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This post will — with the exception of one or two other posts that have already been written but have yet to post — bring an end to my coverage of the 2011-2012 awards season, which I have found to be the most exciting, exhausting, and gratifying of the 11 that I have now covered. This is all largely attributable to my affiliation with The Hollywood Reporter, which I was immensely proud to join on August 31, 2011.
The six months since then have been incredibly busy, fun, and surreal. During that time…
I screened 112 films, conducted 57 interviews, moderated 14 Q&As, covered 5 film festivals, attended 9 awards ceremonies, and filed nearly 250 posts on this blog (including dozens of podcasts, live-chats, weekly forecasts, and the story that broke the news that Brett Ratner was out as the producer of the Oscars telecast).
I walked a few city blocks with — and even received a thumbs-up from — one of my heroes, Roger Ebert (in Toronto); was hugged by Oprah Winfrey (at the Academy Governors Awards in Los Angeles, days after I interviewed her over the telephone); got slapped by Meryl Streep (in jest, after I failed to repeat an audience member’s question during a Q&A that I moderated in New York); shared a hotel room with a lingerie-clad Megan Fox (she was inexplicably wearing it — not that I’m complaining — when I interviewed her in Toronto); had dinner across a table from Martin Scorsese (at the National Board of Review Awards in New York); introduced Michelle Williams to Marilyn Monroe‘s last living leading man (at the Hollywood Awards in Los Angeles); posed questions to George Clooney (as the moderator of Q&A’s in New York and in Los Angeles); spent an hour with Daniel Radcliffe (when I moderated the Q&A portion of his BAFTA Tribute in New York); was asked by Madonna to call her “M” (when I interviewed her in Toronto); shook the hand of former President Bill Clinton (at a special screening of The Way in New York); waited in line behind Brad Pitt to use the men’s room (at the Oscar Nominees Luncheon); hung out for an afternoon with Martin Sheen (I interviewed him at the house in which he raised his famous kids in Malibu); and got to know some awesome up-and-coming filmmakers like Margin Call‘s J.C. Chandor, Like Crazy‘s Drake Doremus, and Pariah‘s Dee Rees (through various film festivals and events), to say nothing of a French guy with whom I found that I shared a love of silent movies (at the Telluride Film Festival), Michel Hazanavicius, who is now headed back to France with the best director Oscar that he earned, against all odds, for making one himself.
And last Sunday night, for the first time in my life, I watched the Academy Awards ceremony not through a television set, as I have done for most of my life, but with my own two eyes as a member of the audience.
As you might imagine, it has been quite an adventure for a young(-ish!) guy from Woodbridge, Connecticut — a small town that is about as geographically far from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood as anywhere in the United States — and I am very much aware that none of it would have been possible without a lot of luck and/or the kindness, encouragement, and support of a lot of other people.
As I head into my six-month “off-season” — during which I plan to read a lot of books (and try to write one), watch some sports and TV (beginning with March Madness and Homeland), get back into shape (no more eating on the run), and catch up with the family and friends (who I have neglected for the last six months) — I’d like to thank many of those to whom I am indebted. And, since there is no orchestra that will try to play me off if I exceed 45 seconds worth of names, no, I will not be brief!
I would especially like to acknowledge…
The entire team at The Hollywood Reporter, which consistently provides the best coverage of the entertainment industry — in print and online — that you’ll find anywhere. Particular thanks to: editorial director Janice Min (for believing in me enough to bring me on board and enabling me to realize my dream of attending the Oscars); publisher Lynne Segall and THR.com editor Joseph Kapsch (for remembering me from our days at the Los Angeles Times and advocating on my behalf ever since); executive editor Owen Phillips (for patiently helping me to learn the ropes and balance my print and online responsibilities); film editor Gregg Kilday (whose knowledge and work ethic set a bar that I can only hope approach); and executive editor-features Stephen Galloway (who proves that it is possible to remain enthusiastic about what we do even after many years of doing it). To everyone else who has been welcoming/helpful to the new guy: news director Matt Belloni; senior editors Noela Hueso and Stacey Wilson; film reporters Tim Appelo, Borys Kit, Jay Fernandez, Pam McClintock, Daniel Miller, and George Szalai; staff writer Lesley Goldberg; photo editor Jennifer Laski; contributing editor Jonathan Handel; freelance editor Jeanie Pyun; executive director of film advertising Victoria Gold; national consumer advertising director Jonathan Aubry; assistant to the editorial director Jenny Lor; marketing/events team Alex More, Jessica Bernstein, Tyler del Vento, and Laura Lorenz; and publicist Haleigh Breest. And especially to the entire THR.com team, through whom every one of my posts has passed: Erin Carlson, Aaron Couch, Becca Ford, Todd Gilchrist, Chris Godley, Kyleen James, Jane Kellogg, John Marchesini, Kimberly Nordyke, Jethro Nededog, Philiana Ng, Michael O’Connell, Sophie Schillaci, Lauren Schutte, David Simpson, and Steven Schwankert.
My fellow Oscar pundits, with whom I often spar, but from whom I also learn a lot: Jeff Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere); Sasha Stone (Awards Daily); Dave Karger and Anthony Breznican (Entertainment Weekly); Tom O’Neil and Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby); Greg Ellwood, Kris Tapley, and Guy Lodge (Hitfix); Christy Grosz and Jeff Sneider (Variety); Pete Hammond (Deadline); S.T. VanAirsdale (Movieline); Steve Pond (The Wrap); Melena Ryzik, Mekado Murphy, and Paula Schwartz (New York Times); Mark Olsen, Steven Zeitchik, John Horn, Nicole Sperling, Amy Kaufman, Rebecca Keegan, Patrick Goldstein, Ben Fritz, and Susan King (Los Angeles Times); Sean O’Connell (Hollywood News); Nathaniel Rogers (The Film Experience); Mark Harris (Grantland); Thelma Adams (Yahoo!); Roger Friedman (Showbiz411); Ed Douglas (Coming Soon); Christy Lemire and Sandy Cohen (Associated Press); Annette Insdorf (Columbia University); Josh Horowitz (MTV); Melissa Silverstein (Women and Hollywood); Peter Rainer (Christian Science Monitor); Ben Lyons (E!); Mark Feeney, Ty Burr, and Wesley Morris (Boston Globe); Michelle McCue (We Are Movie Geeks); Glenn Kenny (Some Came Running); Bill McCuddy (independent); Phil Contrino (BoxOffice.com); Stephen Holt (The Stephen Holt Show); David Poland (Movie City News); and Anne Thompson (IndieWIRE).
The marketing/publicity specialists who coordinate screenings, interviews, parties, festivals, awards shows, and virtually everything else that happens in Hollywood. Among those with whom I have worked closest and who I regard first and foremost as friends: Michael Kupferberg, Cynthia Swartz, Elena Zilberman, Chanelle James, Katelyn Bogacki, Lindsay Stevens, and Emily Lu (Strategy PR); Leslee Dart, Michelle Benson, Tom Piechura, Scott Feinstein, Nicolette Aizenberg, Kate Rosenbaum, Melissa Stone, and Holly Shakoor (42 West); Kelly Bush, Mara Buxbaum, Bryna Rifkin, Chris Kanarick, Bebe Lerner, Carrie Byalick, Jillian Fowkes, Sara Serlen, and Claire Kelleher (ID-PR); Gena Wilder and Lea Yardum (Perception Public Relations); Lisa Taback, Alia Khan, Jesus Gil, and Jenn Powell (LT-LA); Tony Angellotti, Dana Bseio, Christine Foy, and Cari Sander (The Angellotti Co.); Michele Robertson and Brooke Blumberg (MRC PR); Karen Fried (Karen Fried & Associates); Lee Ginsberg, Chris Libby, Lisa Danna, Chris Regan, Clay Dollarhide, and Karina Vladimirov (Ginsberg-Libby); Donna Daniels, Matt Mazur, and Amanda Sileo (Donna Daniels PR); Melody Korenbrot, Rebecca Fisher, and Max Buschman (Block-Korenbrot); Jessica Uzzan and Mary Ann Hult (Hook Publicity); Erin Bruce (Falco Inc.); Sophie Gluck and Aimee Morris (Sophie Gluck & Associates); Jeff Hill (Jeff Hill PR); Marina Bailey (Marina Bailey Film Publicity); Murray Weissman, Rick Markovitz, and Cheri Warner (Weissman/Markovitz Communications); Carol Marshall (Carol Marshall Public Relations); Jeff Sanderson (Chasen PR); Fredell Pogodin (Fredell Pogodin & Associates); Adam J. Segal (The 2050 Group); Jennifer Allen and Mandi Warren (Viewpoint LA); Adam Kersh and Gerilyn Shur (Brigade Marketing); Guido Gotz and Brooke Medansky (MPRM Communications); Frank Lomento (independent); Flo Grace (independent); Peggy Siegal, Darin Pfeiffer, Melanie Blum, Marisa Frank, and Stephanie Berlin (Peggy Siegal Company); Teni Melidonian and Vance Brawley (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences); Katie Martin Kelley, Megan Colligan, Julie Tustin, Tamar Teifeld, Nancy Bannister, Meryl Katz, Christine Richardson, Sarah Rutter, and Ngoc Nguyen (Paramount); Sarah Greenberg, Victoria Parker, Pantea Ghaderi, Selena Saldana, and Bladimiar Norman (The Weinstein Company); Barry Dale Johnson, Nancy Utley, Michelle Hooper, Melissa Holloway, Diana Loomis, Sarah Peters, Jen Crocker, Anjulee Alvares, John Maybee, James Finn, and Maria Manero (Fox Searchlight); Adrienne Bowles, Harlan Gulko, Dette Kearns, RJ Millard, VJ Carbone, and Omar Gonzalez (Focus Features); David Pollick and Meghann Burns (Roadside Attractions); Adam Keen and Joe Smithey (Relativity Media); Lauren Schwartz (IFC Films); Anne Chun Hathaway (Warner Bros.); Jerry Schmitz (Sony Pictures Animation); Don Levy (DreamWorks Animation); Carman Knight, John Smith, Marshall Weinbaum (Disney); David Fenkel and Dan Berger (Oscilloscope); Steve Elzer (Sony); Dawn Taubin (DreamWorks); Liza Fefferman (Samuel Goldwyn Films); and Mike Rau (Summit).
The small but first-rate team that has kept ScottFeinberg.com alive and active: content aggregator Chelsea Pyrch (of Chelsea Catherine Photography); contributors Rhett Bartlett (of Dial M for Movies), Ryan Bushey (of Please Consider), and Sam Negin (of The Envelope Goes to…); transcriptionist Vicki Negri (who is also a talented actress); and webmaster Tony Groticelli (of TOGA Entertainment).
- The folks at WME, particularly: the great agent Jason Hodes (our association is the ultimate example of how life works in mysterious ways); Jason’s assistant Meghan Mackenzie; and Britt Schey of the book department.
- My friends, who not only put up with my endless Oscar drivel — online and in-person — but are actually very supportive of it, especially (but far from exclusively): Cortney Basso, Emily Franford, Jamie Kramer, Ricky Kramer, Rob Messer, Anthony Monelli, Amanda Platt, John Ritucci, Brandon Stavola, Jeff Stickles in New Haven; Jon Bernstein, Nicole Greene, Sara Kahan, Todd Kramer, Alexander Schaefer, Mary Skawinski, Tamara Sokolson, Harley Yanoff, Jason White, and Sarah Zonenshine in New York; Ali Bloom, Kira Glassman, Pauri Pandian, Andrew Percy, and Eileen Smolyar in Boston; Alanna Crane, Luke Esselen, Matt Kramer, Zach Guglin, Mark Pinkert, and Brie Strohmeyer in Los Angeles; Kara Ward in Providence; and Sam Jonas and Jamie Metrick in Toronto.
- My extended family: the Kriger-Wilsons of Baltimore; the Krigers of Cape Town and Miami; the Todreses of Cape Town and Chicago; the Meers of Jerusalem; the Grodds of Woodbridge; the Jermyns of Longmeadow; the Katzes of Westport, Weston, and New York; and — less literally, but no less meaningfully — the Klimans and the Vines in New Haven. And, most of all, my immediate family: my brother Eric Feinberg, who is tougher than even my toughest interview subject; my sister Debra Feinberg, who is nicer than even my nicest interview subject; and most of all my parents Pamela Feinberg and Michael Feinberg, whose belief in me enables me to believe in myself as I pursue a fairly atypical path in life.
- And, last but certainly not least, you, the readers, whose interest in and passion for movies and the Oscars makes it possible for me to wake up every day and do what I love to do. Special thanks to the most active commenters and/or Tweeters and/or participants in our weekly live-chats, some of whom are old friends, others of whom I have never met, but all of whom I read with great interest, even — or perhaps especially — when we disagree: Jamian Bailey, Rich Bright, Clayton Davis, Megan Dieterle, Marris Goldstone, Helen Bennett-Harvey, Mike Gardner, Daniel Herrera, Amanda Kelly, Brick King, Danny King, Annabelle Kline, Robin Kramer, “LexG,” Stef Marcoux, Terri Miles, Ann Nyberg, Jon Pine, Stephen Rebello, David Rector, Larry Richman, Karla Shelton, Alex Silberman, Yvette Spina, Jason Whyte, Marybeth Zuckerberg, and the NTC cheerleaders (Anna Daccache, Brittany Kaplan, Allison Shein, and Carolyn Zelicof).
Thanks again — all of you — for everything, and see you in September!
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