It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas. I’m talking about Awards Season, the three or four month stretch where Hollywood gives out awards like candy on Halloween!
It usually kicks off with the Independent Spirit Award nominations in November and culminates with the grand dame of them all—the Oscars. In between you have the Critics Choice Awards, the NAACP Awards, the Screen Actor Guild Awards, the Producer’s Guild of America Awards, the Writers Guild of America Awards, the Director Guild of America Awards, the BAFTA Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Razzies and about a kajillion other awards that if I named them all, we’d be here until next Awards Season.
I love Awards Season so much I used it for the basis of my second book, Hollywood Ending. The description:
Tinseltown’s awards season is in full swing, and everyone is obsessed with dressing up, scoring free swag, and getting invited to the biggest awards shows of the year. But when popular Silver Sphere Awards publicist Lyla Davis is killed during a botched ATM robbery, the celebratory mood comes to an abrupt halt.
Dayna Anderson—an actress turned apprentice private investigator—uncovers the killer almost immediately. Unfortunately, what starts as an open-and-shut case turns out to be anything but. Lyla’s murder was no robbery-gone-wrong. Someone hired the gunman to kill her. Diving back into the investigation, Dayna gets a backstage look at the worlds of gossip blogging, Hollywood royalty, and one of entertainment’s most respected awards shows—all while trying to avoid her own Hollywood ending.
In honor of this Awards Season, here’s my three favorite things about this time of the year that you don’t see on TV!
For Your Consideration
Studios go above and beyond to make sure their movies and actors receive nominations. You can’t turn more than two pages in the Hollywood Reporter or Variety without seeing a “For Your Consideration” ad listing exactly why you should nominate a certain movie, director or actor. They also send out what’s called screeners, which are essentially free movies! When I worked in television and was a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), my mailbox would be overflowing with DVDs. I’d hold screener parties with my friends. Someone once told me that a lot of out-of-work screenwriters—and there were tons of us—kept their WGA membership solely to get the free movies.
While doing research for Hollywood Ending, I learned that SWAG actually stands for Stuff We All Get. Why? Because it’s literally the stuff everyone gets when they go to a fancy Hollywood party. Last year’s Oscar Gift Bag apparently had over $100,000 worth of free stuff.
I describe them in Hollywood Ending as:
To call it a gift bag would be an insult. Gift bags held sweet tarts and lollipop rings that kids took when they left and begged their parents to eat in the car. This was a gift bag on steroids and it was definitely not for children. In yet another attempt to make everything sound cooler than what it is, Hollywood had even given the bag its own name: Swag Bag, aka Stuff We All Get.
It held products companies donated in hopes celebs would take them home and love them so much they’d not only use them all the time, but be photographed doing so. In Hollywood, even the gift bags had ulterior motives.
By now, you can probably guess what a Gifting Suite, aka Gifting Lounge, is but here’s how I describe it in book 2:
A mouthful for what basically amounted to a conference room—albeit a really nice one—packed to the gills with people and stuff. You had your swag bags. Well, gift lounges were swag bags to the hundredth power, an awards season staple, along with questions about “Who are you wearing?” and the orchestra playing lesser known winners off stage before commercial breaks.
With gift lounges, celebs could come, peruse the goods, take a few publicity pics, and just leave with whatever caught their fancy. Anywhere else, this would be considered stealing. Here it was considered a good business opportunity. Yes, companies paid thousands of dollars for the chance to give their stuff away free.
There are dozens of them this time of year, all competing to give you the best free stuff! There are even companies that put these on full-time. You can read more about all the ones that popped up for last year’s Oscars here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/academy-award-gifting-suites_us_58b31e8fe4b0658fc20f96d7.
What about you guys? Do you love Awards Season as much as I do? What’s your favorite awards show?