It’s a new season for The Gold Rush Gang and with that means new members! This year we have a great split of five returning players from last season (myself included, of course), a former member back for glory and four BRAND NEW members. Keep an eye out for special guests as the season gets into high gear as well as podcast guests from former Gold Rush Gang members and beyond.
As usual, we’ll start our predictions out with the top 6 or 8 categories and then move into rest as the season continues.
Here are your Gold Rush Gang members for the 2017/2018 Oscar season:
Erik blames his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched them together since he opened his eyes. He counts Moonlight’s Best Picture win as one of the best, and most important, Oscar wins of all time and is enormously proud that the Gold Rush Gang was on the Moonlight train all the way back in March 2016. He began at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is also a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association) and is the founder/editor of AwardsWatch. (@awards_watch)
Richard’s earliest Oscar memory was a traumatic one: Crash winning Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain. Despite this atrocity and the damage that it caused his psyche, he recognizes the beauty, humor, and fun of following the awards race. He maintains the forum’s film prediction polls for the top eight categories, the results of which you can follow in the AwardsWatch forums. Most importantly, he would like to extend his deep appreciation to the Academy for awarding Viola Davis’s breathtaking performance in Fences.
Bryan is an Orange County native who covers high school athletics around Southern California. His interest in following industry awards began back in 1997, initiated by Titanic‘s cultural takeover along with Boogie Nights being a formative cinematic experience for him. Beyond a love for film, he’s always been fascinated by the process of awards season and how it’s evolved during the internet age. He also has an unhealthy obsession with roller coasters and has been on over 300 of them around the world. (@worldofx)
Matt’s first recollection of the Oscars and awards season was seeing No Country for Old Men win Best Picture, along with an unusually strong quartet of acting winners. No Country for Old Men and other films nominated that year such as There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford spurred a love and passion for both cinema and awards season. Since then, he’d like to believe he’s become an avid cinephile with a strong knowledge of both film history and awards season. Just don’t ask him about Tom Hooper beating David Fincher, he’s still not over it. (@Matt24Jays)
Greg has been watching the Oscars telecast since he was a child. Greg first started following the campaign and lead-up to the Academy Awards after seeing In the Bedroom and looking online to see if Sissy Spacek had a chance to win an Oscar, and began predicting the Oscars at AwardsWatch as a way of antagonizing fans of Michelle Pfeiffer in White Oleander. He continues to follow the Oscar race as a fan of the politics, desperation, glamour, joy, disappointment, and first and foremost for his love of film. This was his first time participating in the Gold Rush contest from start to finish, where he placed 10th.
For anyone that knows Evan, it’s no surprise that he was first introduced to the insanity known as Oscarwatching through his grandmother. He was instantly hooked, and they’ve closely followed each season since then – from Shakespeare in Love‘s shocking triumph to Moonlight’s history-defying win this year. He also serves as manager, and participant, of the infamous Gold Rush contest, where he ruled the roost once and has finished in the Top 5 every other year except one and in the most recent, he placed 3rd.
Jason is a recent college graduate, but his true passions lie with anything film, especially analyzing the year’s awards races, specifically the Oscars. He has been watching the Academy Awards since he was a wee-child but entered the sport of Oscar prognosticating in 2007 inspired by arguably the best selection of movies in his lifetime, and the shattering disappointment There Will Be Blood didn’t sweep the Oscars that year. As a self-described Adam Sandler apologist, you will likely hear him in a podcast introducing the possibility of him getting nominated for yet another one of his ambitious and dramatic acting pursuits. His best Gold Rush contest is predicting the Oscar nominations, ranking in the top two the past two years on both AW and GoldDerby, so watch out! (@jasonosiason)
First and foremost, Kenneth likes awards because he loves movies, but he also loves the glamour and the pageantry of the shows themselves. The horse racing aspect of it all also appeals to him. He’s participated in the Gold Rush every season and has consistently placed in the top 10, mostly the top 5, and reached his highest peak, #2 – twice. Seems like someone is ready for that #1 spot.
Şükrü is a medical student from Ankara, Turkey and will be a doctor soon. After spending his high school years with scientific works and biology olympiads, he fell in love with cinema in his college years and has become obsessed with awards season concept. Although his interest with Oscars is relatively new, his first movie crush was Oscar record-holder Titanic. He is now catching up all those years he missed and keeping his passion for cinema at a high level throughout the year. Even though his medical education programme is intense, he’s breathing with films. After winning Gold Rush finale, he managed to end in the Top 10 in his first season of Gold Rush. (@sukrusogut)
Denizcan is a 22-year old law student from Germany, but his real passions are movies and awards season. Despite the traumatic memory of The King’s Speech beating The Social Network in the 2011 Oscar race, he still loves to predict the Oscars. His mother introduced him to classic movies with Citizen Kane and Some Like It Hot. His favorite Oscar moments are Leonardo DiCaprio’s first Oscar win and Moonlight winning Best Picture. He is also obsessed with the Emmys and loves watching TV. His favorite shows are Breaking Bad and The Wire. In his limited free time, he loves going to the gym and hang out with friends. (@MrFilmkritik)