I started this site exactly 20 years ago, in 1999. To commemorate that, I’ve begun a podcast memoir that talks about the beginnings of the site, my life raising a daughter alone, and covering the Oscar race each year. You can visit it here.
I just want to say thank you to those who helped build the site and the community back then and now. We didn’t know what we were doing, any of us. We didn’t know that someone could create a website that tracked Oscar news 24/7 and that we would attract people from around the world to talk about it 24/7. But somehow it was a need none of us knew we had. And thus, an entire industry has grown around it.
Every so often I hear from someone who came to the site as a teenager and still come to read it and participate in it with us. Even though my daughter is now 21 years old and off at college, I feel, in a way, like the mother or mother ship for all of the lost souls who found their way here — first to Oscarwatch and now to Awardsdaily. You’ve stuck with me through the various evolutions the site has gone through — the most important of which was our co-editor Ryan Adams coming aboard in 2006. Ryan has had to fight for his life for the past two years and has come out the other side an actual Twitter superstar, among other things. As you all know, we could not do without him here so we’re thankful he is here. We’re thankful for his support and focus and generosity as both a friend and as a proofreader (you guys know I can’t spell). So thank you Ryan. We all bow down.
But of course, we had to say goodbye to Jazz Tangcay, our Dorothy who brought so much good cheer and her innate productive spirit to the site, doing things none of us would have ever thought about – like making an Instagram for the site, like making set visits and attending Hollywood events. If you’ve ever done anything with Jazz you’ll know she knows everyone and everyone is somehow touched by her kindness. She’s onto Variety as their Artisans Editor, which is as swanky a job as one could imagine. We’re proud to have had even a small part in that great promotion. We miss her dearly, but we know we’ll never lose sight of her.
In her stead, a mighty force has risen in the ranks – Clarence Moye who has been co-running the TV section for a few years but has now stepped up in all ways we need and appreciate. Probably much to his regret, he’s even become part of the daily emails Ryan and I send back and forth, which range from site discussions to porn to movies to dreams to architecture. After Telluride, Marshall Flores took off in another direction but can still be found on social media here or there, even if he’s taken his leave from Awards Daily. We still thank him for all of his proofreading, analysis, and contributions to the podcast and the site for many many years. We don’t do many things right in life or on this site, that’s for sure, so losing both Jazz and Marshall in the same year was, well, in typical fashion for someone deemed a “fuck up” going all the way back to high school. But you know, life is choices.
And to the other rising stars on this website that you’ll be hearing a lot more from now that we’re combining film and television arenas. If you don’t know her already, Megan McLachlan is like an actual romantic comedy heroine walking around in the world. You’d think someone cast her to play that invincible role but she is really that much the full package — smart, funny, goofy — and mostly, kind and humble. Her sharp and stalwart pal Joey Moser has a really raunchy sense of humor (actually, everyone at AD does, thank god, because if there is one thread that ties us all together, it’s THAT). If you listen to their Water Cooler podcast you already know Clarence, Megan and Joey but you might not know Jalal Haddad, whom I finally got to meet, along with Megan, when Jazz, in her Mary Poppins-like fashion, introduced us at a rooftop bar in L.A. Jalal and my daughter turned out to have a lot in common! He too is wicked smart and very funny and will be doing a lot more prominent stuff for Awards Daily.
And then there’s our film noir hero, David Phillips, who pops in now and again with his great writing for obits and reframes. You’ll be reading a lot more of his stuff too. Though we occasionally clash on Facebook over various topics, he’s a good egg and a devoted film lover with a flair for good writing, just like everyone else that writes for Awards Daily. Thanks to our steadfast friend Dr Rob, who builds the fun and informative Awards Daily Oscar ballot each year, and labors so tirelessly to help us see the inner workings of the preferential ballot in his fascinating charts.
You don’t know this, but for quite some time an angel named Dora Kappou who redesigned the FYC gallery and keeps updating it for us. She literally gets nothing in return and was kind enough to write me and ask me about the local fires a day or so ago. It’s a mostly terrible world and there are terrible people in it but there are also good people who do good things and Dora is one of those.
Where would we be without our intrepid Zhuo-Ning Su who covers Cannes, Venice, and the Berlinale for the site. If you don’t know him, you’d never meet a nicer guy — a terrific writer and someone who really just loves the movies. We thank him for his contributions. Our longtime friend Paddy Mulholland somehow finds time to cover the London Film Festival while attending college in London, with his inimitable insight and irreverent wit.
But really, I just wanted to thank all of you readers out there in the dark — for making this site what it is and for being the reason, quite frankly, I haven’t pulled the plug on it. Your enthusiasm for the Oscars, your passion for movies and the debates that surround them — even when you’re sometimes angry about the opinions written here — are so important and so appreciated. I do feel like we’ve become a family and some of you have lived through all of the years with us — the Chicago year, the Brokeback year, the Departed year, the Social Network year. What a strange thing to have become involved in for half my adult life but there’s no turning back now. We all hacked the weeds and blazed the trail – so until the weeds grow back over it, it’s here to stay.
Wishing you all here in America a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and wishing the rest of our international friends Happy Oscarwatching.