While everyone else was watching the Oscars last Sunday, I continued my tradition of doing something else. This year it was inviting friends over to binge watch Firefly and play Lord of the Rings Online. But since we’re Millennials, we still followed all the action on social media. Hell, even I tweeted about the Oscars that night.
But with all the general commentary that always comes after awards night —"American Sniper was shafted!" "I can't believe that the only award that Boyhood won was Best Supporting Actress!", et cetera, et cetera...—, I just want everyone to keep this in mind: It's only the Oscars.
Yes, I had a favorite: Birdman. And I was happy it won. I care enough to keep informed and to try and see as many of the nominated films as I can —working part-time at movie theater does have it's perks— but I stopped investing too much emotional weight into the awards. Because of Battlestar Galactica.
Battlestar Galactica, a show I loved. A show that many, not just sci-fi fans, consider one of the best ever made —a show that won a Peabody and received recognition from the United Nations for how it depicted terrorism and human conflict— only won Emmys for Sound Editing and Visual Effects. It deserved more.
And here is the lesson I learned: The Oscars—and many of the awards—are like Prom. The Oscars are part recognition of your peers, and part popularity contest. It's the recognition by your peers in the industry that make the awards special. If I ever work on a film that's nominated, am remotely connected to a film that is nominated, or know someone who is nominated, I have no doubt that I will get caught up in the Oscar hoopla. And anyone who says they haven’t imagined what it would be like to win is probably a liar. But an Oscar win is just like being royalty at Prom, and Best Picture is like the Prom Queen. In five years, no one gives a shit if you were Prom Queen.
Remember only one Hitchcock film ever won best picture: Rebecca. Most people haven't fucking seen Rebecca, but they've all heard of Alfred Hitchcock.