OSCAR FICTION PACKAGE: Well, here’s one way to avoid another no-host awards show. 1,299 words. Illustrations by Mark Fearing and Thomas Warming.
George Markus didn’t like to be kept waiting. Since he’d been nominated for an Academy Award for special effects, the whole industry had recognized his talent. But that was four years ago. Since then, Markus had all but disappeared. Now, practically coming out of left field, he had demanded a meeting with the president of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences who apparently was enmeshed by problems caused by this year’s host-less Oscars.
And so all Markus could do was wait. Sitting in the anteroom outside Berman’s office, Markus closed his eyes and decided to hone his pitch. This has to fucking work, he thought. They have to see its value. And, for the hundredth time, he went over his opening line.
Another twenty minutes went by.
“Mr. Berman will see you now.”
Lost in thought, Markus looked up from his paperwork. He nodded curtly at the secretary, rose from his chair, took a deep breath and followed her into Berman’s office. The President was sitting at his desk.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. What’s on your mind today?” He didn’t bother getting up to shake hands, waving Markus into a facing chair.
Markus ignored the slight. “We’ve come up with something new, Mr. Berman. Next year I can give you the best Oscar show in the Academy’s history.”
No reaction. Maybe bored skepticism.
“What have you got?”