Tag: awards

The Oscars are Coming, the Oscars are Coming!

Love movies, do ya? Well then ya gotta love the Oscars!

In prep for the Academy Awards on Sunday, are you seeking out and watching the nominated films? Well, how about some different kind of prep this year to add depth to your Oscar experience this year…


1. Read the Oscar-nominated screenplays. You can find all the links you need on Slate.com to read them for free:
Doing so, not only will you experience the noms in a whole new way, you’re bound to absorb a tip or two about how to write a better screenplay or story.


2. Attend the MWP Online Pre-Awards Bash at 2:30pm PST on Friday for predictions and excellent conversation about the Academy Awards. Great studying up for your Oscar Night ballot!


3. And – of course – host or attend an Oscar Watching Party on Sunday. Dress black tie or creative black tie (this is an artistic industry after all!), have plenty of nibblies, bubbly beverages (they don’t have to be alcoholic), and Oscar ballots. Perhaps even buy a strip or square of red carpet so you can strut your stuff on the red stuff yourself.
https://www.oscars.org/oscars // https://twitter.com/TheAcademy
Above all, have fun!

Cheers & a great awards show to you,

– – – – – – – – – –

Deborah (Deb) Patz is the author of Write! Shoot! Edit! for teens and Film Production Management 101 for the industry – both books are published worldwide by MWP. She’s also part of the editorial board for Prism International. She’s walked the red carpet at a few festivals, but not at the Oscars… yet. 🙂

WHERE IS DEB? (upcoming events and appearances)
July 2019 – UFVA Conference, Minneapolis, MN

Paperback or eBook: AmazonBarnes & NobleChapters/IndigoWaterstones, direct from the publisher and from plenty of other great bookstores worldwide.

Bring on the Oscar Parties!

blktiPlanning an Oscar party? Oh yeah!

Here are a couple of ideas to get you started. Start with the dress code to set the tone.


  • Black tie (fun!)
  • Creative black tie (more fun!)
  • Dress as your favourite movie character from a movie that won an Oscar (wacky!)

It’s all about the competition! Choose, debate and choose again…

  • Best dressed on the red carpet
  • Most creative outfit on the red carpet
  • Best commercial
  • Best acceptance speech
  • Best performed song
  • Most embarrassing moment


  • The “Parallel Oscars” Competition – The ol’ standard Oscar night game: hand out the nomination sheets before or at the start of the party to guests to guess who’ll win; watch and see who guessed the most correct Oscar wins. It’s fun to discuss why you made the choices you made.
  • The “Whatcha Get?” Game – If your guests haven’t seen many of the Oscar noms, perhaps instead do a random draw for each nomination to determine each person’s nomination sheet. Less competition between guests, but just as fun.
  • Pick up a plastic Oscar statuette from a local party shop and present it to the party winner

Then all you need is good food (finger foods, of course) and drink (how about ginger ale served in plastic champagne flutes?) and enjoy Oscar night!

What ideas are you planning?

Cheers and a good Oscar party to you,

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Deb Patz is the author of “Film Production Management 101” and the upcoming “Write! Shoot! Edit! A Complete Guide to Filmmaking for Teens” both published by MWP Books. It’s no suprise that she loves Oscar night parties.

WHERE IS DEB? (upcoming events and appearances)
Jun.3-7 – Guest instructor – PEI Screenwriter’s Bootcamp, Charlottetown, PEI
Jul.30-Aug.3 – UFVA Conference, Los Angeles, CA

What Do These Films Have in Common? The Answer!

Did you get it?

Interesting answers came in from a variety of sources. The answer is:

Best Writing Nominations at the Oscars


  • Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936, Robert Riskin)
  • The Maltese Falcon (1941, John Huston)
  • Love Story (1970, Erich Segal)
  • Away From Her (2007, Sarah Polley)
  • Das Boot (1982, Wolfgang Petersen)
  • American Graffiti (1973, George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck)
  • Roman Holiday (1953, Ian McLellan Hunter, John Digton)
  • The Great Dictator (1940, Charles Chaplin)

Are you planning an Oscar party this year? To warm up the party or as a lead up to the party, consider a quiz related to previous winners and nominees. There are a lot of great films out there…

To help you, here’s a link to the Academy Awards database:

Cheers & a good Oscar party to you,

3 Things I Learned About Filmmaking from… Highland Dance Competitions

dncWe each take many paths in life and learn from all that’s around us. Learn something on one area of life and cross over to another. Here are three nuggets that crossover for me between Highland Dance competitions and filmmaking:

1. “Dance Beautifully” Does Not Necessarily Mean “Dance Standard”

The closer you dance in a competition to “dance standard” (in the eyes of judges) the more awards you win. The higher the level of competition, the more challenging it is to win awards, because eventually there are only slight differences between those who win awards and those who don’t. Yet… anyone in the audience will tell you passionately and honestly that so many of the dancers dance beautifully, awards or not. This declaration is not friends and relatives being kind the dancers, it’s the truth. Parallel this situation to movies. You can enjoy a beautiful movie whether it wins awards (achieving “movie standard” in the eyes of judges) or not.

2. Dance YOUR Dance

When competing on stage at pre-premier level, different dancers know different steps to pretty much all the dances. To the audience it’s like watching several different dances on stage at the same time, dancing to the same music. Sometimes it looks like one of the dancers is going to bump into another because of the varied choreography, but somehow they manage to steer clear of each other. On stage, if you forget a step, a glance left or right to a competitor can just confuse you more because chances are they will be dancing totally different steps. You have to know your dance and dance it with confidence no matter what’s happening around you on the stage. Good advice for filmmaking too. Choose your path with confidence and take it, no matter what the competition is doing around you. Be aware of what’s happening around you (so you don’t “bump into other dancers”), but be true to yourself.

3. Despite Any Errors, “Dance On”

Highland dancers forget steps. They knock the crossed swords out of alignment. A shoe can fall off. The piper can make a mistake in the music. One step can be wrong. So many errors can happen “on the day.” Dancers can stop and wait for the dance to end, stop and leave the stage, or they can dance on. “Dance on” doesn’t erase the error, but can provide a sense of accomplishment at overcoming obstacle, and for the bigger errors that the audience notices, it also triggers deep-felt admiration in the whole room. Take that determination into filmmaking. Mistakes will happen, but work with them and finish the film. Film is not as much a live performance as Highland Dancing, but sometimes you can’t go back to fix a shot; you have to “dance on” to the end.

What crossovers happen in your life?

Cheers… with a little FILM and INK,

Film Awards Calendar

gcupWith the Oscars upon us, we appear to be in the heart of award season. How about a step back to an annual look at film awards?


Late January

Early February


Late February

Early March

Late April

Early May


Late May

June & July – off!

Late August

September – off!

Early October

Late October


Late November

Early December

Ok, ok. So Cannes is actually a festival instead of an awards ceremony, but you have to admit, the awards at Cannes require special inclusion.

Cheers & a happy awards season… all year long!

The ABC’s of Oscar (Wordsearch)

Thinking about all the Oscar pools getting underway… how about some wordsearch fun instead? Here are just some of the “ABC” films that have won Oscars over the years:


If you find the secret message within, do share it! All the nominees deserve it!

Cheers & a good awards day to you!