FEBRUARY 11, 2016 // The California Aggie
How to properly participate in Oscar season
The Academy Awards are upon us and we could not be less prepared. How can you manage to watch and analyze every minute of each Oscar-nominated film by Feb. 28, while also having the responsibilities of a student, an employee, an intern, a club member and a real-life, participating person?
If you consider yourself a movie buff, the following are some handy steps to help you properly take part in Oscar season. However, before starting, make sure you take the time to critically analyze what goes into nominating a movie for an Academy award –– check out the Editorial Board’s comments on inadequate racial representation in Hollywood. This might influence how you spend your time the rest of February.
Step 1: Rationalize
Take the time to determine how you would like to spend your free time this quarter. Being a part of the quarter system –– which means four midterms, two papers and a project all (unsurprisingly) due the same week –– watching your favorite sitcom on a regular basis is a feat within itself. Do you want to go out with friends on your somewhat open Friday nights, or stay in with headphones, Ben & Jerry’s and The Revenant’s Leonardo DiCaprio? If the latter doesn’t sound at least tolerable, don’t put yourself through the heartache of watching feature-length films on a futon in a dark apartment. It’s all about your initial mindset, and like with any goal, optimism takes you all the way.
Step 2: Organize
People say that setting a goal for yourself will always come to fruition if you incorporate metrics –– determine specially how many movies you need to see and when you will watch them. What categories are you most invested in? Do you care more about acting, sound mixing or directing? When you decide that, for example, you want to watch all of the movies with Best Picture and Cinematography nominations at least once a week, write them all down and put them in your calendar! Be careful though –– making too long of a list could discourage you.
You’ve probably already seen Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian, so cross those off your list. See, you’re already a quarter of the way there!
Step 3: Follow through
Spend your first midterm and project-free week getting through the list of movies. If you get one movie down over the weekend, you’ll feel great. Even get two out of the way if you can!
Following through on any project is essential, but when it comes to a voluntary program like this, it encourages pride and self-love as well. If you’re taking care of yourself and putting your happiness first –– and watching movies is a part of that –– this is meant for you.
Step 4: Get some friends involved
Why wouldn’t you? You’re having a great time and though you might have missed a scheduled viewing or two, having already watched a considerable amount of films, you’re way ahead of anyone who’s just begun. Besides, the thrill of beating your friends with a bet over which adapted screenplay deserves to win makes watching the awards way more fun.
Step 5: Panic
That head-start from when you organized your goals into neat little categories on your calendar is probably long gone a week before the show. What exactly were you doing, anyway? That physics midterm wasn’t worth all the studying –– you should’ve watched Spotlight for those two hours you spent procrastinating in the library. Come on, focus!
Jokes aside, there is a natural point where we need to realize exactly what we’ve volunteered ourselves for. Making the commitment to watch hours of film in the middle of the school year is a big deal, and maybe that moment of panic is just what you need to wake yourself up. But please, always remember put your schoolwork first.
Step 6: Re-rationalize
Okay, now it’s time for some reflection. How have your goals changed in the last few weeks? Would you be able to cut any films out of the running for your attention, or be able to shift your original schedule to fit your needs? Or is it time for abandonment? Ending here is not failure, but you can probably still muster up some energy for the final leg of this incredible cinematic journey.
You’ve probably lasted longer than your less determined friends that dropped out as soon as they saw that Bridge of Spies had been nominated and didn’t want to deal with it. Comparing yourself to others is a sure-fire way of establishing your own adequacy.
Step 7: Resolve
Unless you’ve already seen all of the nominated movies accidentally (which can’t be true because everything Oscar-worthy makes its way to us in mid-January), it should not be expected of you to finish within the month. Don’t put yourself through the pressure; you deal with enough from your professors! If this happens to you: don’t fret, because you’re definitely not alone.
Step 8: Try again next year after forgetting everything you have learned.
Have a happy Oscar season!