Saturday, February 23, 2019

Weekend Post

As you read this there is probably a rehearsal going on at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the Academy Awards. The show airs Sunday night on ABC and yes, I can see you yawning. For the third year in a row I will be reviewing them on my podcast. I will write and record it immediately after the telecast and it will drop Monday morning. Why do the review for the podcast instead of the blog? Simple. I’m trying to get MORE LISTENERS.

But this weekend is when the real production work takes place. The director fine tunes all the camera assignments. Dance numbers and song performances are rehearsed, and presenters try their luck reading the teleprompter. I should amend that to say the presenters who bother to show up read the teleprompter. Most do not.

Hopefully they’ll get all of the set malfunctions out of the way and no one will get trampled when the giant Lazy Susan stage spins the wrong way.

There will also be a dress rehearsal. Stand-ins will double for nominees. The director will run the show in its entirety. There are rehearsal envelopes, they are read, and the stand ins get up and give bullshit speeches. Sometimes these speeches are way more entertaining than the actual ones given by the winners.

They do this to get a sense of the timing. Ordinarily they have a host and one of his functions is to either move things along or fill if need be. But this year there is no host – one of the many things the Academy has bungled for this Oscarcast.

Rain is not expected so we won’t have the pleasure of seeing stars in their million dollar gowns and hoodies.

I wonder if they rehearse those Red Carpet shows. Does Jessica Holmes or Sam Rubin ask stand-ins whether they conferred with Freddie Mercury before playing him?

One year for the Emmy rehearsal the bogus envelope had David Isaacs and I winning. We lost during the actual ceremony. But they gave us the envelope. Gee thanks! So with that in mind, congratulations to all the rehearsal winners. What a moment.

See you on the podcast. By the way, the current podcast episode is filled with Oscar trivia like who never won – rehearsal or otherwise. Check it out.


Glenn Eibe said...

It’s very strange when you finish watching 1967’s “Two for the Road” this Saturday morning to see Albert Finney again, and then you check the internet cause you wondered if “Bedazzled” was released before or after in 1967, and you hear Stanley Donen has just passed away. Stanley’s acceptance speech and dance for his honorary Oscar was truly a great Oscar moment. Hopefully, they can use some of that clip in the show by tomorrow. One of the best.

Dhruv said...

I have been watching Oscars for around 20 years now. It is telecast on Monday mornings here 5:30 am to 10:30 / 11 am depending on the lengthy telecast. For the past 10 years or so, I used to take leave on that Monday so that I can watch with no worries about work and then sleep through the day and re-watch again the repeat telecast at night. I was not a movie fanatic or anything like that..... but just loved this glitzy program. This impression was imprinted on my mind from mid-90s about this society of super rich people, all so happy and awarding each other gold statue and mouthing nice things about each other and caring for the poor/oppressed of the world through their speeches. Then as I grew and read and saw the truth about these "happy good people" the magic started wearing off. But I still watched, rooting for someone or the other and for some entertainment.

But finally this year I decided that's it. I am going to work. No way am I gonna lose a day's pay for 6 hours of song and dance and mutual ass-kissing. There was no one to root for except Glenn Close. I would love to see Glenn Close win, but then there is YouTube, I will watch her speech there - if she wins.

As for the podcast I will sure listen to it on Monday night. I have read and re-read all your Oscars, Golden Globes, Sam Rubin :) reviews till date. Love them all.

Peter said...

I wonder if they'll include Stanley Donen in the In Memoriam. They've previously had weird rules about only including people who had died up to a certain date, so if someone passed away in the days leading up to the ceremony, they'd be featured in the following year's In Memoriam.

tavm said...

This just in: Stanley Donen, director of such great musicals as On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and, of course, Singin' in the Rain, has passed on at 94. Hope the Oscars make room in their "In Memoriam" segment for him, perhaps at the end of it...

Mike Bloodworth said...

I won't be watching the Academy Awards©. If I were still active in the business I might have more of a stake in the telecast.

On your podcast you should keep a running tab on the number of anti-Trump comments. Those would be like candy to many of your listeners.

If I was ever nominated for an Oscar© I would auction off my "swag bag" for charity. It would help a worthy cause and get me some positive publicity. That is, unless there's a rule against that. But, it's a moot point. I'll never be nominated for anything...except for maybe a "Razzie."

Diane D. said...

I am a big fan of your blog, and can now say I am a long time reader, but never having gotten in the habit of listening to radio, it has been difficult for me to develop the habit of listening to your podcast consistently. However, I have become somewhat addicted to YouTube. Many podcasts can be seen on You Tube and even if there is just a still photo of the You Tuber, I can manage to get interested if I like the subject matter. If I can see the Podcaster in a video, all the better. I don’t know how these things work, but can you make your Podcast available on You Tube? Does that not bring you any benefit? Or do you have to have listeners outside YouTube?

Also, you once mentioned in a blog post that you didn’t really have the right voice for a baseball announcer (and yet you were for a while an announcer for a Major League Team). Nevertheless, After listening to you I would have to say I understand what you mean. I wanted to ask one question about that and make one comment. Did you ever take any kind of voice lessons to try to change your voice? And the comment is that I think if people could “see” you making your Podcast, you would have many more listeners. There are You Tubers with tens of thousands of viewers, whose subject matter is not near as interesting as yours and who are not near as witty and charming as you.

I apologize if this sounds presumptuous or inappropriate, but I was just very curious. Thank you.

MikeN said...

Can you get a guest to hot your podcast, Kevin Hart?

Lemuel said...

I've read four Donen obits today and none of mentioned the magnificent BEDAZZLED.

Dhruv said...

@ Diane D,

Even I had suggested regarding YouTube channel some time back. Oscar review is the best way to get started.

Lots of people search for Oscar review and all we get is written ones in news websites. I did chance upon this blog while searching some years ago. So if Ken can post the podcast on Monday on YouTube, I am sure it will get a lot of views.

Regarding benefits, nowadays YouTube has made strict rules for monetisation. Only after getting 1000 subscribers and 4000 Hours of watch time you will be considered for review and then monetisation. Ken can easily achieve both in months. After that its smooth sailing for Americans especially. They pay pretty good for every 1000 views for western country YouTubers. Here its so less. It's because of ad rates. Then there is YouTube Red where people pay to see or listen without ads.

All these new rules done by YouTube is due to their monopoly and people having no other go.

I did start my own channel and am slowly collecting hours and subscribers. I am not looking to make a livelihood but I am using my passion for railfanning and food, to post videos. My only strength, amongst lots of weakness, is that I know a few languages - so my food review or showcasing Indian Food hopefully reaches a much wider audience (usually food review is done in only one language).

The video can be simply made with cellphone, just look into it and talk and the beginning can be like entering your studio and sitting down and starting with some exclamation.

I remember 2 years ago after that botch up by "Bonnie and Clyde" - Ken had the perfect start. So a perfect start will keep people hooked. And then Ken naturally keeps the audience engaged till the end.

For thumbnail, you can just post half of your pic and half of some celebrity pic - red carpet pic or someone crying after winning their Oscar - women celebrity gets the trick done, no one cares for male celebrities :D

And simple words "Oscar Review" written across. Your pic can be from the video with you with headphones on or just some surprised expression - so that people browsing know that some crazy stuff is there in the review.

In case you do start a channel Ken, I will be your first subscriber :)

Sorry, but can I just give a link of my video and channel below for those interested?

It's ok if you find it wrong and delete my comment :)


Phil said...

Mike Bloodworth did you win the Razzie? Which movie was that for?

By Ken Levine said...

Doing a weekly video podcast on YouTube would be wonderful but I don't have the time nor the energy to put in that much work. The podcast itself takes up a lot of time. But I appreciate the suggestion.

And Diane D., it's the voice I have. Hopefully enough people like it well enough to listen.

Diane D. said...

I know I’m missing a lot by not listening to your Podcast consistently, but I just can’t seem to develop the habit. I will certainly be listening to the Oscar review. Nice trick to get people to listen! Ha!

I went to your channel and watched a couple of lovely videos. I couldn’t leave a thumbs up or comment, however. Thanks

therealshell said...

Looking forward to watching VICTORIA, on PBS, instead of the Oscars.

Dhruv said...

@ Ken,

It's OK. I understand. I just was excited and gave all the suggestions because I wanted more people to listen to your podcasts. Like Diane D. said, there are many who have lots of viewers but not informative or interesting at all.

@ Diane D,

Thanks for watching :)
You just need a Gmail account for that. I found this video which might help you

Even if you don't subscribe or give thumbs up, it's OK. Just the fact that someone saw my video and liked it, makes me very happy. Thanks a lot :)

Andrew said...

The only movie I saw this year that I have any enthusiasm for, regarding winning an Oscar, is Free Solo. If anyone here hasn't seen it, I can't recommend it highly enough. Both a triumphant athletic victory (spoiler alert: he lives) and a stunning accomplishment in film making. Definitely deserves Best Documentary.

I'm not sure if it's my older age, or if it's the quality of regular movies (the Oscar contenders), but the best movies I've seen recently have been documentaries. I have so little interest in what's considered either popular or significant among films these days. But the documentaries are in a Golden Age.

In the 80's, when I was a teenager, we were excited about the Oscars, and everyone I knew watched them. Nowadays, I honestly don't know a single person who has an interest in them. The ceremony has become insular and self-congratulatory. Maybe it was always that way, but it seems to have gotten much worse. And the disdain, and even open contempt, for a large portion of American citizens is palpable.

Peter said...

Make a drinking game out of every time someone uses the word "journey" in their speech.

I think Marion Cotillard broke the record in her speech when she won.

Anonymous said...

Wondering how many at the show will be flyin' high on more than dreams and wishes:
LOTS of mary-gee-wanna-related goodies in the swag bags this year (and total worth of same is reported to be north of $100k....nice work if you can get it:)

Peter said...

Actually, I got it wrong. It was her BAFTA speech and she said "adventure" a few times.

I prefer journey.

Mike Bloodworth said...

That's more of an aspiration. That is, maybe someday if I'm truly bad enough.🙏

Tom Asher said...

Ken, ever cross paths with Peter Tork?

Jahn Ghalt said...

Doing a weekly video podcast on YouTube would be wonderful but I don't have the time nor the energy to put in that much work.

As a frequent podcast listener, I can vouch for the product - which deserves the exposure a YouTube channel would provide.

As a director you have a firm grasp of the required effort. Why not recruit some college students to help shooting, editing, uploading?

Take a page from Better Call Saul? Saul/McGill with a three-person crew working for cheap.

Isaacs teaches - perhaps he would recruit?

Granted, to produce/direct would take up more time - but perhaps only for as long as it takes to get your worker-bees on their feet?

MikeN said...

I don't understand the difficulty in doing a podcast on YouTube. Look at what Bill Simmons (and presumably everyone else there) does at The Ringer. The youtube video is just the same audio podcast with a backdrop. No actual filming.