Why the Best Picture #OscarFail Really Stings for La La Land

A little different blog today. Taking a break from the screenplay stories to share a thought about last night’s show.

Like many people, I spent Sunday evening watching (and live-tweeting #selfplug) the Oscars. 95% of it was a pretty standard, boring show.  Then Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway stepped onto the stage to deliver the award of the evening, Best Picture.

After what we thought was some showmanship by Beatty, La La Land was announced as the winner! The La La Land crew and cast stormed the stage to accept their award. They were ecstatic! They were celebrating! Then this happened:

Whoops! Moonlight was actually the winner of Best Picture and #OscarFail was born. This moment was awkward, shocking and really sucks for La La Land if you know the campaigning process for the Oscars.

Let me explain. In theory, Best Picture should go to the best movie of the year. However, this isn’t the case because it is all done by voting and people can be swayed and wooed.

This is why Oscar campaigning is so important. To win an Oscar, a film’s producer and studio must run ads, set up free screenings and hold fancy parties, lunches, brunches and dinners. Their goal is to get their film seen and loved by Academy voters. The video below does a great job explaining the campaigning process:

As the video mentioned, Oscar campaigns are expensive. The 2017 Oscar campaigns cost between $3 to $10 million. That’s more than the budget for Moonlight ($1.5 million)! They’re also a grueling process, lasting up to a year because studios want to make sure their film is in the best position to take home the gold.

Clearly, Oscar campaigning is insane. So imagine being the team behind La La Land. You’ve spent all that time and money trying to raise your film above the competition. Then for one fleeting moment your dream became a reality. You succeeded! Then, well, this moment again:

In context, this moment really stings for La La Land, eh?

Until Next Time,

Mr. Struggle


Why the Best Picture #OscarFail Really Stings for La La Land

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