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It's Awards Season....Who chooses the Winners?

Screen shot 2014-01-25 at 9.57.05 PMIt's Awards Season and we all want to know who's who: Who wins and who are the decision makers in this magical world of the movies.

This year it all started on January 8th with the People's Choice Awards, in which the nominees and winners are voted on by "the people," and they can vote as many times as they want! Sandra Bullock was the big winner this year, walking away with 4 awards -- I wonder how she ran that campaign?

But the People's Choice is just a warm up for the drunk fest of the year, the Golden Globes, which was aired on January 12th. Winning Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical, American Hustle was the biggest winner here, getting a total of 3 awards including: Amy Adams' Best Actress and Jennifer Lawrence's Best Supporting Awards.

Golden Globe nominees and winners are determined by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- but who exactly is that?

According to my sources, the HFPA is a small but powerful group of international journalists based in Southern California. What? Southern California, is that a foreign land? Well, in a way it is. If you've spent any time there, you know what I mean. Anyway, there are only 90 HFPA members. Their non-profit task is to disseminate information about movies and television to the entire world. Really? Wow!

So, it is these powerful few who ultimately decide on the winners. Winning actors thank them very much, because everyone knows that getting a nod at the Golden Globes can determine who is nominated for an Oscar....

If you'd like to be one of these powerful players in the world of movies, you can apply for membership during February and March. Click here for the HFPA New Member Rules and Instructions.

Following up after the Globes, on January 18th the SAG Awards (or the Naked Actor Awards) created quite a buzz with Dallas Buyers Club, Breaking Bad, and Modern Family actors receiving the most SAG Awards this year.

I love these awards, not only because they are naked, but because all SAG (now SAG-AFTRA) members can vote on the actors that they felt did the best in their respective categories. As a SAG-AFTRA member myself, I get to participate in choosing the winners from the nominees. But how are they nominated in the first place.....? That's the question!

Well, SAG Awards nominees are determined by a smaller group of SAG-AFTRA members who are randomly selected threw a drawing in April of the paid-up members. Those chosen become The Screen Actors Awards Theatrical Motion Picture and Television Nominating Committees. Each committee is made up of 2200 members who review the "For Your Consideration" films and television shows for nominations.

Winning a SAG award is, in my estimation, one of the best indicators of your craft since actors know when acting is real, and we can be our own harshest judges.

BUT the truth is, all of these awards pale in comparison to the press and popularity that comes with winning an Oscar. But we have to wait...the Academy Awards are not aired until March 2nd this year, though the nominees are out now.

Oscar nominees and winners are determined by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which contains roughly 6,000 voting members. The Academy is a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures. In order to become a member you must qualify. FIRST, you must be a film artist or crafts-person working in one or more of the sixteen art form's key creative areas (Acting, Directing, Music, Sound, Design, Costume Design, etc.), AND SECOND, your work must represent an unusually high level of quality and distinction....whatever that means.

Nominations for the Oscars are chosen from qualified submissions, and all voting (for both nominees and winners) is done by secret ballots, which are tabulated by a firm of certified public accountants designated by the Academy President. This is why no one knows who the winners are until the envelope is opened on the night of the Awards Ceremony. And almost no one knew, until now, that the very first Oscars awarded were made of chocolate*, now they are made of solid gold.

So, there you have it.

* The statement about the first Oscars awards being made of chocolate may be completely made up, but you can get Chocolate Oscars to present to the winners at your personal Oscar Awards party.

Enjoy Awards Season 2014!! And don't miss the Oscars on March 2nd, 2014.


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