So in my quest to share my “Hollywood” experiences with the curious bystander, I thought I’d share this part of the process. As we all know, it’s Awards Season, and the industry is lobbying for our votes. An award could mean everything from, a sallary boast, to status and bragging rights, to getting a more personal project funded and off the ground. The Screen Actors Guild (aka SAG) is holding their 17th Annual Awards this month. These awards are for actors to vote and celebrate on the best acting from the profession. As such the studios generously offer special screenings for some films in the theater, free for members, and often a chance to talk with the directors and cast.
This year, technology has brought us many industry first’s. Namely, the voting is being held online, unlike previous years where you would get the secret ballot in the mail, though you can still request that option if you so choose.
Another first, FOX Searchlight Pictures has generously given me the option of viewing for free through iTunes…
- 127 Hours, dir. Danny Boyle starring James Franco
- The Swan, dir. Darren Aranofsky starring Natalie Portman & Mila Kunis
- Conviction, dir. Tony Goldwyn starring Hillary Swank
Here is the post card I received in the mail…
The benefit here is, it’s an environmentally friendly way of screening, and cost effective… saves on postage. It’s convenient (can be hard to sneak out to the movies) and allows me to watch the films in HD!
The Weinstein Company and Columbia Pictures sent me DVD’s to screen…
- The King’s Speech, dir. Tom Hooper starring Collin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter
- The Social Network, dir. David Fincher starring Jesse Eisenberg
Here’s the art work for the DVD’s I received in the mail…
Now here, it’s cool because I actually have something in my hand, and as a collector, I like that. The King’s Speech makes it plainly visible, what actor’s are nominated and what category they’re nominated for. On the other hand, The Social Network compares itself to American Graffiti and The Last Picture Show, but I’m not sure who I’m to vote for or in what category. However, The Social Network offers me an audio commentary from director David Fincher and a separate one from the writer Aaron Sorkin, and that’s just cool.
Of course, if I’m able to get the time to see The Town, True Grit & The Fighter, you just know I will. Sure, it’s free, but it also offers the sanctity of the theater on a big screen to view in full glory. And because, I truly love the theatrical experience… and that is slowly slipping away.
Best, -Matthew Dowling
*Sag members, to find out where we can screen the nominated films go to SagAwards.org and find locations and times.