Monday, January 19, 2015

Oscar Nominations, Part 3

Damn! It happened again!  I had a great short film on the Oscars short-list, and it wasn't nominated!  What's my problem?  I feel like the Susan Lucci of animation!

A lot of people told me I had a great shot at a nomination this year, and of course, I never took their predictions seriously - people always want to make you feel good.  But a number of Academy members told me that "Footprints" got the biggest laughs at the L.A. screening, so I thought that should count for something. 

Of course, the Academy rarely nominates funny films.  They tend to want to reward the films that are the most creative, emotional and pithy.  So "gag" films don't usually make it.  But I felt that "Footprints" was one of my most meaningful films - besides being funny, it has a message, albeit an elusive one. 

 In the past, I've had other shortlisted films that I believed deserved to be nominated.  "The Fan and the Flower", written by Dan O'Shannon, was a gorgeous film that came close to a nom but didn't get one.  Also, I think "The Cow That Wanted To Be a Hamburger" should have gotten a nod, but it also failed to get one.

And my short called "Santa, the Fascist Years" was labeled by many people as a surefire Oscar winner.  But because I failed to see the potential in the film, I released it online first, and that is a no-no for the Academy. 

So, after all this, why don't I just give up and stop worrying about the famed golden statuette?  Because it's a life-changing event.  Another nomination would add tremendous value to my work, whether I win or not.  Besides, the Oscars are the best damn party in the world. 

So, how do I deal with this massive rejection?  Do I go to bed and hide for weeks?  No!

Do I give up animation all together?  Hell, no!

Right now I'm putting all of my energy and creativity into my new animated short, "The Loneliest Stoplight", and it's going to be the one to win the coveted Oscar statue.  Even if it doesn't, I still have to believe it will!

--Bill Plympton


  1. Just keep it going Bill, I've been admiring your whimsical, deep, and original work since I was a kid, and felt always inspired by it to get out of inaction and draw.

  2. You spent years establishing this "godfather of indie animation" status, and many many of us loved THAT about you and your work, yet you're so concerned with the approval of the "godfathers of mainstream" media. It's a bit confusing and heartbreaking. In my opinion, winning an Oscar means your work started appealing to the "wholesome families" across America, is that really what you're are after now?

  3. You shouldn't worry that much about the Oscars, you'll probably get one after your death like all the good directors that didn't get one. Directors that get an oscar often get one for bad films and don't get one for good films.

    You should try to make your short films more easily visible. For example with Cheatin on kickstarter, I'd gladly have paid to see your recent shorts because they're rarely shown at my festival. I didn't really like the feature film but I enjoyed the never-before-seen animations with it.