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"Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour
upon the stage..."
Time: March 23rd 7 - midnight
Place: The Adlers 1034 Selby
Cost: Moderate--$5 or less
GMs: Mike Tice (Tice@physics.ucla.edu), Rebecca Strong (RAStrong@AOL.com)
Think ego, power, ego, sex, ego, corruption...in short: Hollywood. And what
is more quintessentially Hollywood than the Oscars--fame, validation, money,
and popularity, all rolled into one evening of comedy, drama, and intrigue
the likes of which is seldom seen on the silver screen?
"Oscar" will be set in an alternate-universe 1930s--most of the milieu will
be familiar, but the movies and actors do not really have to be from the 30s.
We'd like to maintain a sort of film-noir feel, with everyone dressed to the
teeth for the event, but other than that, you can make up whatever you like.
If there is a lot of interest, we might even interject a magical element (as
in 'Cast a Deadly Spell') but that will depend on how many people are
interested, and in all likelihood will never be a major part of the
plot--after all, the goal of the evening isn't to summon ancient deities to
destroy the earth--it's to win.
There will only be two classes of characters--actors and directors. Someone
can be the MC if he or she would like. There will only be one member of the
press present (your gracious GM). If you desperately want to be something
other than an actor or director--e.g. a composer, special effects expert or
groupie, you should be aware that there probably won't be anyone for you to
compete with in your field. Therefore, unless there is great interest in some
other category, awards will only be given for: Best Picture, Best Director,
Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.
Also, if you want to direct, speak up early! There will be a maximum of 5
**Directors can direct more than one film; actors can act in more than one
Making a character:
Step 1: If you want to be a director, contact a GM to see if there is still
Step 2: Directors: Choose a genre for your film and contact the GM (so we
don't get five gangster films nominated for Best Picture).
*Drama (e.g. Gone With the Wind, Laura, The Blue Angel, Grand Hotel)
*Comedy (e.g. City Lights [Chaplin], His Girl Friday, Dinner at Eight, You
Can't Cheat an Honest Man)
*Western (e.g. Stagecoach, The Last Outlaw)
*War (e.g. All Quiet on the Western Front, Wings, The Grand Illusion)
*Gangster/Detective (e.g.The Thin Man, The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep,
*Horror/Science Fiction (e.g. Frankenstein, King Kong, Dr. Jekyl and Mr.
Hyde, Things to Come)
*Spy (e.g.The 39 Steps, Foreign Correspondent, The Lady Vanishes)
*Other: (e.g.Tarzan the Ape Man, The Wizard of Oz)
Step 3: ASAP! Give us a one or two sentence description of your character.
Do it now! Really. We want to have all of these by Feb. 6th. Directors:
Include the genre of the new movie/s that you are working on!
Norma Desmond: Aging silent screen star.
Cecil B. Demille: Director of extravagant biblical and historical epics.
Current project: Biblical Drama
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle: Overweight comedian. Known for degenerate sexual
These will be distributed to all the players. This will help in casting
films and in choosing enemies and friends for your character. If you're
slow, you might get left out of the mega-hit of the year.
Step 4: Build a persona:
A. Basics: Age (real and what you tell people), sex, real name, stage name.
B. In building the rest of your persona, you may want to consider the
What is your personality like? What previous films have you made? Which was
the most/least successful? What do you do when people mention your least
successful film? Who have you slept with? Do you have any sexual abberations
or peculiarities? Are you married? How many times? What are three pieces of
'dirt' about your character which you would not want anyone to know (at least
one involving your Oscar-nominated film)? What do you look like physically?
How do you dress? What are at least three quirks in your personality? Have
you ever tried to kill anyone? Have you ever been arrested? Do you do drugs
(heroin, opium, marijuana, cocaine)? Do you drink and/or have a problem with
alcohol? Who is your best friend? who is your worst enemy? Remember, if you
leave some of this out (e.g. 'dirt' or 'enemies'), your friendly GMs will be
more than happy to make it up for you!
C. Rate yourself on a scale:
--sexual profligacy: very high, high, average, moderately low, chaste
--ego: infinite, enormous, large for a non actor, average for a non-actor
*god/goddess (think Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Jean Harlow, Gary Cooper,
Errol Flyn, Shirley Temple),
*gorgeous but with more 'personality' (think Basil Rathbone, Greta Garbo,
Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Olivia de Haviland, Mae West),
*attractive but with lots of 'personality' (Humphrey Bogart, Boris Karloff,
Erich von Stroheim, Katharine Hepburn)
*unattractive (think Peter Lorre, Groucho Marx, Charles Laughton, W.C.
Fields...hmmm, can't think of any women; maybe that tells us something. How
about Margaret Dumont from the Marx Brothers films?)
--wealth: rich as Croesus, well-to-do, putting on a good show, slowly
D. Directors: Do you use the 'casting couch' to audition your
Actors: Have you ever gotten a role by sleeping with someone?
E. Will you be bringing a weapon (e.g. handgun, knife, poison)? If so, why?
Step 5: Directors:
The easy way: assemble a cast for your film, then make up a plot working with
The hard way: make up a plot and then cast for the roles.
The plot doesn't have to be a big deal--all you really need is something like
the description in a movie-guide. In fact, you could look at a movie guide
and use parts of several films if you're feeling really un-inspired.
Step 6: Work together on little details that you and the other people in your
film would know--share relevant parts of your personality, etc. Decide who
slept with who and how it was. Remember that just because you worked on a
film together, you aren't necessarily buddies--just the reverse is possible.
Would you have an open spat on the set, or put on a sweet facade and wait to
stab your enemy in the back later? Don't be afraid to compete--go ahead,
upstage the rest of the cast. Let the director know you can't be kicked
around. Remember, you're a STAR!
Step 7: Submit your persona to the GMs, being sure to include any new 'dirt',
people you've slept with, enemies, etc.
The obvious goal is to win an Oscar. This will be done by voting by the
Academy. Some cheating may take place--e.g. ballot box stuffing, influence
peddling, etc. so never assume that things will be 'fair'.
However, you may also have other goals (please indicate which you are
* Embarass a rival
* Make a new romantic conquest
* Avoid personal embarassment
* Have a scene with your soon-to-be ex (possibly even kill the ex, if you
have a particularly nasty love-triangle)
* Discover 'dirt' about your enemies
* Purchase drugs
* Show off
* Get hired for a new movie/cast a big star for your new movie
Finally, let us know if you want a Best Actor/Best Actress, Supporting
Actor/Actress, or both (for different films, obviously). There will be a
limited number (though we probably won't stick to the traditional 5
nominees). Remember you can be in more than one film, so you can get more
than one Oscar.
Step 6: For each film, pick one "Oscar Moment" . It should include all the
actors in the film. It will be used once to judge any of the categories in
which the film is nominated. For example, if your film is nominated for Best
Picture and Best Supporting Actor, this "Oscar Moment" will be the only
opportunity to show how great the film is on both counts (as well as for the
rest of the actors to try to upstage the Best Actor and each other). Think
SHORT! Two minutes max. Rehearse it with the rest of the cast. You will be
performing them live for the Academy on Oscar night.
Step 7: Directors: Submit your plot and Oscar Moment to the GMs. If your film
doesn't have a director (which may be necessary), make sure someone submits
Since you can work on more than one picture and be nominated for more than
one award, those who work hardest will have the most potential to win
big--also, those who spend the most time on their movies will have the
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