Beat Berardinelli 2015

February 14, 2015
A thought by James Berardinelli

Time to lay out the rules for the 2015 edition of the "Beat Berardinelli" Oscar prediction contest. As is the case every year, I have made a few minor changes. Also, a new prize. This year, as was the case last year, my "live commentary" will come in the form of tweets. That's the easiest way to do that sort of thing. These days, pretty much everyone does some form of live Oscar commentary but I started doing it back when it was a little more unusual. For those who want to see how I did it 17 years ago, you can go into the ReelViews "deep archives" for this one from 1998.

What's the Objective/How to Win: You accrue points for each correct winner (except the shorts - that makes 21 categories). If your point total exceeds my point total and that of everyone else who enters, you win. No tiebreakers necessary - in the event of ties at the top, there will be multiple winners. In the unlikely event that no one beats my total, I win. This happened last year when good predictions and luck conspired to give me a perfect score. That won't happen again this year, so it's likely there will be one or more winners.

To the Victor Go the Spoils: This year, there's only one prize. You will receive a copy of my novel, "The Last Whisper of the Gods" prior to its publication. The exact date when you'll get it is still up in the air but it will be sometime in 2015 and it will be at least 30 days prior to when it becomes available for purchase. The copy you will receive is electronic, but you can have your choice of a pdf or a Kindle friendly prc. (The usual rules will apply about not sharing the book before it's generally available and not posting a copy of it online.)

How to Enter: Fill out the ballot found in the ReelViews forums (link here, active only during ballot open period) by removing all the titles in each category but the one you choose as the winner. (Refer to the sample, which is my ballot.) Cut and paste your ballot as a follow-up entry in the forum. Important: Your entry must appear in the forum for it to be valid. If you don't have a forum login, you can obtain one by registering. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE REGISTRATION PROCESS HAS CHANGED. In order to register, you now have to e-mail me directly to do so. Since it may take a couple of days for me to process the registration, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. (The link to the registration process can be found here.) No Oscar ballots directly e-mailed to me will be accepted. You have to enter them yourself into the forum. Confusing or incomplete ballots will be rejected. The contest link will be "open" from approximately noon EST on Sunday, February 15 until exactly noon EST on Saturday, February 21, 2015. You are free to change your selections (by editing your own post) until the deadline when the forum will be locked. If you edit a ballot, however, I would appreciate it if you could highlight the changes, preferably by making them bold and using a different font color. That way I don't have to wade through the entire thing looking for the changes. The winner will be announced in the forum and by e-mail. Hopefully, this will happen on February 23, although it depends how many ballots I have to score.

There is a point system involved. Awards are grouped into three categories. MAJORS - Picture, Director, Lead & Supporting Actor, Lead & Supporting Actress. MEDIUMS - Adapted & Original Screenplay, Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature, Animated Feature. MINORS - Everything else (ten total). MAJORS are worth three points each. MEDIUMS are worth two points each. MINORS are worth one point each. Maximum total points: 38.

For those interested in history, short though it may be… In 2012, I scored 27 out of a possible 38 points. The winner that year scored 33 points. In 2013, I scored 26 out of a possible 38 points. Four people scored 33 points. Last year, I had a perfect ballot scoring 38 points.

My official ballot is now available. I don't get to change it.

Good luck.