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The Jack Oakie Scholarship

Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation

*Must attend the Jack Oakie Scholarship Event in person to qualify.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons

Reception begins at 5:00 PM (Free food for students!)

Event begins at 5:30 PM

    • Applicant must attend the Jack Oakie Scholarship Event to be eligible for the scholarship.
    • Applicant must be currently enrolled as a student at College of the Canyons.
    • Applicant must be currently enrolled in or have successfully completed a COC Visual or Performing Arts course within the past 12 months.
    • Applicant must attend the entire Jack Oakie Scholarship Event, watch a recommended Jack & Victoria Oakie Film, and submit a one page typed critical review. (Please review the helpful hints for completing the Jack Oakie/Victoria Horne Oakie Critical Review included in the scholarship packet).
    • Scholarship applicants will attend the Jack Oakie Lecture and Film Event. Prior to the application deadline they will also submit a one to two page typed analytical review that will include the following: A. a brief synopsis of the film and B. a critical analysis of what the applicant might have done similarly or differently had he/she been the screenwriter, director, specific actor, etc. The submitted copy of the critique will not be returned. Students will be considered for the following scholarships:

      1. The Jack Oakie Award for Excellence in Comedy Script or Screenwriting
      2. The Jack Oakie Award for Excellence in Comedy Film Direction
      3. The Jack Oakie "It's All in Fun" Award for Excellence in Film or Theatre Comedy
      4. The Jack Oakie "Double Take" Award
      5. The Jack Oakie "It's All In Fun" Award for Excellence in Comedy Acting (Film or Theatre) or Comedic Improvisation
      6. The Benzino Napalioni Award for Excellence in Comedy (In honor of Jack Oakie)
      7. The Myrtle Mae Award for Excellence in Film or Stage Performance (In honor of Victoria Horne Oakie)
      8. The Victoria Horne Oakie "Albuquerque" Award for Excellence in Comedic Script or Screenwriting
      9. The Victoria Horne Oakie Award for Making People Smile Through Cinema (In memory of Pamela Sonne)
      10. The Jennifer Smolos Steele "Glad You Could Make It" Award (In honor of Victoria Horne Oakie)
    • Completed applications (including the one page critical review) must be submitted via the online Application Form no later than Monday, November 14, 2022 by 5:00pm.
  • Jack Oakie came to Hollywood in 1927. His career by that time already included vaudeville, Broadway musicals and appearances in New York films. In Hollywood, he made 87 pictures, mostly comedies or musical comedies, over which period he perfected his trademark comic triple-take. His career included such films as "Once in a Lifetime," "Million Dollar Legs" and "It Happened Tomorrow." Oakie received an Academy Award nomination in the supporting role category for his satirical portrait of a Mussolini-like head of state in 1940's "The Great Dictator." Victoria Horne Oakie was an American character-actress, appearing in 49 films (uncredited in 25 of these) during the 1940s and 1950s. Some of the films in which she appeared included Blue Skies (1946), Forever Amber (1947, uncredited), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949), and Harvey (1950). Jack Oakie died in 1978 and his wife, Victoria Horne, died in 2003.
  • For Actors & Singers

    A critical analysis is an examination of a work of art—in this case, a movie—to see what is good about that work of art and what is not so good.  The writer need not tell everything about the movie.  In fact, the biggest mistake is to retell the story.  DO NOT RETELL THE STORY.  Assume that your reader has either seen the movie or will choose whether or not to see it, depending on what you write. 
    A critical analysis must be based on intelligent perception, not just simple likes or dislikes.

    One way to frame your review is to look at the actors and form opinions about whether you believe the characters. Also determine if they are genuinely portraying the character in the right era and setting for the film. Pay attention to their mannerisms and determine if they are set in the right era and not too modern.

    Another method of critiquing an actor’s performance is to watch for characterization. When you critique acting, you have to think like an actor. Actors are trained to form valid characters with history, mannerisms and speech patterns all their own. Watch for their choices, and determine if you agree with their intentions and motives for making the choices they make.

    Finally, ask yourself the following:  Are you are moved by the performance? If you find yourself thoroughly enjoying the performance, take a step outside of the acting and look at the individual things the actor does that pulls you in. The really good performances are the best to watch, and they help you critique acting by giving you a gauge as to what to watch for in the future.

    For Film Makers

    A good film critique provides the reader with a basic idea of what the film is about, and the writer’s critical assessment of the success/failure or effectiveness/ineffectiveness of the film supported by the evidence the writer gathers from the film. It is, therefore, more than a plot synopsis or the enthusiastic blurbs of publicity hype. Avoid words such as "great," "excellent," and the all-encompassing "really good." 

    You might take a visit to the Critics Corner website, which is a “Guide to Film Critique.”

    The questions below are meant to stimulate thought about a film and to provide areas of concern you may wish to address in your critique. The list is by no means exhaustive, nor should you follow it at all. Early in the critique it is desirable to sketch enough of the plot to give the reader an idea of what happens in the film. But do not try to recount everything: it can’t be done, and the attempt will frustrate you and bore the reader. (The key word here is "sketch"). If you provide only a plot summary, you are not writing a critique–you’re writing the equivalent of a book report.

    Once you introduce the main characters and devote a few sentences to the plot, thus giving the reader a comfortable seat, get down to the job of convincing the reader that you have something interesting to say about the film–the plot is trivial, the hero is not really a hero, the plot and characters are fine but the camera work is needlessly tricky , or whatever else you decide your thesis to be. A convenient way to give an actor’s name in the essay is to put it in parentheses after the character’s name or role, for example: "The detective, Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart), finds a clue . . . " Then, as you go on to discuss the film, use the name of the character or the role, not the name of the actor, except when you are talking about the actors themselves, as in: "Bogart is exactly right for the part." When writing your essay, incidentally, be sure to use present tense.

    Here are some very basic, starting questions to deal with when writing your critique. Most of the "are" questions can, of course, be followed by "why?" or "why not?" Virtually anything you can think of or react to is valid fodder for a film critique. These questions are indeed very basic.

    1. Is the film adapted from fiction or drama, or is it based on an original idea and screenplay? If it is an adaptation, does it follow the original and neglect the cinematic opportunities of the story? Or does it sacrifice the original work for unnecessary cinematic devices? If the story is original, how fresh or innovative is it?
    2. Are the characters believable?
    3. Are the actors appropriately cast?
    4. What is the theme of the film? Is it obvious or only subtly evident? Do the plot, acting, and other elements in the film successfully impart the theme to the viewer?
    5. Is the setting/locale appropriate and effective?
    6. Is the cinematography effective? Does the film make certain use of color, texture, lighting, etc. to enhance the theme, mood, setting?
    7. Is the sound track effective and appropriate? Is the music appropriate and functional, or is it inappropriate and obtrusive?
    8. Are camera angles used effectively? Are they ever used for a particular effect?
    9. Are there special effects (and/or special effects makeup) in the film? If so, are they essential to the plot? Are they handled skillfully? Do they serve a necessary function, or does the film sacrifice plot or characterization for the effects themselves?
    10. Does the film make use of symbols or symbolism? What purpose do the symbols serve? Are they used effectively? How does the symbolism in the film contribute to or enhance the film’s overall theme?