Unless you’ve been living in a cave (like you do), you’re aware that the Oscars are very nearly upon us! We here at Click would like to share our favorite Oscar experiences/stories/general wackiness.
But first, some fun facts you may or may not have known about our bald golden friend, Oscar:
1) Thomas Edison, yes THAT Thomas Edison, (inventor of the lightbulb, phonogragh, and motion picture camera) was awarded the first Honorary membership to the Academy in 1927.
2) During World War II, in order to support the war effort, the Academy handed out plaster statuettes instead of the customary metal ones. When the war ended, winners could trade up for the traditional metal man.
3) For the 61st Academy Awards (1989), the Academy replaced the phrase “And the winner is…” with “And the Oscar goes to…..”, which is still used to date.
4) Oscar winners and their heirs, if for any reason, decide they no longer wish to retain their award, must first offer to sell their statuette back to the Academy for the grand price of $1; if a winner refuses to agree, the Academy keeps the statue.
5) The original nude model for the Oscar statuette was a former Mexican revolutionary living in exile in LA, taking bit parts in films. Emilio Fernandez, who appears in 1969 Western, The Wild Bunch posed nude for statuette designer Cedric Gibbons in 1928.
And now, a trip down memory lane…
While many watch the Oscars to see who wins the coveted golden trophy, many like myself also watch it anxiously waiting to see what the stars are wearing. As Joan Rivers would flag on her E! “Fashion Police” show as “Street Walker” or “Starlet?” I’m all eyes on best, worst and the downright outrageously dressed. One of my most memorable Oscar moments was when Comedy Central’s “South Park” creators attended the award show in 2000. Trey Parker imitated Jennifer Lopez’s revealing green Versace gown and Matt Stone flaunted a look mirroring Gwyneth Paltrow’s pink Ralph Lauren dress they both wore at previous ceremonies. Trey even sported a fabulous wig to match his look. It was hilarious! And, who could forget Bjork’s swan she picked up from the nearby lake that she wrapped around her body. Sorry Bjork, Black Swan didn’t make it’s way on screen yet in 2001. I did however, love Halle Berry’s gorgeous Red Elie Saab floral dress she rocked in 2002 where she won her first Academy Award and was the first black woman to win an Oscar for Best leading Actress for Monster’s Ball. Excited to see what fun surprises we’ll get for 2013!
One of my favorite Oscar memories is attending the Academy of Friends Gala in San Francisco. Everyone dresses up and enjoys food and wine provided by amazing Bay Area establishments. The Academy Awards are broadcasted on numerous screens throughout the venue so you do not miss a second of the show. It is a great evening full of entertainment and glamour and the best part is the proceeds of the Gala benefit Bay Area HIV/AIDS organizations. If you are reading this and live in San Francisco I highly recommend purchasing a ticket.
Every year the Oscars bring about heartbreak, upset, and yelling at the TV for not picking my favorite actor, score, or film. Except when Marisa Tomei won, that was awesome. Part of the fun of Oscar night is witnessing pop culture in the making. My favorite part though is paying homage to pop culture from the past. The “In Memoriam” section is always very emotional for me. Seeing a montage of clips and images illustrating the proudest people in entertainment makes me proud to be a film nerd. Coupling a beautifully arranged song like when Queen Latifah sang “I’ll Be Seeing You” with clips of our beloved entertainers always manages to get me teary.
If you know Mac & I well, then you know that we throw a party for the Oscars every year. The party that our friends enjoy today was born in 2002, which is the first year we rolled out a “red carpet,” the first year we started the betting pool for the winners (and booby prizes for whoever got the least amount right), and the first year we started naming food after movies. This detail is important because in 2002 Will Smith was nominated for his role in Ali, for which we decided to serve punch.
We had a dickens of a time finding a punch recipe we liked. We didn’t want a red Hawaiian punch, we didn’t want any sherbet in it, we didn’t want it to be too ridiculously sweet. We just wanted a yummy punch. Ultimately Mac just ended up throwing some vodka, rum, some assorted juices & some 7-UP into a bowl. The result was nothing short of spectacular. A year later our good friend Therese asked us if we would be serving the same “funch,” and we were like, “What?” And she said, “You know: it’s fun! And it’s punch! Funch!
And just like that, Funch was born. We have been serving it at our annual Oscar Party ever since.
Funch: You can’t drink just one bowl.
I spent the 2003 Oscars watching the live telecast at 3AM in London. It was the year that Lord of the Rings: Return of the King swept 11 wins. For every one of Peter Jackson’s wins I jumped up and cheered. At my third or fourth rejoicing cheer the old building security guard, Hippy Bob, came down to make sure I wasn’t being attacked. Once he realized I was just watching my version of the World Cup he smiled at me and wandered off, checking back in occasionally for the winning tally for LOTR: ROTK. Despite the bizarre viewing time and the oddity of sharing this experience with a complete stranger, I have never forgotten the feeling of elation for Jackson’s 11 wins, and sharing the moment with Hippy Bob.
One statue to rule them all…
My Favorite Oscar Memories never have anything to do with the ceremony itself. Sure the speeches are cool, and the outfits are cool, but for me the Oscars is always about who you’re watching it with. And in that instance, my favorite memory of the Oscars will always involve the wagering that goes into betting on the winners and losers.
Winning a few fozools is cool, sure. But for my money, my proudest achievement will always be at the 2011 official Click Academy Awards Party when I missed all but two categories and walked away the biggest loser! My prize pack included the year’s worst films like Marmaduke, Wall Street Money Never Sleeps, and The Bounty Hunter! So this year if you’re looking to win, check out who I’m voting for and vote the exact opposite!
The 2007 Oscars were particularly memorable for me, as I had watched The Departed no less than 2,378 times that year. Watching Martin Scorsese win “Best Director” after being shut out multiple times in years past was truly a blissful moment. There’s nothing quite like seeing one of your favorite directors win a much-deserved Oscar for their stellar work!
A few honorable mentions go to the co-creators of “South Park”, Matt Stone and Trey Parker for walking the red carpet dressed in drag back in 2000, as well as Bjork in 2001 for her swan gown. Let your freak flag fly!
I won, I won! I finally won!
I used to work for a PR firm that served as the awards consultants for Warner Bros. We had been working for 6 months on The Blind Side, having screenings, receptions, Q&A’s, you name it! It was hard work but some of the best times I’ve ever had working… Sandy was the best, even though she joked “let’s go get that biotch Meryl,” it was truly nothing but a lovefest between her and Ms. Streep every time they saw each other. So its Oscar day, the Best Actress category comes up, I’m sitting on a couch at my friend’s Oscar Party and I’m freaking shaking. Forrest Whitaker gives his tribute to Sandy first, and is followed by the 4 other presenters. I keep thinking 6 months of work down to this moment… Sean Penn walks out and takes his freaking time, and nominees are finally announced again. I’m holding my breath and I keep thinking, Meryl’s going to get it, oh man, it’s her year, I can’t breathe. And he announces her name “Sandra Bullock.” I let out my breath and I swear several tears at the same time, while frantically texting my colleagues “we freaking DID IT!!” It was finally over, and we did it. She was on that stage, looking FAB in her Marchesa couture. It was awesome… I knew I loved my job!
Take that, Meryl!
Oddly enough, I think the happiest I ever was with someone winning as Oscar was Denzel’s win for Training Day. Much to Andy Serkis’ chagrin, King Kong still ain’t got sh*t on Denzel. But beyond the actual show, which can be entertaining (more so with Funch), my favorite activity is photoshopping movie posters to go along with our punny food menu. ”Apocalyptaquito” is still my favorite. (Oh, I also went to a dress rehearsal for the 1995 Oscars and got glared at by Oprah because I was accidentally tapping her chair with my foot. That was funny.)
What’ll be the fave this year? We’re not telling!
My first Oscars in Los Angeles were what you might call auspicious. A journalist friend of mine invited me to a party that was being hosted by the owners of a small home entertainment PR firm, whom she told me were “super chill and the kind of PR people you’d actually want to hang out with”. This was the first time I met Mac, Dinah and most of the Click team in February of 2010. Little did I know that a few short years later I would join their ranks and become a Clicker myself.
Being a recent transplant from Europe, this was the first time I watched the whole telecast during waking hours and boy was this the place for my maiden Oscar voyage! In addition to the main big screen in the living room there were two additional viewing areas: the outdoor tiki hut (gotta love SoCal weather) and the hushed “screening room” where online reporters were writing and filing their stories. I was warned that quiet murmurs were acceptable in the screening room but anything louder would have you booted out. The menu was inspired by the nominated films and some of the punny gems included: The Blackened Swan, True Grits, The Sausage Network and The King’s Peach.
This February 24th I’ll be surrounded by Clickers once again for the Oscars! This time around I will proudly be one of them because it’s true, sometimes, things just Click!
My favorite Oscar memory is not one that I saw when it aired live, but one that I’ve revisited many times online. The moment when The Silence of the Lambs won Best Picture capping off their incredible run of winning the “Big 5″ Oscars. It’s a great moment for what I consider the greatest film of all time.
One Oscar moment that has always stayed with me was when The Swell Season won for “Best Song”. Falling Slowly is a great tune, and their story is an inspiring one for all independent artists. On a small budget, these musicians (who were unknown by most of the public) put the movie Once together for $100K (not a lot of money to make a movie). Next thing you know, they are winning awards at Sundance and then receive an Oscar. WOW. Dreams do come true I guess! You may also remember Marketa Irglova’s acceptance speech being cut-off by the orchestra, and later host Jon Stewart let her come out and finish it. I always thought that was cool of him, and a great Oscar memory to say the least.
They won an oscar, once!
One Oscar moment I always looks back to, Jeff Bridges acceptance speech for Best Actor in Crazy Heart at the 82nd Academy Awards. In the style of Jeff Lebowski: “Mom and Dad, yeah, look! Whoo! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for turning me on to such a groovy profession.” That Oscar memory particularly sticks out because I witnessed Bridges’ acceptance speech for the same role at the Spirit Awards that year. He truly personifies THE DUDE!
You owed me for Lebowski, man!