Buried Writer Sends A Letter To Oscar Voters In Violation Of Academy Rules

By Eric Eisenberg 2010-12-30 15:31:02discussion comments
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Though I never got to see the film in theaters, one of my favorite scripts that I read from this past year was Chris Sparling's Buried. Set entirely in an entombed wooden box, the story was more thrilling than it had any right to be and was incredibly engrossing. Sadly, however, Sparling may have just screwed himself out of Oscar consideration.

EW has gotten its hands on a letter sent by the writer to voters in the Academy asking that they consider his script for the Best Original Screenplay category. The problem? Sending letters to voters extolling the virtues of a specific film. Check out an excerpt from the letter below to see if it qualifies:
Dear Screenwriter,

Here’s your writing prompt.You are to write a feature-length screenplay with only one on-screen character. This character is to remain in only one location for the entire duration of the film, and that one location must be a 2′ x 7′ wooden box. You cannot use flashbacks, cut-aways, or any other narrative device that would take the action outside that box.
And…
The film based on your screenplay must be met by incredibly high critical praise. Roger Ebert must give it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars and give it two thumbs up; Variety must remark that the film is “…an ingenious exercise in sustained tension that would have made Alfred Hitchcock proud;” Jeffrey Lyons must describe the film you wrote as “Mesmerizing;” and you must be awarded Best Original Screenplay of 2010 by the National Board of Review.


It would seem as though Sparling is screwed, but perhaps this was his plan all along. The Oscars rarely recognize genre films and Buried would have very little chance of being acknowledged anyway. Meanwhile, here I am writing an article about the film and letting Sparling's message be heard by a wide audience. If it is indeed a PR move, then all I have to say is "Bravo."
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