For Your Consideration: An Actor’s Campaign For Oscar

25 Feb

By Parisienne

An Oscar Win!  For actors that have been nominated or received an Oscar, it is a night they will never forget.  For one night, we are glued to our televisions comparing fashions while actors do red carpet interviews and once inside, the heart pounding anticipation begins.  Which of our favorite actors will win the coveted golden statue?  The long journey to Oscar stops and someone will walk away knowing that their hard work and dedication paid off.

To win an Oscar, an actor not only needs to know how to act, they also need to know how to campaign. The campaigning, which is set up by the studios, begins in the autumn and is geared toward the 6,000 members of the Academy.[1]  The campaigning includes sending out DVD’s, setting up screenings and pushing marketing plans.  Actors no longer win Oscars; they have to work for them.

The actors begin their campaigns in the beginning of December by walking many red carpets and by attending individual events to increase their Oscar chances.  They attend film festivals such as the ones held in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara.  They also attend the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the National Board of Review Awards, the Directors Guild Awards as well as the Producers Guild Awards.

The nominees this year include:  George Clooney, Michelle Williams, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Martin Scorcese, Christopher Plummer, Glenn Close and Gary Oldman as well as the cast of The Help and The Artist.[2]

To give you an example of what actors go through to win an Oscar, Jean DuJardin, who is nominated for Best Actor for The Artist, spent 11 days in Los Angeles and was at different functions every night starting with the Australian Film Institute Awards and ending with the academy’s luncheon for Oscar nominees.  He also perfected his English to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and flew from France to New York to perform a dance number on Saturday Night Live.  He then turned around and flew to England to attend the BAFTA’s.

The Oscars seem to test the nerves of every nominee.  They may wonder if they did enough campaigning when the words “And the Oscar goes to” passes the lips of the presenter.  February 26th they will find out.

Please join us for an open discussion all this weekend on this topic.

17 Responses to “For Your Consideration: An Actor’s Campaign For Oscar”

  1. brekaz February 25, 2012 at 8:36 AM #

    WOW! so its true what they say about actors that they have to wwork really hard like a mother preparing her husband and for a new day,just to get an oscar.Its true all of sudden your heart freezes as they call out the nominees, but ,yah will have to wait and see on the day.

  2. Comic Relief February 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM #


    Thanks for this extremely educational synopsis of an actor’s real effort to win this award.

  3. littlebells February 25, 2012 at 12:19 PM #

    And Jean was on Jimmy Fallon! I think he did a great job of campaigning himself. 🙂

    Great article!

    How do you think Jean’s campaign has gone over? Do you think he has done a positive job getting his name and film out to the public? IMO yes. His appearances have been funny and endearing and I check every theater in a 40 mile radius for The Artist.

  4. Parisienne February 25, 2012 at 2:11 PM #

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the replies.


    I don’t know how Jean’s campaign as gone over. I would say pretty well. I haven’t really followed any other the Oscar buzz this year but it sounds like he did a fantastic job selling himself. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see if he wins.

    • Open Book February 25, 2012 at 5:35 PM #

      Hi Paris,

      I loooooooove this article.

      How do studios decide which actor or film they are going to support for a campaign?

      • Parisienne February 25, 2012 at 8:31 PM #


        Thanks, I enjoyed writing the article.

        The academy members choose which 5 films they would like to nominate from the following year. The academy is split into 15 different branches and each branch can only choose “in house” which means writers can only nominate writers and the like. The members then send thier votes, from 1 to 5, to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. PWC is an accounting firm and the votes are manually tallied.

        A film must receive a number one ranking from one member to be in the running for Oscar.

        • Open Book February 25, 2012 at 8:37 PM #

          Ahh! Thank u!!

          Do all actors even those who have been nominated before do such a rigorous campaign as a first time nominee?

          • Parisienne February 25, 2012 at 9:58 PM #


            Every campaigns equally as hard. There is no difference between “first timers” and “vets”. Its basically every man for himself type mentality.

            • Open Book February 25, 2012 at 10:14 PM #

              Ahh! Your too kind. It’s more like dog eat dog!! LOL!!

              • Open Book February 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM #

                I find it impressive to know the hard work actors put into these campaigns. I mean they really have to sell themselves after already doing the work to get nominated. I think knowing this really makes them more relatable to audiences instead of seeing them on the red carpet polished and starved for everyone to ogle at.

                • Parisienne February 26, 2012 at 12:14 AM #

                  I think it makes them more relatable as well in the sense that they work twice as hard to sell the film. It reminds me of a political campaign. I think each actor nominated should go to each members door and shake hands or something. LOL

  5. Open Book February 25, 2012 at 8:44 PM #

    One of the more fascinating things about your article is how early a campaign begins. 11 weeks of non-stop campaigning. WOW!! I imagine this is why it’s better to promote a film/actor for an Oscar at the same time the film is being released. Kinda do a two for one deal?

    • Parisienne February 26, 2012 at 12:25 AM #

      I would think two for one would be a good deal too. Its never to early to start. 🙂

  6. Open Book February 25, 2012 at 8:50 PM #

    Francesa and I were discussing how unlikely a studio will promote an actor or film for an Oscar if the film is already on DVD. Has there ever been a case when a studio re-leased a film just to have an actor or film be considered for an Oscar?

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