Monday Morning Housekeepery
Posted on March 8, 2010 Posted by John Scalzi 18 Comments
A couple of minor things before I run off and do real work:
* Went 5 for 6 on the Oscar major categories last night, missing only Best Picture, but since I thought The Hurt Locker should win that category anyway, I can’t complain overly about that (I suspected Avatar was off the winner screen when the editing prize went to Hurt Locker, actually). As my friend Anne was over, I actually watched the Oscar ceremony all the way through for the first time since I had to do it as part of a job (a state of affairs which takes the fun out of it), and I thought it moved along just fine, although as always it just went on too damn long. But then I feel that way about the Super Bowl, too. I may be fundamentally unAmerican.
* Thanks to everyone who took my little poll over the weekend; I’ve always had a suspicion that the people who read the blog had overlap but were different from the group of people who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, so it’s interesting to have some initial anecdotal evidence of that being that the case. If you haven’t participated in the poll but would like to do so, please feel free to.
* This will be my final reminder to all and sundry that if you’re going to nominate for the Hugos, you have until this Friday to do so. This is also my final reminder that if you’re a Hugo nominator and are interested in an electronic evaluation copy of The God Engines, here’s how to get that. But regardless of my work, if you can nominate, do so. 2009 was an excellent year for science fiction and fantasy and you have a lot of great novel, stories and other work to choose from.
Now I have to write a column, catch up on e-mail and, hey, who knows, maybe write some fiction. Catch you all a little later in the day.
No, the Oscars go too long.
Sandra Bullock becomes the first person to win an Oscar and Razzie in the same year.
I didn’t watch them cause they go too damn long. I caught up with my daily paper this morning.
All the box office in the world will not overcome a poor storyline, IMHO. That’s why Avatar lost and I for one feel good about that, SF movie or not.
On another note, just got a copy of “The God Engines” and wish I wasn’t at work this morning so I could continue reading. Interesting concepts and I’ve been pulled into the story. I didn’t waste more than a second and a half on “Wow, this is a really different tone and style than John usually does” and just got on with reading.
I like it, I like it very much.
I didn’t bother to watch the Oscar ceremony, thinking they’d report the important parts on the radio this morning. Imagine my surprise when my radio station decided it was more important to report on politics than on Oscar results.
Some days I really hate living in New York.
I was invited to an impromptu Oscar party and thus enjoyed booze, yummy snacks and catty remarks about people’s outfits. (“How many Muppets went into THAT dress?” for example.)
It also meant I got to cheer loudly when Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director and The Hurt Locker won Best Picture. What can I say, I was rooting for that film even as I expected it to be buried by Avatar and it was delightful to be proven wrong.
That Hugo link seems to give us a little more time than Friday. For instance, here on the U.S. East Coast I read the deadline as 3:59 Sunday morning. So if we hurry, in that extra time we could read “The God Engines,” or perhaps even a whole worthy novel such as Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl or Jedidiah Berry’s The Manual of Detection.
The Oscars were badly, badly executed this year from a technical standpoint. There’s already local press to that effect this morning. Lots of sloppy cues (NPH calling out Cameron, camera cuts to him and… he’s not lit!) and borderline amateur basic stagecraft mistakes, like the flat of lampshades visibly hitting the stage behind Robin Williams when it was flown in.
So much empty stage, so much dead air, so little timing. There’s a hundred things they could have trimmed and the show would’ve hit 3 hours instead of 3.5. The award results are the only saving grace, I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout, save possibly Renner also going home with an Oscar. But I like Jeff Bridges, so, bully for him.
I think the only flaw I saw in the Oscars be sides the length which will probably always be an issue was the 2 hosts. I don’t mind Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin but I found that for being actors they did a horrible job at memorizing lines.. You could see them reading from the teleprobter and what’s worse you could HEAR it in their voice….
I think they need to be more real I think the whole affair is too scribted…. am I wrong?? I just don’t feel the senserity in the people presenting the awards like they themselves do not really feel like being there.
For once, instead of trying to figure out the politics of who would win, I went with which movie I thought deserved to win. There were only three movies worthy, in my opinion. Hurt Locker, Precious, and District 9. Watching The Hurt Locker, as powerful as it was, was like listening to the same Metallica tune for 90 minutes. District 9 was a brilliant execution of a somewhat flatfooted plot. Precious was a director’s tour de force. Molding a performance will always be Job One. Lee Daniel took a comedian, a singer, and a rank newcomer and sculpted a masterpiece without resorting to bells and whistles. Finding a good story is Job 1-A. The Oscar-winning screenplay adaptation for Precious is a testament to another one of his winning picks — I believe the writer was a first-timer for that, too.
Watching the Oscars was rather painful, if only because they managed to make Steve Martin not funny.
I have been so busy I totally forgot about the Oscars! Bummer!
As someone who thoroughly loves football, the Super Bowl *does* take too long. The extra-long halftime show with aging rock stars, the extra-increased numbers of ads (and it’s not like regular football games are short on ads as it is), the interminable pre-game shows.
Anyway, I didn’t watch this year because, as is often the case, I watched very very few of the movies nominated. I don’t see many movies in the theater, usually just bombastic mindless action flicks or silly comedies (like Watchmen & Avatar or Zombieland & The Hangover), and end up watching the thought-provoking, interesting movies later on DVD or off the internet. I’ll be able to talk about The Hurt Locker in a year or two when I finally get around to seeing it.
I am a spanish reader of your books and I just wanna tell you BRAVO! and keep writing.
Sorry for my english and for the off-topic.
Always too long,indeed.
That said, why wouldn’t Inglorious Basterds be viewable as an alternate history-ish film and thus almost an SF film?
The simple fix to the Oscars lasting too long is, surprise, surprise: technology! Record it on your dvr and fast forward thru the dull, incompetent, uninteresting etc. bits. That works just fine for shows like this but of course doesn’t work for things like the Superbowl unless you have the discipline (and luck) needed to stay ignorant of the outcome.
@#13, our host wrote an article on just that question.
I took the poll but its a lie now–I joined twitter this morning, since my smartphone FINALLY activated
#14 @coolstar – You can make it work for the Superbowl too, just start watching it somewhat late so that by the time you’ve caught up to present by zipping through boring bits, you’re near the end of the show. No spoiling of the ending, no time wasted on the boring parts.
I’d be fascinated to hear more about what the poll told you about your audience.
(I build marketing software for small companies. One of the things we do is help to measure the effectiveness of social media in their marketing. That’s a fast-moving area with a lot of unknowns. You’ve got a unique audience to learn from.)
Publicly or privately, I’d be interested. If you wished/permitted it, I’d blog about it and share the results.