Here’s to Award Season!
Jenni McCormick, Executive Director American Cinema Editors, Board Member HPA
Tis the season! Not for turkey and stuffing, as you may be thinking. No, it’s that exhilarating time of year commonly referred to as “Award Season.” Some folks dust off their fancy dress shoes, while others pull their clipboards out of mothballs, and prepare for the wild ride of submissions, judging and voting! Such is the exhilarating rush that goes along with menu planning, seating charts and presenter corralling.
Sure, the general public is used to seeing actors and musicians onstage, clutching a shiny thing and thanking their collaborators, parents, agents and preschool teachers. For all the attention spread around at those kind of events, more and more folks are beginning to take notice of the lesser known ceremonies; the ones that do their best to honor each of the important aspects of filmmaking, technology and entertainment, and the people behind all the flash. In fact, these people may have invented “flash.”
Film and Sound Editing, Visual Effects and Color Grading don’t get mentioned every day, but we see the magnificent work every time we are entertained by motion pictures, or interact with entertainment content in any of countless formats and platforms. And for those of us who spend October thru OscarMonth (my pet name for February) attending a gaggle of award ceremonies honoring each and every aspect of filmmaking, one of the most enjoyable ways to kick off the season is none other than the HPA Awards, now in its 11th year. Produced by the Hollywood Professional Association, this event brings the artists who usually work alone in dark rooms into the well-deserved spotlight. The HPA Awards honor innovators in technology and engineering and those who have spent their careers in collaboration with other artists, making the mere dream of a story into a reality.
In talking to attendees of the many “craft” ceremonies which honor brilliance behind the scenes, there is a feeling of gratitude toward the HPA Awards. Post-production is an intricate beast, difficult to define and often misunderstood, and the HPA Awards shine a light on those who often go unrecognized for their contributions. Those supremely talented individuals behind the scenes, helping to tell stories, working tirelessly on projects which bring so much joy to fans around the world. And it’s all done with huge collaborative effort, as only our creative industry can bring.
Last year’s HPA Lifetime Achievement Honoree, Leon Silverman, beautifully put into words what makes this part of the industry special when he said, “What has made my career and what makes this industry so great is the willingness, in fact the compulsion, of the people in the production and post-production industry to help and teach each other. For we have been and continue to be responsible in our generation for ushering in a new era in our industry, one in which creativity is influenced and inspired by technology.”
I’m looking forward to spending November 17 enthusiastically applauding colleagues and friends as they are recognized for their incredible achievements in editing, color grading, video effects, sound, and related endeavors at the beginning of the run for OSCARMonth. It will be a welcome opportunity to toast the hard work and the joy of creating stories that move audiences around the world, whether from a seat in theaters, in front of a television set, or anyplace else there’s a screen.I hope to see you there.