A significant part of this year’s award season, the 2012 Writer’s Guild Awards (WGA) will be held at the Hollywood Palladium for the members of the WGA West, with a simultaneous ceremony convened in New York for the Guild’s East Coast members.
The WGA honors outstanding writing in the film, television, radio, news, media, videogames, promotional and graphic animation categories. The awards will also present a screenwriter with the Laurel Award for Screen for his or her lifetime achievement in outstanding writing for movies. The Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television will be bestowed to another writer for his or her significant contribution to the profession of television writing.
Although they will be held just one week before the Oscars, the WGA will not necessarily predict the winners of the Academy Awards. Due to WGA rules (which include considering only productions that sign guild agreements or have agreements with affiliated international guilds), some films are not eligible for WGA nomination. “The King’s Speech,” for example, sprinted to win its Oscars last year without being part of the WGA race because it did not qualify. Christopher Nolan, who received the Best Original Screenplay Award for “Inception,” remarked about this during his acceptance speech by saying: “There were some notables left off the list this year. I’m not going to name them, for fear that it boosts their chances at the other show… I hope next year the person who stands up here can give thanks without qualification.” For the same reason the list of contending entries into the WGA is significantly smaller than the entrants list to the Oscars.
This will be the 64th annual celebration of the WGA, which remains less extravagant than other Hollywood awards and is not televised. This means that whoever is not invited to the ceremony will have to wait until the list of winners is published. However, anyone mad about the WGAs should keep an eye on Twitter. Last year, the WGA’s attendees reportedly tweeted so much to their peers in the opposite coast that at one point, during a short loss of synchronization between the two ceremonies, the winner of a category was announced on Twitter prior to being announced on the stage.
Winning a WGA is “an incredible honor,” added Nolan during his speech last year, one that represents for writers and screenwriters a nod of approval from the crème de la crème of their fellow artists. It is also an opportunity for the public to know who the masterminds are behind their favorite movies of the year.
Related: A look back 2011 WGA winners.
Dena Burroughs lives in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. She is also the LA Arts Examiner.