For Your Consideration
Those are three important words in Hollywood, Enthusiasts. There’s “I love you,” and “Where’s the coke?” or “Ronan Farrow called,” but “For Your Consideration” has ’em all beat. They are a mantra of supplication, your opening bid for immortality (or a temporary version of it); those words are a magical incantation, Enthusiasts. Say it once: tuxedos; say it twice; gowns; say it three times, and Jack Nicholson’s sitting up front wearing his sunglasses inside. But if you say it juuuuuuust right, then your asking price quadruples.
Long Strange Trip, Enthusiasts, is up for an Oscar, sorta maybe. The acclaimed documentary has been placed on the Short List for Best Feature Documentary: out of 170 films, the voters picked 15 for further perusal and another round of ballots. On the 23rd (1/23/17, if you insist), the final five nominees will be announced and then the winner gets…excuse me, the Oscar goes to one of ’em in the dead middle of a four-hour show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
Now, you and I and the Academy all know that LST is much better than those other 14 pieces of dogshit, but this is Los Angeles and “the movie actually being good” is only one of the interlinking qualities a film must possess to win the coveted golden tchotchke. (Fun fact: neither Chachi nor Greta Schacchi has ever been nominated for a golden tchotchke.) Winning an Oscar requires three avenues of attack:
Let’s take LST‘s artistic achievement as a givenand move on to number two: bribery. It takes a shitload of cash to win an award worth about $400 in gold plating. “For Your Consideration” really is a bit of a magical phrase: you have to slather it all over full-page ads in the Hollywood Reporter and Variety to let the town know you’re serious about being considered. You can’t just send out a mass e-mail or post on your Instagram account, nuh-uh. Full. Page. Ad. At least once a week in both rags from now until voting is over, and that’ll run you.
And parties. Gotta throw a party or two for the Academy. Cocktails for the rank and file, maybe host a dinner party for the influential folks, and this ain’t some Milwaukee kegger, no: this is a Hollywood party with extra expenses. Cocaine, and orifices, and alibis have to be provided.
You have to throw these parties because they are where you schmooze. Cajoling, wheedling, dealing from the middle of the deck, buttonholing, hollering, strategic negging, rumor-spreading, blackmailing, flirting, nipple-tweaking, negotiating in shaky faith, bullshitting, horsetrading, bird-dogging, begging, threatening, fetching the universe from within your ass, insinuating, massaging the facts, accusing the messenger, assaulting the bartender, and–if you feel it won’t hurt–just being yourself.
You know: schmoozing.
What we need, Enthusiasts, is a solid plan; a path to victory. (I won’t lie to you: I need this one. I think an Oscar can fill an Al Franken-sized hole in my heart. Let’s start out 2018 right.) Luckily, I have such a plan, and here’s what the key players need to do:
Amir Bar-Lev, Director You know what show biz is, Amir? It’s a game of inches. You win by inches, you lose by inches, and sometimes if you want something bad enough, you take some inches. Or give some. Basically what I’m saying, Amir buddy, is that you’re gonna have to fuck your way onto that stage. God gave you those blue eyes for a reason, and now you’re going to fulfill your destiny. Men, women, Martin Landau’s corpse: doesn’t matter what you think, pal; if they give you the green light, take your dick out.
(WARNING: this is the single worst moment in American sociopolitical history for a straight white man to try to fuck his way to the top. Nevertheless, I believe in you. Fuck for all of us, Amir. Fuck us up that mountain.)
Eric Eisner, Producer Eric, you need to call your father, Michael Ovitz, and have him do something.
Justin Kreutzmann, Producer Justin, you need to call your father, Bill Kreutzmann, and have him do nothing.
Ken Dornstein, Producer Ken, I don’t know you, so you’re going to be the tech guy. Every team needs a tech guy. You’re like Ving Rhames in the Mission Impossible movies, but–I am assuming–not an enormous black man. Or, if you wish, the one guy in Ocean’s 11 who wasn’t famous or Chinese. You get a van with all sorts of knickknacks and doodads, and you get to deliver tense, whispered dialogue like, “You’ve got twenty seconds,” and “I’m in!”
Alex Blavatnik, Producer Martial arts expert.
Nick Koskoff Master of disguise/help Justin keep his dad out of the process.
Martin Scorsese, Executive Producer Please don’t get accused of anything in the next few weeks.
Bob Weir, Bob Weir Bobby, put the guitar in the Tesla, drive to LA, and sing some cowboy songs for fancy people in a living room off Benedict Canyon. You’re our secret weapon. If you could bring Josh with you, so much better.
All right, everybody got their assignments? Okay, “Grateful Dead” on three. One, two–
Did you think to, perhaps, congratulate Amir and the rest of the team on an incredible honor?
Is that not what I’ve been doing for 800 words?
No. Not at all.
Well, that’s what I meant. Hollywood types are smart enough to read between the lines.
Something something cocaine joke.