Home Forums Movies Is DGA's First-Time Feature Film award a new stat born in front of our eyes?

Is DGA's First-Time Feature Film award a new stat born in front of our eyes?

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  • GusCruz
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    #1202014536

    Last year DGA started a new award for First-Time Feature Film. It was won by Ex Machina’s Alex Garland. I remember switching to him literally the day of the DGAs – I had Son of Saul’s Laszlo Nemes up to that point.

    Ironically, both movies ended up winning Oscars. In the case of Ex Machina, shockingly so. No one really thought it even had a chance of winning Visual Effects.

    This year, the award went to Lion’s Garth Davis. Most people seem to not be predicting it to win any Oscars. Yet, it won two Baftas (for Supporting Actor and Screenplay — in both categories it wasn’t seen as the frontrunner), the ASC award (a shocker) and this DGA award (it also scored a nomination for that guild’s main award).

    I think we COULD be seeing a new stat being born right in front of our eyes. Obviously we will need a few more years to assess this, but I wouldn’t be shocked if movies that win that DGA award consistently go on to win at least one Oscar.

    Lion has quite a few categories which it could win — is a movie that seems so beloved, being pushed by Harvey Weinstein, really going to go home empty-handed?

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    #1202014553

    You can work your way backwards though.  Whiplash (2014)?  Three wins.  Fruitvale Station (2013)?  Not even a nomination.  Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)?  No wins.

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    manakamana
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    #1202014561

    You can work your way backwards though. Whiplash (2014)? Three wins. Fruitvale Station (2013)? Not even a nomination. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)? No wins.

    Beasts was robbed of a win with its Score snub IMO.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202014612

    You can work your way backwards though. Whiplash (2014)? Three wins. Fruitvale Station (2013)? Not even a nomination. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)? No wins.

    What? That particular award was first handed out last year! Am I wrong?

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    #1202014616

    Are you saying that Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station each would have won an Oscar if the DGA First-Time Feature Film Award had been around before last year?

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    Teridax
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    #1202014620

    Are you saying that Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station each would have won an Oscar if the DGA First-Time Feature Film Award had been around before last year?

    I myself am saying I think there is a solid chance that both of those movies might not have won the DGA First-Time Feature Film award, in spite of their critical acclaim. Not guaranteed, all we can really do is speculate.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202014726

    Are you saying that Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station each would have won an Oscar if the DGA First-Time Feature Film Award had been around before last year?

    We don’t know that they would have won. Furthermore, that’s not how stats work. The SAG Ensemble stat, for instance, would’ve been flawed if if applied to the Academy’s full history.

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    Jake
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    #1202014847

    We can only regret that this award is given only since last year. It would have been fascinating to see how it would unfold at least since 1970s.

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    #1202015139

    No, we do not “know” what would have won, but I do not understand the logic in suggesting that a film that got no Oscar nominations would have had a better shot at an Oscar win than a film that got four nominations (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

    The SAG ensemble statistic is flawed if applied backwards because we really cannot say what would have won in past years. Look at this year, when legitimate arguments could be made for several nominees. DGA First-Time Feature is a category that is going to have only one or two (or zero) competitive contenders each year.

    Are you saying that a DGA win boosts a film’s profile so considerably that it becomes priority viewing for academy members and they are guilted into voting for it? I feel like we generally have consensus here that the guilds do not influence anything; they are just indicative of how voters (or other people in the industry under similar conditions) are responding to films.

    If you are not saying that, then you must be saying that chances are that the best directorial debut of the year will generally be a film that is academy-friendly enough for an Oscar win. This would be similar to how the Best Picture generally has writing, directing, editing and an ensemble worth nominating. And if this is what you are getting at, then having an official DGA stamp of approval is irrelevant and we should be able to apply this thinking to years before the award.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202015282

    The SAG ensemble statistic is flawed if applied backwards because we really cannot say what would have won in past years.

    I wasn’t talking about wins

    Are you saying that a DGA win boosts a film’s profile so considerably that it becomes priority viewing for academy members and they are guilted into voting for it? I feel like we generally have consensus here that the guilds do not influence anything; they are just indicative of how voters (or other people in the industry under similar conditions) are responding to films.

    That’s not how stats work. I don’t think Ex Machina won last year because of the guild win, but I do think it captured a sentiment that eventually led to that Oscar win. And the industry is at a point where they want (and need) to award new blood and depend less on the older names; it’s why DGA created such category.

    The editing stat at the Oscar is more a coincidence than anything. But a pretty reliable one.

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    Teridax
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    #1202015303

    No, we do not “know” what would have won, but I do not understand the logic in suggesting that a film that got no Oscar nominations would have had a better shot at an Oscar win than a film that got four nominations (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

    The SAG ensemble statistic is flawed if applied backwards because we really cannot say what would have won in past years. Look at this year, when legitimate arguments could be made for several nominees. DGA First-Time Feature is a category that is going to have only one or two (or zero) competitive contenders each year.

    Are you saying that a DGA win boosts a film’s profile so considerably that it becomes priority viewing for academy members and they are guilted into voting for it? I feel like we generally have consensus here that the guilds do not influence anything; they are just indicative of how voters (or other people in the industry under similar conditions) are responding to films.

    If you are not saying that, then you must be saying that chances are that the best directorial debut of the year will generally be a film that is academy-friendly enough for an Oscar win. This would be similar to how the Best Picture generally has writing, directing, editing and an ensemble worth nominating. And if this is what you are getting at, then having an official DGA stamp of approval is irrelevant and we should be able to apply this thinking to years before the award.

    Fair point about Beasts, but if Fruitvale Station got ZERO nominations as well, why wouldn’t it be at least vulnerable at the DGA?

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    #1202015481

    For sure, but it is moot whether it was Fruitvale Station or something more obscure because whatever would have won DGA First-Time Director that year was not getting an Oscar.

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