HAMMOND: DGA Awards Nominees Analysis

Pete Hammond

Certainly with today’s announcement  of the all-important and often soothsaying Directors Guild nominations for feature film, there were no jaw-droppers on the list. David Fincher’s The Social Network, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, David O. Russell’s The Fighter, and Tom … Read More »

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OSCAR: Parade Of Critics Awards & Parties

Pete Hammond

If they weren’t first out of the gate every season, the New York-based National Board Of Review (a self-described group of film enthusiasts, academics, film professionals, and students) probably wouldn’t garner a whole lot of attention for their awards choices. But their announcement (… Read More »

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OSCAR: Coen Bros ‘True Grit’ Enters Race

Pete Hammond

UPDATE: True Grit doesn’t open until December 22nd but started screenings this week just under the wire of critics groups and SAG nominating committee deadlines. It’s the last unseen film of this awards season thought to have a serious … Read More »

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Indie Spirit Nominations Could Predict Oscar

Pete Hammond

Analyzing today’s 26th Annual Independent Spirit Award nominations, I would say Winter’s Bone, the film that led with the most nods, is also the one to beat, particularly after its triumphs at Monday night’s Gotham Awards where it took the Best Ensemble and Best Feature awards. Read More »

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OSCAR: No T-Day Slowdown For Contenders

Pete Hammond

Traditionally, most Hollywood businesses grind to a halt for the 5-day Thanksgiving holiday. But not this wide-open awards season. Tangled had its official Academy screening last Sunday morning but only drew about 200 people. Instead, the holidays actually seem like a good time to push an animated Disney musical. So Disney isn’t even taking Turkey Day off: instead, the studio has skedded screenings of Tangled at the DGA open to all Guild and Academy members. This isn’t actually a new practice. In the past, Oscar hopefuls like Dreamgirls, The Lord Of The Rings, and others have done the same thing at the DGA theater drawing surprisingly strong crowds of potential voters on a day most people are thought to stay at home. Disney also sent a note warning some early voting groups that they wouldn’t be able to send screeners of the film before deadlines for ballots (piracy concerns are part of that problem), so the T-Day screenings take on even greater import.

Tangled aside, distributors have been rushing to get screeners in as many voter hands as possible before Thanksgiving when they think people will have more time on their hands to pop a DVD in the player before the real crunch comes in December. Among those sent in the last few days are The Social Network, Made In Dagenham, Inside Job, Stone, Let Me In, 127 Hours, Black Swan, Conviction, Never Let Me Go, Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,  The Town, Inception, Hereafter, Legends Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole, and The Ghost Writer.

Meanwhile, campaign season continues. Over the weekend, American Cinematheque also proved why it can be a very useful tool during awards season by hosting two sold-out events  for Oscar hopefuls. Saturday night, there was a tribute to Pierce Brosnan at the Aero in Santa Monica with a double feature of Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer and Matador. Inbetween, Pierce appeared for a nearly hour-long Q&A (I moderated) in which he discussed his career from TV’s Remington Steele to James Bond to an Roman Polanski’s Ghost Writer in which he plays ex-British Prime Minister (Tony Blair, anyone?) now writing his controversial memoir. Summit Entertainment is hoping the pic will land him in the Best Supporting Actor conversation. Its early February release is a hindrance but by having a toney organization like American Cinematheque create these little tribute evenings, studios believe they can get the “right” kind of association for their contenders.

It was completely sold out, as was the next night at the same venue which hosted a Q&A session with writer Aaron Sorkin and stars Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield and Armie Hammer following a special screening of Sony Pictures’ The Social Network. All were talking about the genius of Director David Fincher (away on location in Sweden shooting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake) and the number of takes he would require of his actors. “Sometimes there would be 99 of them, but not 100, never 100,” Timberlake said. In an encouraging sign for writerly respect, most of the audience questions from the predominantly young crowd were surprisingly directed at Sorkin who said dialogue-heavy movie might have been written by Paddy Chayefsky in another era. Not bad company to be in since Paddy won no less than three screenwriting Oscars. Some are asking if there is any way Sorkin can lose the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar this year? Especially after The Social Network opened to near-unanimous acclaim and strong business for a drama.

Other Best Picture competitors were also active over the weekend Read More »

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OSCAR: Private Screenings Aplenty & ‘The Kids Are All Right’ Campaign Heats Up

Pete Hammond

Screening rooms all over town are booked solid for the tsunami of Q&A sessions being held for WGA, PGA, DGA, SAG and countless media organizations which host their own sponsored screenings of contenders. One SAG Nominating Committee member I ran into at the Arclight said he was skipping the screenings … Read More »

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OSCAR: Disney’s Rich Ross Says “We’re Going For The Best Picture Win” For ‘Toy Story 3′

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: “We’re going for the Best Picture win. We wanted to have the best movie and the reviews have clearly said that and it’s the number one box office hit of the year so I’m not sure why we would … Read More »

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OSCAR: Stars Gather For Governors Awards

Pete Hammond

“These awards really took flight this year,” Warren Beatty effusively said to 2nd annual Governors Awards producer and Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences 1st Vice President Sid Ganis right after the ceremony ended around 11 PM Saturday night. It took place Read More »

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Deadline Hires Pete Hammond From LA Times /Envelope’s “Notes On A Season”


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LA TIMES/ENVELOPE’S “NOTES ON A SEASON” AWARDS COLUMNIST PETE HAMMOND MOVES TO DEADLINE.COM

LOS ANGELES – September 1, 2010: Deadline.com is expanding its film and television awards coverage for the 2010-2011 season and beyond. Mail.com Media Corporation’s Jay Penske and Deadline.com’s Nikki Finke today announced the hiring of Pete Hammond, the well-known Los Angeles Times/The Envelope’s “Notes On A Season” blog columnist and former Variety contributor who is widely considered the preeminent awards season commentator for film and television. Effective immediately, he becomes the Deadline.com Awards Columnist. His breaking news and analysis will also be offered on Movieline.com to reach a consumer audience as well as Deadline’s industry readership. Hammond also will be contributing original columns to Deadline|Hollywood’s's five planned print newsletters during this awards season. It is Deadline’s intention to own the awards space, helped by Pete’s unique understanding of the behind-the-scenes of this very specialized process when the entertainment industry is fixated on grabbing the gold.

With the 2010 hirings of top journalism talents Mike Fleming, Nellie Andreeva, Tim Adler, and now Pete Hammond, Deadline.com continues its next phase of editorial expansion to dominate the Hollywood news and commentary arena in both film and television so the website can remain a “must-read” for influencers and leaders in the global entertainment and media business. Hammond’s status and reputation fit perfectly with the Deadline.com tradition of shattering the mold of traditional reporting and creating a new paradigm for delivering news and opinion with New Media immediacy.

“We are thrilled that Pete has joined our talented team at Deadline.com,” commented MMC Founder and CEO, Jay Penske. “He has become one of the entertainment industry’s most prominent and visible awards journalists during his tenure at the Los Angeles Times –and we felt it was essential for Deadline.com to address the needs of our audience, partners, and advertisers by hiring someone of Pete’s caliber to continue our site’s ascendancy.”

Said Finke, Deadline’s General Manager and Editor-in-Chief: “I realized that if Deadline Hollywood was going to offer expanded awards season coverage, we had to find someone of Mike’s, Nellie’s, and Tim’s caliber. Pete Hammond is a very well-established brand in this arena, and he’s among the most knowledgeable and insightful people on film and television I’ve ever encountered. If awards season is Hollywood’s Super Bowl, then Pete is the quarterback calling many of the plays. I am delighted that Jay and I could convince him to come over because hiring Pete is a game changer for Deadline|Hollywood.”

Said Hammond, “I am thrilled to bring my views and news on the Hollywood awards scene to readers of Deadline and Movieline and to be working with Jay, Nikki, and Charles and everyone at MMC in making it all happen starting this season. While I loved writing for the Los Angeles Times/The Envelope, I am really looking forward to ramping it up and taking it to the next level on two of the web’s premier sites.”

“Having Pete on board gives a whole new dimension to our academy strategy for both Deadline Hollywood and Movieline. His depth of knowledge and relationships in the industry is unparalleled,” said Lynne Segall, Publisher & Vice President of MMC entertainment. “It is fantastic to have one of the town’s foremost awards experts on our team.”

Pete Hammond is a writer, producer, movie critic, and film historian. During Hollywood’s awards season in recent years, he has been a regular contributing columnist for the online and print editions of the Los Angeles Times/The Envelope, where he wrote the well-read “Notes On A Season” blog. He formerly was a regular contributor to Variety about the Cannes Film Festival, AFI Fest, Golden Globes, and Academy Awards. His film and TV analysis and commentary has appeared in print, on air, and online for numerous media outlets including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, NBC Nightly News, the CBC, and the BBC. Additionally, Pete hosts the extremely popular year-round KCET Cinema Series and is the instructor for UCLA Extension’s Sneak Preview Winter Session where he shows films prior to release and interviews the filmmakers.

His unique and reknowned interviewing and moderating skills have been utilized by Variety for their Annual Awards Screening Series as well as by the American Film Institute, American Cinematheque, the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild Of America, the Writers Guild Of America, the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences, and BAFTA, in addition to film festivals and entertainment conferences around the world. Pete recently has been a regular on-camera presence profiling celebrities on the Biography Channel’s series “Famous” and the longtime Contributing Editor for the bestselling Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide. He was also co-author of Behind the Silver Screen. He is the recipient of five Emmy nominations for his television writing and served four years on the TV Academy’s Board of Governors representing writers. Prior to becoming an awards season analyst and film critic, Pete was a full-time consultant to the AMC Network.

About Deadline.com

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