The Secrets Behind Winning An Oscar

I wrote the article below before the oscars… and guess what? For the first time in a my career as an academy voter I was denied tickets. Could they be related? Read on and let me know what you think.


You might be surprised to know that to win an Oscar takes much more than talent. It takes a strategic campaign. Let me translate. Outrageous budgets go towards lavish lunch and dinner parties to win the favor of Oscar voters. Big publicity budgets go towards new 30 second TV spots, and self-congratulatory magazine and newspaper ads. Does this sound familiar? Could it be that the studios are running a political campaign? Why all the hoopla? Well, Every Oscar win is money in the pockets of the releasing studio and let’s face it, money is king.

The best-kept secret of an Oscar campaign is that competing studios try to destroy the competition anonymously. The cleverest publicist who operates like a seasoned campaign manager will plant stories which ever so subtly throw shade over the successes of competing films. For example in a Huffington Post article about The Wolf Of Wall Street, the article has DiCaprio defending the film for condoning the excessive behavior it depicts, instead of raving about how great it was to participate in the film. Bringing these subtle details about the film to light can make an Oscar voter take a second look which may in turn change their vote.

The moral of this story is you can’t just make a great film and expect it to win on it’s own merits, you have to spend the money, use the publicity machine and plant subliminal messages that will put the golden man in your hand.



Casting Couch and Courage

I remember how degraded I felt when for the first time in my professional career I was told that the the only way I could work at 20th century fox was to go down on the executive that did the hiring at the division I wanted to work at. I came really close to doing it as I knew that seemed to be the only way to get any major studio work. I didn’t do it and it took 8 years before I actually worked there. I never told anyone about it until I wrote my book and even now I have never revealed his name as he is still very powerful.

The young man, Michael Egan, who came forward with his law suit is very brave as he will never work in Hollywood again.

I know that I was not the first to have sex attached to getting a job but I do know that by keeping quite I did finally did work- tho it took longer.

I wish I had the courage to go public when it happened but I was afraid

Everything old is new again

I am starting to follow what I learned in New York on how to publicizes my new book Nearly Famous: Secrets,Lies and Addiction. I sent out 20 emails looking for a TV appearances or magazine articles. So far I got 2 rejections but nice ones. One will keep me on file and the other passed me on to another women’s magazine. Fingers Crossed.

I was told by the power players in Hollywood that I created a new way to market films. So It came as a real surprise that I couldn’t figure out how to market my new book. Shhh don’t tell…


Movie Stars & Candy Bars

Movie Stars & Candy Bars
Hollywood Entertainment Journalist Confesses Secret

In the midst of daily reports about our favorite stars, we have come to associate Hollywood with addiction. “To be an addict in Hollywood was not an unusual thing,” Reba Merrill asserts in her recently released memoir Nearly Famous: Secrets, Lies and Videotape.
Merrill confesses to her secret eating addiction and recounts the painful road to recovery, a road that parallels the lives of many of the movie stars featured in her book. As the addiction wore on, it began to define her and change who she was. “Fear that it would all be taken away, manifested in temperamental outbursts” that she dealt with by consuming mass amounts of sugar. Emotional outbursts began to chip away at her career and personal life.
“Studies have shown sugar turns on the pleasure receptors in our brains, and to complicate matters even further, recent findings indicate that the more sugar we eat, the more of a tolerance we develop. This makes our bodies demand more and more sugar in order to recapture the pleasurable sensation that we are seeking.” (
Merrill’s addiction began as a way to cope. After a movie executive offered her work in return for sexual favors, she “started eating candy…and put on a little weight.” A few years later, “heavier than she had ever been,” Reba continued to add pounds during her time with her mother, who spent her last days eating junk food.
Of course her openness about her problem appears only in retrospect. Despite the saturation of the mainstream media with stories about stars and their drug problems, Reba thought of drug addicts as “hookers and thieves.” Reba confesses that “she didn’t know she was an addict because it was only candy, not alcohol or drugs.”
According to Dr. Charles Raison at CNN Health, sugary foods and eating in general activate the same areas as drug use and can stimulate a brief emotional high. However, paired with its long-term depressive effects, the shame of not being able to control one’s eating habits leads to further stress and denial, which only reinforces the reliance on sugar and addictive eating.
Finally, she discovered Overeaters Anonymous, a twelve-step program which dispelled her fears of being alone in her addiction. Groups such as Overeaters Anonymous work to promote awareness and help people like Reba get the support they need. Overeaters Anonymous is a global organization devoted to spreading awareness and creating a network of support and resources. “The program is not just about weight loss, weight gain or maintenance, or obesity or diets. It addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.” (
Merrill never thought she would get a second chance at the career her behavior destroyed. With a year of abstinence under her belt, she slowly rebuilt her family relationships. Sixty pounds lighter, full of energy and feeling good about herself, Reba’s career took off to even greater success.
If Reba’s struggles sound familiar and you would like to get the help you need and deserve, search “sugar addiction” or visit one of these websites:

Nearly Famous: Secrets, Lies and Videotape shares the story of Merrill’s career interviewing celebrities and behind the scenes life in Hollywood.


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