The focus on entertainment awards online has grown considerably since I started out covering the subject nearly ten years ago now with a now defunct site called Oscarwatch. I was sued by the Academy and changed the name to Awards Daily. That site is now thriving and competing in the cut-throat world of Oscar blogging.
What is Oscar blogging, you might ask? It is an insider’s game, really, or perhaps it’s an outsider-who-pretends-to-be-an-insider’s game. Either way, we Oscar bloggers get no respect. And why should we? Anyone with actual taste and intelligence writes us off as shallow, no good hucksters – parasites off the bigger, more important journalists who actually do the real reporting in Hollywood.
We get no respect and yet that doesn’t stop us from doing what we love to do: predict and shape the awards race in the lead-up to the Oscars. Yes, what could be more silly, more trivial, more pointless? Here’s the funny part: it’s fun. Predicting the Oscars is fun. Being right is fun. Being wrong is awful.
Some things about it are more fun than others. We often find we fight amongst ourselves too much, if you can imagine. This year is very strange in that the coverage has doubled but the films being released have been cut back dramatically. Many of the year’s hopefuls have been held back, out of the reach of bloggers. This will probably prove a good strategy for the studios, but it has made the bloggers chase their respective tails for some time now.
If you happen to find you like predicting the Oscars too and are looking for some like-minded freaks to share your obsession, you might try checking out some of the ever-growing Oscar sites online. By the way, the reason there are so many Oscar sites of late is that it is the one way to make some money online.
The best Oscar sites out there, in my opinion, are Kris Tapley’s Incontention.com, Anne Thompson’s new section on Indiewire.com, called Thompson on Hollywood, Brad Brevet’s Rope of Silicon (ropeofsilicon.com), Dave Karger is on his game at Entertainment Weekly (ew.com), Jeff Wells at Hollywood-Elsewhere.com, David Poland’s Gurus of Gold (on moviecitynews.com), Scott Feinberg on Andthewinneris.com, Nat Rogers on filmexperience.blogspot.com, and the guy who has been doing this as long as I have, Tom O’Neil keeps on trucking on The Envelope, at the LATimes.com, along with Pete Hammond’s Notes on a Season.
The new kids on the block include Melena Ryzik who has just taken over the Oscar blog once run by David Carr. Carr’s Carpetbagger was probably the highlight of Oscar season online but he’s decided to get back to real life (carpetbagger.nytimes.com). Hitfix.com’s Gregory Ellwood is doing Oscar at their hopping new site. TheWrap.com and DailyBeast.com both have Oscar portions of their sites — The Wrap has the awesome Oscar guru, Steve Pond and the Daily Beast has Nicole LaPorte.
Of course you can never go wrong with Oscar blogging the old fashioned way with The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, both of which still have thriving Oscar sections online.