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I was born, raised and still live in Springfield, MO. Movies were seldom more than a passing interest to me until 1989. I hadn’t ever heard of the Academy Awards and when my favorite movie of the year, Driving Miss Daisy, was selected Best Picture, I was delighted and entranced. I was 14.
When I graduated high school in 1994, I went to college hoping to find a career that would make money. My first thought was computer science. A high school chum was taking up the subject and it seemed like a good prospect. My grades started slipping as I got farther into the field. Physics was my downfall. It wasn’t exactly that it was hard, I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. I’m sure that if I would have had a teacher who wasn’t so difficult to understand and if it had been something I was truly interested in, things might have been different.
That’s when I decided I would pursue a degree in which I had more of a fascination. That’s when I took up Film Studies. I had known for years that I loved movies, and usually the ones more mainstream friends hated, and this seemed the next logical course. So, I pursued the degree and graduated in fall of 1999 with a Bachelors degree in Communications/Mass Media with an emphasis in Film Studies.
During this time, I decided I wanted to launch my own website. Thus, using the free site GeoCities, I found a place in their Hollywood district and founded The Oscar Guy in 1996. In its early incarnations, it was a simple affair with very minimal content. Most of that content surrounded my Oscar predictions and other aspects of the Academy Awards. Over the years, my site grew and after I registered the cinemasight.com domain, a name I had taken early on to describe my interest, my ode to the Oscars was sufficiently in place.
In 1997 or 1998, I formed a message board. The Unofficial Academy Awards Discussion Board, which was originally housed on the now-defunct Inside the Web, became a hot bed of Oscar discussions and I met many people, including Peter, whom I would be a lesser person had I not met.
Also in 1996, a banner year for me, I formed two organizations. The Online Academies (Online Motion Picture Academy, Online Television Academy and Online Music Academy) and the Internet Film Critics Association. The IFCA faltered within the year, thanks mostly to my admittance into the Online Film Critics Society. The Online Academies, however, have been giving out awards for over a decade now. The group’s name was changed to The Online Film & Television Association and continues to thrive to this day.
I joined the OFCS in its inaugral year and last year served one term on the Governing Committee. To this day, I’m as proud of that organization as I am of any other accomplishment. I feel as if I’ve grown and matured as a critics thanks to and along with the group.
However, as a meager internet-based film critic, I don’t make money off the site or films I see. I still watch and still review because that’s my passion. I would never trade it for all the world. To keep money flowing, I have worked several temp jobs, spent 5 years at McLeodUSA telecom as a customer service representative and now find myself working for a small insurance brokerage in Springfield.
The Oscar Guy site has been my baby for many years and though I’ve gone through many adjustments, changes and redesigns over the years, I will never forget why I started it. I love the Academy Awards (even when they make poor decisions). I love movies. It’s that adoration that has kept me motivated when I could have given up on everything. I also thank all those message board posters for keeping me grounded in reality (even if I want to kill many of them at least 20% of the time). These have been an excellent 12 years of my life and I hope to make it last for many more years to come.
In 2010, at the request of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Oscar Guy domain was turned into my own personal website while all of my professional activities, writing reviews, prognosticating the Oscars, etc. (everything you’ve come to know and love about oscarguy.com since I registered the domain back in 2002), has been transitioned to my new website: Cinema Sight.