Who hasn’t fantasized about winning an Oscar? Answer: nobody. It’s the magical award. Which i think accounts for the popularity of the ceremony as a TV event. It’s been called the Super Bowl for women but, like the Super Bowl, it attracts all sorts. And it’s more of a global event than the NFL, ahem, world championship.
It’s got glamour and star power. It’s Hollywood baby!
I had the distinction of creating the very first beer ad to air on the Oscars. You might not know this but “the academy” has to vet all commercials that air in the Oscar-cast. And for years the academy snubbed beer ads. Which was a bit rich coming from the film industry IMHO. So when they finally relented, Budweiser was first in line. And they chose to air one of my ads. It’s the one below.
Interestingly, Gregory Peck was on the executive board of the Academy at the time. And was one of the people who had to approve my ad for broadcast. At that point Mr. Peck was advanced in years and understandably not in tune with popular culture.
I heard that he was a bit confused by my ad and it’s apparent lack of obvious connection to beer and sanity in general. But he went with the majority. And it aired. Much to my delight. The spot was a big hit too. Breathing much needed new life into a campaign that really needed it at that point. We really relied on the talents of Allen “Helmer” Coulter for this one. His casting choices and shooting prowess saved the day. The idea of “doing Jersey” came from my then partner Justin Reardon who is from Jersey. We didn’t set out to parody the Sopranos. We set out to do an homage to the New Jersey culture.
PS: Good luck to Escape Pod collaborator, editor Jinx Godfrey. Her insanely brilliant “Man On Wire” is nominated for best documentary. Fingers crossed. It deserves to win.