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How To Win an Oscar

With our help, writing the acceptance speech will be the hardest part.


  • TIP: If your movie came out earlier in the year, make sure it’s re-released in this time period.
  • Step 1: Make sure the film is released within a few months of the awards ceremony, so that your performance will be remembered by the notoriously short attention-spanned denizens of Hollywood.
  • Step 2: Make sure the studio hires a top-notch award consultant to help position you and your film for the Academy’s consideration.
  • Step 3: Work with the consultant, the public relations and marketing people and anyone else necessary to help build is big buzz around you and the movie through lots of ads, talk show appearances, magazine and newspaper interviews. You want to help create a group of rabid supporters, particularly in LA.
  • FACT: The first actress to win an Oscar for best actress in a leading role was Janet Gaynor, who took home the Oscar in 1929 for her performance in _Sunrise_.
  • Step 4: If you’ve done a wonderful job in other roles but have been overlooked for an Oscar, there’s a good chance you might take home the golden man the role just after your best role ever. Hey, at least you’ll get to recite that speech!
  • TIP: You might have a tough time even getting nominated if the film is made for kids, is too “experimental,” is a thriller or a comedy.
  • Step 5: The right role had best be part of a great script. Something either emotionally-redemptive or heartbreakingly illuminative of the dark side of life. A dash of The American Dream never hurts.
  • Step 6: Make sure you have a great director. This means someone who believes in your work and knows how to help pull the best performance possible out of you.
  • TIP: When you are cast in a role that you just know is Oscar material, hire an acting coach. Many of the pros do it.
  • Step 7: Work with a wonderful director of photography. This guy can make you look beautiful or rugged or just plain ragged.
  • Step 8: Pray for/hope for/search for the right role—a character that synchs well with your natural talents and allows those talents and your individuality to shine on through. It doesn’t hurt to have a show-stopping monologue for you to bask in—perhaps one spoken from the character’s death-bed.
  • TIP: Based on past award-winning roles, it wouldn’t hurt if it was based on a real person that you learn to flawlessly imitate—even better if that person is mentally and/or physically challenged and/or if you have to make your beautiful self ugly for the role.
  • Step 9: Get yourself some good training. Not that every Academy Award winner has done Shakespeare, but it’s a good first step toward building your acting chops.

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