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Awards season can be confusing even for seasoned actors; there are so many different awards shows and everything is crammed together just a few months, so things can start to blur.
There are literally dozens of different awards in the film and television industry, and many highly sought after, but below I’m breaking down the biggest awards shows and ceremonies and what it’s all about.
When is awards season in Hollywood?
Awards season in Hollywood refers to the period of time leading up to and including the annual awards shows for the film and television industries, such as the Academy Awards (Oscars), the Golden Globe Awards, and the Emmy Awards. The exact dates of awards season can vary from year to year, but it usually begins in late fall or early winter and culminates with the Oscars in late February or early March.
Pre-awards season, studios and production companies will release special materials and host events to promote their films, television shows, and performances to members of the various award-giving organizations, in the hopes of receiving nominations and ultimately winning awards. This period is often referred to as “For Your Consideration” (FYC) season.
What is FYC Season
“For Your Consideration” (FYC) is a film and television industry term that refers to the pre-awards season period in the entertainment industry, particularly in relation to the Academy Awards in the film industry and the Emmy Awards in the television industry, but also includes other major and prestigious awards such as the Golden Globes, SAG / Screen Actor’s Guild Awards and both the Critic’s Choice and People’s Choice Awards.
During FYC season, studios and production companies go on what is essentially a promotions blitz with highly promoted screenings followed by Q&A sessions with film makers and sometimes even lavish parties and events all to promote their films, TV shows, and performances of actors and other creatives to members of the various award-giving organizations. This is done with hopes of garnering nominations and with any luck, and enough eyeball on the work, ultimately winning awards.
FYC season takes place in the months leading up to the awards ceremonies, beginning as early as December and continuing into the spring of the following year.
What are the Academy Awards
The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are a set of awards presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers. The Oscars are considered one of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry, and the ceremony is a high-profile event that is televised live around the world.
The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929, and since then, the awards have been presented every year with the exception of several years during World War II. The Oscars are awarded in 24 categories, including best picture, best director, and best actor/actress in a leading role. The ceremonies are held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, right on the famed Hollywood Walk of Fame and is hosted by a well-known actor or comedian.
How are the Academy Award winners decided?
The Oscar winners are decided by the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) which is made up of professionals working in the film industry. Academy membership is limited to film artists, that is, people working in the production of theatrically-released motion pictures. There are 17 categories or branches for artists including actors, writers, directors, producers and more. The membership process is not by application, but rather by sponsorship. Candidates must be sponsored by two Academy members from the branch to which they seeks admission.
Members of the Academy are eligible to vote in the award categories that correspond to their areas of expertise, such as actors voting for the acting categories and directors voting for the directing categories.
To be eligible for an Academy Award, a film must be released in the preceding calendar year and meet certain other requirements, such as having a minimum length and being shown in a theater for a certain number of days. The process for selecting the nominees and winners for the Oscars begins with the submission of films by their studios or production companies.
A group of experts within each branch of the Academy (e.g., actors, directors, writers) then view and evaluate the eligible films and select a shortlist of nominees.
The final voting for the winners is then conducted by all members of the Academy, using a preferential voting system in which voters rank their choices in order of preference. The winners are determined based on the totals of these ranked votes. The awards are presented at the annual Academy Awards ceremony, which is held in late February up to the end of March. The exception to this was 2021 when the awards were held on April 25th – thank you global pandemic. 😉
What are the Golden Globe Awards?
The Golden Globe Awards are presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) to recognize excellence in the film and television industry. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a group of journalists and photographers who cover the film and television industry in the United States.
The Golden Globe Awards are considered one of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry, and the ceremony is a high-profile event that, like the Oscars, is televised live.
The first Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held on January 20, 1944, and since then, the awards have been presented every year to honor the best in film and television, as well as individual achievements such as acting, writing, and directing.
The Golden Globe Awards are presented in a number of categories, including best motion picture (drama and musical or comedy) and best actor and actress in a leading role in both film and television. The ceremony has historically been held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and is hosted by a well-known actor or comedian.
What are the Emmy Awards?
The Emmy Awards, also known as the Primetime Emmy Awards, are a set of awards presented annually by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) to recognize excellence in the television industry. The Emmy Awards are considered one of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry, and the ceremony is a high-profile event that is televised live.
The first Emmy Awards ceremony was held on January 25, 1949, and since then, the awards have been presented every year to honor the best in television programming, including series, miniseries, specials, and individual achievements. The Emmy Awards are also presented in a number of categories, including drama, comedy, and limited series, as well as individual achievements such as acting, writing, and directing. The ceremony is typically held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, and like the Golden Globes, is hosted by a well-known actor or comedian.
What are the Daytime Emmys?
The Daytime Emmy Awards are a set of awards presented annually by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) to recognize excellence in the daytime television industry. The Daytime Emmy Awards are held in recognition of the best in programming and individual achievements in the daytime television genre, which includes soap operas, talk shows, and game shows, as well as children’s programming.
The first Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony was held in January 1972, and since then, the awards have been presented every year to honor the best in daytime television. The Daytime Emmy Awards are presented in a number of categories, including best drama series, best talk show, and best entertainment program for children. The ceremony is usually held in the spring or summer and like other major awards shows is hosted by a well-known actor or television personality.
What are the SAG Awards
The Screen Actors Guild Awards, also known as the SAG Awards, are a set of awards presented annually by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) to recognize outstanding performances by actors in film and television. The SAG Awards are considered one of the most prestigious awards in the entertainment industry, and the ceremony is a high-profile event that is televised live.
The first SAG Awards ceremony was held on February 25, 1995, and since then, the awards have been presented every year to honor the best in acting, both as an ensemble and as individual performers. The SAG Awards are also presented in a number of categories, including best performance by a cast in a motion picture and best performance by a male and female actor in a leading and supporting role in both film and television. The ceremony is typically held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, and again, is hosted by a well-known actor or comedian.
What are the BAFTA Awards?
The BAFTA Awards are the British equivalent to the Oscars or Academy Awards. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards is an annual ceremony recognizing excellence in film, television, and video games in the UK and beyond.
The BAFTA Awards typically include categories for Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Best Director, Leading Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress and more and categories may vary year to year. The first BAFTA Awards ceremony was held in 1949, and the ceremony was first broadcast on the BBC in 1956 with Vivien Leigh as the host. The ceremony was initially held in April or May; since 2001, it typically takes place in February. The awards ceremonies are usually held in London, England at the Royal Albert Hall or the Roundhouse.
I hope this helps you to decode awards season. On a personal note, it’s a magical and surreal time in LA. Celebrities are everywhere and parties are plentiful! I remember the first year I lived here and I was almost giddy when I realized the Oscars were being held about 6 blocks from my house! (Which of course made traffic terrible for a whole week as they blocked off streets for set-up and tear down!)
We’re all hoping for that wonderful little golden statue, but no matter where you are in your career path, never stop dreaming and never stop reaching for the stars. Remember you’re one step closer today than you were yesterday!
p.s. Have you grabbed your copy of the Hollywood Actors Playbook? It’s completely FREE and gives you a step-by-step guide to becoming a Hollywood level actor! Get your copy here!
Now I want to hear from you! Was this useful? Did you learn something? Was it interesting? What do you think of awards season? What award would you love to win? Let me know in the comments below… I answer every one!
* Please Note: I am not an agent, manager, or casting director. I do not procure work for actors. All information, workshops and coaching are for educational purposes only and are not a guarantee or promise of employment. Thank you for being here!