For the last two months, millions of dollars were spent, trillions of e-mails were sent, and screeners, screenplays and screenings were planned, bound and held across town’d. Awards publicists made more money in sixty days than the rest of the calendar year, event planners planned more events this year than last, and encoding houses encoded more discs in PAL (for international mailers and voters, alas) than anyone will ever encode again.
Yes, it was all leading up to this. Oscar voting.
And so today begins the annual process that leads up to the most revered, envied and complained-about awards ceremony on the face of the Earth, where over 8,000 global voters will cast their final words on 2019’s cinematic slate, both theatrical, digital and streaming. When the dust settles, there will be new nominations, frustrated executives who will try and skew the public opinion through their crack team of highly paid Awards “consultants” and a countdown to the biggest show there ever was.
What there won’t be, though? Free food.
Nope. No more free food for you.
Because once the official Oscar voting begins, studios and their awards crews must stand down. They must stop the mailers, the meet-ups, the Q&As and the crostinis. They’ve had their chance to earwig their way into the voters’ subconscious, break down their walls with a handshake from Brad or a candid with Charlize, or some Korean BBQ with Bong. It will be hereforeto illegal to call voters, send them a smoke signal or even hum the central song from the end credits while driving by their lunch table on Beverly Drive. There must be zero interaction, zero communication and zero influence whatsoever.
So then what happens to all those poor people who need to eat?
There are roughly 700 movies released every single year. Of those movies, at least 10% of them are submitted for your consideration, and have some modicum of a budget to call, cook or sing their way into voters’ hearts and minds . That’s 70 films planning at least 4 events inside of New York, Los Angeles (and sometimes San Francisco). Each of those events are planned around meals, which means over the course of November and December there were roughly 280 food-related lunches and dinners. Assuming there are 60 days in November and December, with 3 square meals required each day, there would need to be at least 180 events providing food in order for Oscar voters to never have to spend a dollar on food for the last two months of 2019.
280 > 180 by about one-hundred
Of the 8,000 Oscar voters, there’s roughly 6,000 of them in the United States, with about 5,000 of them split between New York and Los Angeles. Of those 5,000 people, about 60% of them are no longer actively working in a 9 to 5 (or in Hollywood 10am to 7pm) job. That means there are roughly 3,000 Oscar Voters who have nothing better to do than plan their November and Decembers around free food.
Which they do.
Spend time on the Oscar event circuit and you’ll see the same folks on a daily basis, screening films, shaking hands, and intercepting snacks on trays. It’s a wonderfully freeing scenario to not have to visit Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or call Postmates for two whole months, and there’s never a frown in town when the food is flowing like a bacchanal buffet. Even the store managers at the local Bristol Farms, located at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Doheny Drive, plan for a 14% drop in revenue during the last two months of the year… Not because Angelenos take vacations outside the thirty-mile zone…
But because there’s free food as far as the eye can see.
So, now what? Now what will those 3,000 people do? Where will they get their sustenance? How will they survive? How can they even be expected to think coherently while voting for the Oscar nominees this week when their cupboards are bare and they’ve barely seen a tray of bacon-wrapped asparagus over the course of the last few days? Haven’t we created a cadre of culinary crybabies whose inability to concentrate on the difference between Special Effects and Sound Mixing is directly related to the Nutrition Triangle being tossed out the window?
Oscars So White
Oscars So Male
Oscars So Angry Because Voters Are Hungry
If you’re looking for someone to blame, don’t blame the Voters this year when the nominations don’t come down the way you expected, nay, hoped. Blame yourselves. Blame the people who got 3,000 out of work voters hooked on hollandaise sauce and pomegranate-laced Brussel sprouts, and who couldn’t shake the habit as they were expected to vote with intelligence and logic.
Some very legitimate medical papers say that without sleep, the brain breaks down, and ones’ ability to make sound decisions are drastically impaired. Some other very legitimate medical articles say the same thing about food.
They’re playing with fire without even realizing who’s about to be burned.
No food for them?
No food for you.