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SamBorowski's Blog

February 26th, 2012 Comments

What MAKES Sammy Run? - I would like to Thank The Academy ... for INSPIRATION!

OSCARstatue.jpg AcademyofMotionPicturesMANDALA.jpg MeandErnieB.jpg 

 

As I left my Oscar Party on Sunday night, after having just watched the 84th Academy Awards, I left inspired. That's not a new occurrence, however, as I always get inspired after each Oscar ceremony. Having been fortunate enough to go through that process a few years back when my Live-Action Short Film, THE MANDALA MAKER, qualified, I can tell you it's both a rewarding and exciting creative process.

 

But, even before that, I was a huge fan of Oscar Night. While others can complain, I embrace it. Having seen my cousin - actor Danny Aiello - get nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Spike Lee's DO THE RIGHT THING in 1990. Seeing my cousin's face on the screen was very exciting. But, there are so many tremendous Oscar memories for me:

 

* John Travolta's HUGE comeback in 1994, getting nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino's PULP FICTION.

 

* Cuba Gooding Jr. - who I had spent time with during Leigh Steinberg's Super Bowl party one year - accepting his Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Rod Tidwell in JERRY MAGUIRE. How excited he was jumping up-and-down on stage. I believe it was the very next year that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon emulated Gooding after winning for Best Original Screenplay.

 

* Perhaps the best for me, was seeing Martin Scorsese, one of my favorite directors, and a man I've had the pleasure of meeting and talking with, win his long-awaited Oscar just five years ago. It was a long-time coming, and you could see the relief on Scorsese's face, even opening his speech by saying "Thank You," 12 times (you can look it up on youtube ;) ), before asking, "Could you double-check the envelope?" That's what Oscar meant to Scorsese - what it means to all of us. It is the highest honor you can get in the industry. The most famous award.

 

If that kind of prestige doesn't inspire you, then what are you doing in this business? Some people I know they don't watch the telecast? Others criticize, but the work and pushing that goes into getting to that level commands respect. And, it should inspire you to be there yourself.

 

I still remember getting notification that THE MANDALA MAKER qualified. And, after seeing a lot of the recent Live-Action Shorts, and seeing some of my peers get nominated and even win, and seeing some of my friends who have acted in Oscar-Nominated Best Pictures such as Robert Pralgo in THE BLIND SIDE, I get more and more inspired. Being at that level just means you can reach a greater audience, touch so many more people with your stories. And, yes, it doesn't hurt to hear that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is giving you the "Thumbs Up," for all your hard work.

 

In fact, in one of the above photos, you can see one of my films representatives holding up THE MANDALA MAKER press kit outside the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, right after our Oscar screening, and right before we officially qualified. There is so much negativity in this business, but I am advising ALL of ForTalent's members NOT to buy into it. STAY POSITIVE. Embrace events such as The Academy Awards, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, The Accolade Competition and The Golden Globes, not to mention the Independent Spirit Awards, as well. These are all very prestigious events that you can learn from. And that can inspire you.

 

Just listen to some of the highlights from Sunday night's Oscar telecast:

 

"We receive tonight the award that any filmmaker would dream to receive ...," said Thomas Langmann, Producer of THE ARTIST upon receiving the coveted Best Picture Oscar.

 

"When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, 'Oh no, oh, come on, why her ... again? You know?" Meryl Streep quipped after winning her third Oscar, the second time she has won in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category. (She also won a Best Actress in a Supporting Role for KRAMER VS KRAMER in 1980 in addition to her other Best Actress in a Leading Role for 1983's SOPHIE'S CHOICE.) "But ... whatever."

 

After hearing her complete the quip with a youthful giggle, it dawned on me we were watching Meryl Streep, the greatest actress of our generation win her third Oscar. That is history. If you are an actor and you have a pulse, you better be inspired!

 

In addition to her 3 Oscar wins, she has amassed an incredible 17 nominations. Do you the kind of hard work, and great choices, it takes to get that many nominations?

 

How about Michel Hazanavicius, who won Best Director for THE ARTIST? "Sometimes life is wonderful and today is one of these days," he said, sparking the dream to every filmmaker out there. It reminded me of Oscar-Winning Documentarian, Leon Gast, who congratulated me on NIGHT CLUB's five awards, including Best Director and Best Feature at this past Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City. At the party the night before the awards, he told me in regards to winning his Oscar, "I wish everyone the chance to experience a night like that. Everyone should get that chance." The next night he came up to me at the awards and said, "I was rooting for you! I said, 'I know this guy - I want him to win!" Meant so much to me, and I thought of that after hearing Hazanavicius speak.

 

And, then there was Jean Dujardin winning Best Actor in a Leading Role in his first widely-released movie in the United States. A top French actor, Dujardin struck Oscar gold by portraying silent film star on the way out, George Valentin. Not only that, but he got his Academy Award presented to him by Natalie Portman, last year's Best Actress winner.

 

"Thank You," Dujardin said before letting out a loud celebratory scream, followed by an underscored, "I love your country."

 

He concluded his speech with, "If George Valentin could speak he would say ..." before yelling some loud screams in French. Watching him leap around on stage, waving his Oscar and shouting in French with the joy of a child, I thought this is what it's all about.

 

And, if an underdog like Dujardin, primarily a French film actor, whose work is not as well known in this country, can win his Oscar in a year where he is up against so many great actors including Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Gary Oldman, than that shows the kind of hope each and every ForTalent member needs.

 

Dujardin got a great role and did his part, knocking it out of the park, and the Academy rewarded him for that. Just as each and every member on ForTalent hopes to be rewarded, not only with Oscars, but with steady, solid work in this industry. It shows that the cream rises to the top.

 

And, If that kind of hope doesn't inspire you, then what are you doing in this business?

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments

HerbyWilliam

I have to say Oscars was great, and your blog too!! I can see all of us one day giving powerful speeches @ the Oscars.

DanielMcQueary

Sam, in a very short time, Ive grown to love reading all of your posts because you are a constant voice of inspiration for fighting up-and-comers like me and many others here on ForTalent! Contrary to the opinions of many friends, I felt the Oscar line-up for 2012 was the best in several years, and I couldnt wait to watch the ceremony! Some of the biggest highlights of the night would certainly be Octavia Spencers tear-jerking speech as well as Dujardin and Hazanavicius joyful expressions. Many friends and I shared an extremely blissful moment when a great young filmmaker from the Dallas / Fort Worth area (and the brother of a good friend) took home the Oscar for the Animated Short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore! There was certainly no shortage of inspiration following this telecast! Thanks for the post! :)

BrettR

I thought the awards were great. I always enjoy watching. Doesn't matter who is hosting or producing. I just like seeing the stars and what they have to say, along with the montages and other Oscar stuff. The best part is always seeing the one or two winners give inspiring and endearing speeches.

billsorvino

Well, I have chills. So, if that isn't inspired I don't know what is. You have hit the nail on the head on the last line: "And, If that kind of hope doesn't inspire you, then what are you doing in this business?" And, I would like to add, once you have a clear goal through that inspiration, the hard work should seem easy. If it doesn't then you really are in the wrong business. Great article, great inspiration. The Oscars and other awards ceremonies like the Golden Door Film Festival (which every celebrity at the event told me it reminded them of just that..whew!) are indeed created to provide artists in filmmaking a recognition AND a boost, a fuel to go further and expand their artistic achievements. I thank you Sam for a bit of inspiration this morning.

kieramorrill

The Oscars provide so much to look forward to in this business, if not for ourselves then for our friends too. Just like you described, Sam, everyone's face as they win their award is priceless. You can see their years of hard work flashing before their eyes as they look at the statue of that lil gold man. People give this business a bad rep, but really we are an incredibly representation of the American Dream. Work hard, don't take no for an answer, and prove to everyone what you can do. I'm proud to be part of this, it is truly an inspiration!

KevG

Great blog, Sam! I , too, got such enjoyment watching Octavia Spencer's acceptance speech. She was truly shocked and grateful. It's such a difficult business (contrary to Chris Rock's comments on acting in animations) that you really must LOVE what you do. The payoff has to be in the journey. There's a reason why our greatest export is our movies. I look forward to what the future brings for you, your next film and your eventual Oscar acceptance speech! Keep pushing, keep polishing your product and don't ever give up!!

Youssef

Great Blog Sam. I am inspired 365 days a year but after the Oscars, my dreams and goals have no limits. I actually got inspired last night and I am going to shoot a trailer for my next feature in two weeks. You've got to have a strong will to succeed. How do you think all these people got there? Luck? No.

AnthonyPallino

Amazing a guy basically no one ever heard of walks away with an Oscar on a night were he was against guys us actors could only imagine to having there careers. Of course like every actor I dream of being on that stage accepting an award at the most prestigious event, giving a great thank you speech and soaking in every moment. I think the Oscars were great and it was very surprising with Meryl Steep winning her 3rd oscar, I just want one imagine 3! She has that hard work that I know Sam praises and wants to see in all of us. I can't wait till a year or two now were we can talk about this blog as one of your films are up for another oscar and this time walking away with it! Thank you for pushing every single one of your actors, thank you for believing in every single one of us, and thank you for this Oscar blog.

MichaelM

Great blog bud. They are all great but the photo of the Mandala Maker press kit in front of the building of The Academy makes this one simply.. "WOW". Amazing photo. One thing I can definitely say is you are inspiring to those whom surround you. Aside from this business you spread that positive energy as much as you preach it. Then when you take the downfalls, and the obstacles of this industry and battle it with the inspiration, and energy I've seen you convey, you are consistently triumphant. You haven't won the Oscar YET, (it is definitely coming by the way) but every award acceptance speech that you have given, has been just as empowering, and inspirational as if you were on that stage holding that oscar. You've always been able to inspire as a coach, a leader and a mentor. Now please excuse me if i tend to run on a bit or stumble a bit in here because I'm still a little bit delirious from my weekend. However I am happy that, although my voice is gone I can voice my opinions through an industry website such as this and let you know that we as a community should appreciate you reaching out to us. And I assure you that your very own Oscar is within arms length. On a personal note, I was so excited for this Saturday's Pre-Oscar, Awarding, "So You Want To Be An Actor" seminar, that I awoke from an Endoscopy Surgery on saturday morning around 11am and I told the Doctor (with a raspy, faint voice) that I was late for class and for my award. He told me I wasn't going anywhere for at least a day. I don't know if the anesthesia turned me into a true potty mouth but i continually called the doctor a bunch of derogatory terms. My mother I'm sure will be posting some of those videos on youtube. And I am only going by what i was told for I have no recollection of what happened that morning. Anyways, I agree with this blog 110% and am so happy to see that a mentor of mine recognized the child-like joy of Jean Dujardin. I see the same joy and humble spirit in you for every victory that you and the team has. Next Oscar season, I don't doubt for one second I may be seeing that humbleness and joy from you yourself. Hands to the sky, we pray for that success. And a side note for ForTalent Community. SAM BOROWSKI is for real. EVERY bit of criticism, or free advice that he gives should not be taken lightly. Embrace it, learn it and live it. If you don't, then like Sam said... "What ARE you doing in this business?" Good-night all *bows to the crowd and exits stage left.

samanthaTuffarelli

INSPIRATION is the word. Watching the Oscars pumps me up even more!! Love this blog and the lines you pulled from some great acceptance speeches. My personal favorite was Octavia Spencer's. To see how much joy and gratitude she had was heart felt. Because it is how I know I feel inside when things are going good in my career. You feel grateful, blessed, ecstatic and almost feel like it's a dream. But it is YOUR DREAM and you are LIVING IT! and that is what I love about what I do- It excites me and one day I will be on that level- until then I'll keep PUSHING! Fearless in 2012*


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SamBorowski

Film / Theater / TV, Writing


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