid’s Tale
  • Kyle MacLachlan was nominated for Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie for Twin Peaks; Ewan McGregor won for Fargo
  • David Harbour was nominated for¬†Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie for Stranger Things (Golden Globe categories are weird); the winner was¬†Alexander Skarsg√•rd, Big Little Lies
  • Ann Dowd was nominated for Supporting Actress for The Handmaid’s Tale with the winner being Laura Dern for Big Little Lies (A billion dollar movie with The Last Jedi and a Golden Globe? Good couple of months for Dern…)

It’s possible I’ll update this when I’ve had more time, but it may be that this will be the geekiest Oscars ever. There have been geeky Oscar nominations and wins before, as I noted, but there may be a higher percentage of nominees in the “Big Six” categories than we’ve seen (acting, picture, and directing…as well as screenplays).


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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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We didn’t listen: two 70’s Social Sci-Fi films which are more relevant today

October 17, 2017

We didn’t listen: two 70’s Social Sci-Fi films which are more relevant today

There is a particular sub-genre of movie I refer to as 70’s Social Sci-Fi. They were cynical commentaries on society…often with some nudity or suggestions of sex.

1968 really set the stage, with two movies and an industry change.

The Planet of the Apes, released in 1968, was very much of this style, and was really the trendsetter. Rod Serling’s script considerably changed the original French novel.

2001: A Space Odyssey was an amazing breakthrough in special effects…and mind-blowing concepts.

The new movie ratings system was instituted, replacing earlier codes…and resulting in more explicit content getting more distribution.

So, a couple of years later (it takes a while to make a movie), we start getting movies like The Omega Man, Soylent Green, Westworld, Rollerball, The Stepford Wives…

Some of these movies did quite well…and some might do better now, because the futures they explored fit right into today’s concerns.

Colossus: The Forbin Project ties into our concerns about autonomous warfare…”killer robots”. I’m not going to go into any depth on the plots of these movies, but

[SPOILER WARNING]

The USA puts its faith in a computer system to handle warfare and keep humanity safe…its able to react more quickly than a human would. However, there’s a twist, and it leads Colossus to…make an unexpected decision about just how to protect us. It’s quite intellectual, but they still manage to make nudity a strategic requirement. ūüėČ

Demon Seed is…a step further, and is largely a forgotten movie now (despite being based on a Dean R. Koontz novel, and starring Julie Christie and Fritz Weaver). People today worry about how involved we are getting with artificial intelligences in our homes, and how we trust them. An inventor creates a creepy AI (with the voice of Robert Vaughn). The inventor also makes a SmartHome…and the AI takes it over. Where it goes from there is…certainly pushing the envelope, in today.

[END SPOILER]

Demon Seed is available to watch through iTunes at time of writing according to JustWatch:

Demon Seed at JustWatch

but The Forbin Project doesn’t show up at JustWatch.

Killer robots and SmartHomes…four decades ago.

Science fiction doesn’t actually usually try to predict, but it may try to warn…and in these two cases, we didn’t listen…


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Beyond Curie: Four women in physics and their remarkable discoveries 1903 to 1963 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Giveaway:

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  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
    Requirements for participation:
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Start:Sep 25, 2017 5:46 AM PDT

End:Oct 25, 2017 11:59 PM PDT


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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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A different kind of year for Jennifer Lawrence

August 14, 2017

A different kind of year for Jennifer Lawrence

Has any actor ever done the movies better than Jennifer Lawrence?

Notice that I didn’t ask if anyone had “done better movies”…that’s entirely a different question.

No, I mean someone who is more successful at the “game of the movies”…or the movie business, if you prefer the more prosaic.

That sort of success is typically measured in one of two ways: box office, and “respect”…for the latter, we can go with award recognition, especially the Oscars.

Jennifer Lawrence has the respect part down, having been nominated for four Oscars since 2011, and winning the Best Actress award.

Now, other people have been nominated (eventually) for more Oscars (although I think four nominations in your first nine years of movie credits is exceptional), but this many this fast and this consistently? That’s at the least rare.

For box office, we’ve been naming our Most Valuable Players since 2011. Basically, they need to be first-billed in a movie which makes at least $100 million dogro (domestic gross) and another movie which dogroes at least $40 million (but they don’t need to be first-billed).

It’s difficult to make it two years in a row. Most movies which make $100 million generally take a lot of time and effort: somebody who is first-billed in a tentpole movie doesn’t have a lot of time to make another movie that year.

Starting in 2015 (but looking backwards from there), we added the “On a roll” designation. For 2016, for example, only four actors made it:

  • Bill Hader
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Simon Pegg

Of those four, only one of them was on more than their second in a row: Jennifer Lawrence, who was on her fifth.

In 2015, the situation was similar: four people who were “On a roll”, and with Jennifer Lawrence the only one who was on more than the second in a row (the others were Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Banks, and Jai Courtney).

Unless something changes, though, this year will be different.

Jennifer Lawrence only has one movie scheduled for release, Mother!

With only one movie, it isn’t possible to make it to our

2017 The Measured Circle’s Box Office MVPs

list. It has nineteen people on it so far, with Hannibal Buress and Jenny Slate being the only two on a roll.

We don’t see this as any sign of a lasting downturn: we expect Jennifer Lawrence will be back at the top of the box office and wouldn’t be surprised to see additional Oscar nominations in her future.

This is just a different sort of year…

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When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2017 – results

March 5, 2017

BOPMadness (Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness) 2017 – results

What an interesting Oscar year!

I am going to talk a bit about what happened at the end of the show, but let’s start with how the team did.

The year before we had scored a 90% overall, and that’s not atypical. This year, we were considerably below that at 77%.

While it’s up to other people to determine if something is an excuse or not, I think there was a clear contributing factor to the decline. At least, I can see the impact in my own success rate.

This really was a transition year in how the Academy voted. They had deliberately changed the rules in order to reform the voting process (in part, with the hope of seeing the results be more diverse).

I didn’t take that into account enough. I was still thinking about how the “old Academy” would vote, rather than revising that.

In resulted in some patterns not repeating.

There has typically been a correlation between Best Picture and Film Editing, for example, and that didn’t happen this year.

Best Picture, Directing, and Film Editing went to three different movies (Moonlight, La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge, respectively).

Like many people, I’m a bit surprised to be describing Suicide Squad as an Oscar-winning movie (even though, unlike many people, I did like it). I think the old Academy would likely have gone for the more mainstream movie (A Man Called Ove), and I’ve been pretty good at predicting those Maven categories in the past.

However, that doesn’t mean we did poorly. We called most of the categories, and the only Big Six category we missed was Best Picture:

Category Team Called it
Adapted Screenplay Moonlight 76% Yes
Anim Feature Zootopia 92% Yes
Cinematography La La Land 88% Yes
Directing La La Land 90% Yes
Foreign Film The Salesman 84% Yes
Lead Actor Affleck 92% Yes
Lead Actress Emma Stone 92% Yes
Live Short Sing 66% Yes
Original Screenplay Manchester by the Sea 80% Yes
Production Design La La Land 86% Yes
Score La La Land 90% Yes
Song City of Stars: La La Land 87% Yes
Supp Actor Ali 88% Yes
Supp Actress Davis 99% Yes
Visual Effects The Jungle Book 79% Yes
Anim Short Piper 66% No
BP Moonlight 67% No
Costume Fantastic Beasts 56% No
Doc Feature O.J.: Made in America 66% No
Doc Short The White Helmets 57% No
Film Editing Hacksaw Ridge 61% No
Makeup Suicide Squad 70% No
Sound Editing Arrival 62% No
Sound Mixing Hacksaw Ridge 70% No

The team hit 68% on the Big Six, 81% on the Incredibly Difficult Maven section, and that 77% overall.

Our top Overall scorer did get 90%…way to go! I will let individuals know how they did, and if you’d like your win noted by name in this blog, just let me know.

Thanks to everybody who played! My guess is that we’ll do better next year.

I used Google Forms this year…and that didn’t work well. It was a nice interface for people entering (although it could use more robust validation), but the underlying Google Sheet was set up in an inefficient way. I had to transpose the columns and rows and do quite a bit of work to get results, which is part of why this is a week later. ūüôā

Now, let’s talk that Best Picture mix-up.

A quick summary:

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were set to announce the Best Picture. They had starred in Bonnie and Clyde roughly 40 years ago. Warren Beatty had been nominated for Best Picture (as a producer of that movie…he was also nominated for Best Picture other times).

They were handed the envelope containing the winner by the accountants (there are two) from Price Waterhouse Coopers.

They were given the wrong envelope.

They were given a back-up envelope for Best Actress (which had been won by Emma Stone for La La Land). There are two envelopes for each category, since people can come from two sides of the stage, as I understand it.

Warren Beatty opened the envelope. I’ve watched that repeatedly. It seems clear to me what happens.

He opens it, and sees that it says, “Emma Stone, La La Land”. He hesitates.

I think many viewers may not realize that the Producers’ names are on the Best Picture winning card. Remember, Warren Beatty has been nominated as a Producer of a Best Picture nominee.

He probably goes through this process: “Was Emma Stone one of the Producers of La La Land? She can’t have been the only Producer.”

He literally looks into the envelope again, apparently checking to see if there is another winners’ card.

Faye Dunaway appears to think he has been Seacresting it…dragging it out for dramatic effect. She says, “You’re impossible!” He hands her the card (and he has a smile on his face), and she loudly announces La La Land as the winner.

The Producers of La La Land go up…and even start going through their thank you speeches. I haven’t timed it, but I’m reasonably comfortable in saying there was at least thirty seconds from the time the “winner” was announced until a correction was made.

Eventually, a member of the Oscar broadcast team (not one of the accountants) comes on stage and explains what happened.

One of the Producers of La La Land magnanimously explains the error, even taking (snatching would not be inaccurate) the actual winning card and showing it to the audience.

I definitely feel sorry for both Moonlight and La La Land for the way this happened.

So, who is at fault?

I would say that there is no question that PWC deserves a huge piece of the blame (and arguably, really all of it).

Their system failed.

The two accountants are supposed to have all of the winners memorized. As soon as the wrong winner was announced, one of them (and the Stage Manager has backed this up) should have stopped it and explained…before the Producers got to the stage.

Obviously, the wrong envelope shouldn’t have been given…and one question for me on that (and I understand performance improvement) is why Emma Stone’s envelope was even still available. As soon as a category is announced, the duplicate card (I understand that the winner often keeps the card) should be removed from access. If they don’t want to destroy it because of its historical value, put it in a locked dropbox.

There was clearly a failure on the part of one of the accountants and to some extent, on both, but in my opinion, it wouldn’t have been too difficult to create a system that would have been robust enough to make that risk very small indeed.

Fortunately, they should be able to revamp the system to prevent this same type of error in the future.

I can’t blame Warren Beatty…even for handing Faye Dunaway the envelope. I don’t think he was intentionally setting her up, as Jimmy Kimmel (jokingly?) suggested. I can’t blame Faye Dunaway: there would have been a lot of energy at that point after the delay, and anybody could jump at the movie name they see.

Well, there you go! I thought it was a fascinating year, and while that error will dominate in many people’s memories, the (arguably successful) impact of the Academy’s changes will have a bigger effect in the future.

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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 


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