How To Get Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song: The “Alone Yet Not Alone” Story
UPDATE: The Academy has recently disqualified “Alone Yet Not Alone” as a nominee for best song. Get all of the details right here.
When the Academy Award® nominations were announced earlier this month there were very few surprises. With the exception of a couple notable snubs (sorry, Oprah!) the Oscars® kept to the same pattern of accolades other award organizations had this season. However, there was one big shocker — and I do mean it was a serious shocker — within the nominations for the Academy Award® for Best Song.
Spin magazine may win for best instant reaction when they wrote, “What the Hell Is ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ and How Is It Up for a Best Song Oscar?” Many people were scratching their heads with them. At the time of the Academy nomination announcement, the official video for the song had fewer than 4,000 views on YouTube. Spin shares the movie the song is from, also called Alone Yet Not Alone, “didn’t show up on Metacritic or Wikipedia as of its nomination, and Rotten Tomatoes didn’t list even one review. Movie revenue tracker Box Office Mojo doesn’t show data on its commercial success.”
The film had only played in nine theaters for one week, mostly in the south (Tennessee and Texas). The Week brings up that the film used a relatively new way of distribution, Seatzy. According to their website, Seatzy is a “platform for movie goers that will allow all of us to participate in the process of supporting the films we love by reserving tickets in advance so producers will know when and where to open a film (and where not to open it).” Bottom line: The film met the requirements it needed to in order to submit itself for consideration for a Best Song nomination. But how did “Alone Yet Not Alone” make the leap from meeting the requirements to successfully blowing the minds of everyone in Hollywood by achieving an actual nomination?
Deadline was able to demystify the moment. Ready for it? The score for the film is by William Ross and the writer of the song is Bruce Broughton. Make sense yet? No? How about this: William Ross is the conductor for the orchestra for this year’s Academy Awards. Bruce Broughton is the former head of the Academy’s music branch.
The nomination has made many within the industry unhappy. The Los Angeles Times says: “The song’s connection to a prominent academy member has raised some eyebrows.” A person whose song was looked over told the Hollywood Reporter, “It doesn’t really surprise me — I think it’s just the latest example of how true art sometimes is overlooked by those in a position to make decisions about what is paid attention to and what is not — but it’s disheartening to a lot of artists.”
The story didn’t end on nomination day. The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively revealed that a private investigator was hired by a snubbed contender. The investigator found that the movie, “failed to meet the advertising requirements stated in the Academy’s rules for eligibility and that the Academy is not enforcing the strictest reading of those rules because of Broughton’s involvement with the song.”
The producers of Alone Yet Not Alone openly disclosed that they did not purchase any advertising for the film during the window of its eligibility run. However the Academy has now decided that the the film still meets the requirements needed for the nomination. A spokesperson from the Academy told the Hollywood Reporter, “while the producers themselves did not run ads for the film, the showtimes for the film’s screenings were advertised by the Laemmle Town Center 5 theater.”
I can not even begin to imagine that answer was satisfactory to the producers of films who spent MILLIONS of dollars on advertising.
It will be interesting to see how this category will unfold on award night. The Academy Awards® will be broadcast live on ABC on March 2, 2014.
Listen to the nominated “Alone Yet Not Alone”
Image Credit: YouTube
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