by Gary Meyer
Are you having an Oscar Party? Maybe you should go through your house and assemble some goodie bags. But we doubt you can top the bags that will be delivered to the acting- and director-category nominees the morning after the Academy Awards.
“Even Hollywood’s most acclaimed stars are disappointed if they do not win an Oscar. When our consolation gift shows up the next day, we like to think it is welcome distraction to lift their spirits,” says Lash Fary, whose company Distinctive Assets assembles the bags.
The gift bag is valued at $232,000 and includes a range of surprises: from personalized M&M candies, Healing Saint Luminosity skin serum and hair follicle stimulant, Dandi Patch underarm sweat patch (nominees might wish they had that at the ceremony) and Joseph’s Toiletries toilet paper (valued at $275), to travel packages like a 10-day trip to Israel with first class airfare, five-star hotel accommodations with a private security escort, as well as vacations in Italy, Japan and the Golden Door Spa in San Marcos, Calif.
There also will be Freeze-Dried kiblets from Halo, which, in partnership with Freekibble.com, will provide nominees the opportunity to “feed it forward” by having a 10,000-meal donation made in their name to an animal shelter or rescue of their choice. And Fiera® Arouser for Her, another gift, is the first pre-intimacy hands-free product scientifically proven to increase desire and arousal in women.
TV coverage of the 2015 bag
What is the most unusual item in the bag?
How about a Vampire Breast Lift?
The Daily Beast explains: “Featured by Cosmopolitan, the new secret “must have” in Hollywood is the Vampire Breast Lift procedure which uses blood-derived growth factors to revive rounder cleavage without implants. Women can now also soften implant scars and irregularities (and restore sensation). Using technology used by plastic surgeons for years to help correct post-mastectomy scarring and to heal wounds, the Vampire Breast Lift procedure uses a woman’s own blood to improve appearance. Designed for zero downtime by Charles Runels, M.D. – the same physician who invented the Vampire Facelift.
That invention must have been popular as it was offered in the 2013 bag along with circus-skills classes for the nominee’s child, athletic shoes customized with original artwork and, according to Variety: “portion-control dishes for those watching their figures, non-medically approved or scientifically gauged dinnerware that show you just how much meat, veggies, and carbs you should put on your plate. And if losers want to drown their sorrows with a night of debauchery, they’re all set – recipients will also find a bottle of artisan tequila. If you need to clean up afterwards, the Windex products in the bag might come in handy.”
But that bag was valued only at $45,000.
Presumably the nominees are liable for paying taxes on these gifts. Years ago, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was told by tax officials that recipients were obligated to report the goodies as income to the IRS and AMPAS got out of the gifting game.
We asked Distinctive Assets for more details and you can see the Official “Everyone Wins 2016 Nominee Gift Bag” list of gifts with descriptions and values. (Click to enlarge.)
There are Oscar parties everywhere if you prefer not to stay home, and it can be fun to attend with a live audience getting into the spirit.
Bill Maher compares Gift Bags for the 2015 Oscar nominees versus Daytona 500
If you are trying to figure out who will win the Oscars this year, join the club of the confused. I used to score very high but the politics, campaigning and unexpected surprises can result in unexpected surprises.
For the facts about the movies, we suggest the New York Times’ Oscar Ballot with links to its reviews of almost every movie nominated.
The Academy’s Official Site is worth a look.
And to give you an insider’s look there are numerous informed sites – to offer guidance and confusion – with their prognostications. We offer them in alphabetical order because everybody has a favorite.
A good consolidator of information is Michael’s Telluride Blog (where he follows movies that played the Telluride Film Festival to their potential Oscar glory). He will update through the weekend.
Anne Thompson on Hollywood, Indiewire.
Awards Circuit, Clayton Davis.
Awards Daily, Sasha Stone.
Awards Watch, Erik Anderson.
Fandango, Dave Karger.
Deadline.com, Pete Hammond.
The Film Experience, Nathaniel Rogers.
Hollywood News, Joey Magidson.
The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Feinberg.
Movie City News -Gurus of Gold.
Variety-InContention, Kristopher Tapley:
Gary Meyer started his first theater in the family barn when he was twelve-years-old. He directed a monster movie there and wanted to show it on the set. It became The Above-the-Ground Theatre where over 250 films were screened along with live productions, workshops and the publication of a literary/arts/satire zine, “Nort!” and a film newsletter, “Ciné.” After film school at SFSU he calls his first job as a booker for United Artists Theatres “grad school” that prepared him to co-found Landmark Theatres in 1975. It was the first national arthouse chain in the U.S. focused on creative marketing strategies to build loyal audiences for non-Hollywood fare. After selling Landmark, he consulted on many projects including Sundance Cinemas and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Rose Cinemas, created the Dockers Classically Independent Film Festival and Tube Film Festival for the X Games, and resurrected the 1926 Balboa Theatre in San Francisco. Meyer joined the Telluride Film Festival in 1998, becoming a Festival Co-Director in 2007-2014. He founded the online magazine, EatDrinkFilms.com in April 2014, and is preparing the EatDrinkFilms Festival for Summer, 2016 with a national tour to follow.