Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow morning there are people out there who will not be sleeping tonight. Some of those involved may not even be the actors, producers, directors, they may be just those who had a small role in the making of the film, it will not matter, anyone who has made something worthy, written words of magic, brought something to the screen that actually matters does not sleep tonight. They will get calls tonight, text messages, Tweets, from friends and fans wishing them good luck tomorrow the day of the Oscars nominations. How do I know all this, because I’ve been there.
Below you will be able to ready about my film deal as reported on July 14, 1987 in the Hollywood Reporter in an article by Samir Hachem.
I did not get into the film business to make money, I went in the business to redeem myself, a cleansing if you will. If you have seen the movie Wall Street, that was pretty much my life in the early 80’s. One day I decided to walk away from it all and use what I had to make a positive creative difference. I had read an article about Merchant Ivory in Forbes magazine liked what I had read, called a few friends and asked them, “guys you want to go into the film business with me?” They said “sure”. The next day I picked up the phone talked to Ismail Merchant and told him point-blank, I like your films, I belive you are on the right path, and I am gonna back you. One of the films in my deal was ‘Howards End’ (below).
The night before 1993 Oscars nominations, I went for drinks at Chateau Marmont with a few friends, one of my friends told someone about ‘Howards End’ and before I had settled into my chair drinks had started to arrive. Soon afterwards a lady walked up to me and informed me she owned an exclusive club and said “I am so glad you don’t make this Hollywood crap, you are always welcome at my club”. I told my buddy ” dude why did you tell her anything, we had one Golden Globe nomination and won nothing”, and quickly my friend reminded me,” The Academy Awards are in a world of their own Timothy.” I stayed up all night, calls coming expressing good luck tomorrow from those who knew I had something to do with the film. The night passed into day and it was the big day. It was early in the morning I need a caffeine fix so I drove to St. James’s Club on Sunset now known as the Sunset Tower hotel to watch the Oscars nominations. Everyone at the hotel knew me, I usually was camped out there by the pool daily. They announcements started and my heart beat faster.
“Nominated for 65th Academy Awards Best Original Music Score is ‘Howard’s End’ oh my god , we got an Oscars nomination, everyone patted me on the back, my waiters was thrilled. Then came Howards End’s nominations for,’ Best Costume, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actress, Best Directing, Best Art Direction, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, and the one you want to hear over and over because you can’t belive it, Best Picture “.
The breakfast room at the St. James’s Club exploded with cheers, and applause, and soon everyone was standing up applauding, and coming over to pat me on the back. The room knew nothing happens without money, anyone in the film business will tell you that.
My phone was going off, people had been calling all day, I went down to The Ivy on Robertson for lunch and people were calling the restaurant looking for me, it was the most unreal, feeling, like going to the moon, this was no small matter it was “Nine Nominations including Best Picture”.
The day of the Oscars, I sat and kept the seat warm for Anthony Hopkins when he arrived to take his seat I went backstage and started to drink, it was an unreal feeling that I was there and then we won “Best Actress, Emma Thompson”, “Best Adapted Screenplay, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala” and “Best Art Direction, Luciana Arrighi and Ian Wittaker”.
When I was a kid in Toronto, on Oscars night my family would all sit around the television and I would grab one of those brass tall candle holder that every Indian house has, pretend it’s The Academy Award and give a speech. My mother would tell me to shut-up sit down stop dreaming ( she did not really mean stop dreaming she just wanted to see the show). So keep dreaming people and dream big, I am telling you anything can happen in this world.
Nothing like this may every happen again for me, this was that one moment in time that stays with you forever. The road to the Oscars begins with the most important element of them all, a really good script. I had backed a great creative team and I was proud of them, they had made a dream possible.
I wish all those who have worked so hard to make a film, my very best tonight and which them luck tomorrow. What a feeling it truly is and it makes no difference if one wins or not just to get nominated is such a big thrill, like riding a rocket into the stars, feeling so light that you could hurdle the moon, words cannot express the feeling.