Academy Awards: Seth MacFarlane to the Losers

Seth MacFarlane, you are a loser. Or you might have been if Captain Kirk hadn’t stepped in during the opening to the Academy Awards last night. Seth, with smarts and humor, made a big deal about bringing losers (and boobs) to our attention at the Oscars. Watch Seth MacFarlane and Kristen Chenoweth’s finale tribute “Here’s to the Losers” from last night’s finale.

Oh I wish I were an Oscar trophy winner…

…however, through 85 award ceremonies, most hopefuls have gone home empty handed despite the blood sweat and tears that went into their beautiful works of visual storytelling. The Oscars themselves remind us that in life, as it is in storytelling, it is about the journey and the struggle (often sugarcoated by humility and humor) that connects us. This is what Tapastic and our community are all about: The common struggle to bind together as visual storytellers and lift one another up. Peruse our storytellers now.
(In honor of that find both the losers and the winners here: Oscar.com)

That Lovable Loser

From “Les Miserables” (literally, The Miserable) to “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” the one element present in every film nominated for an Oscar by the Academy is the heroic struggle of the loveable loser. Even the Unstoppable Bond, though dangerous, debonair and downright lucky, has struggled through quite a lot of loses in the form of evil plots filled with lasers, explosions, and unbelievable stunts in order to save the day after “50 Years of Bond.” You could even see a story of struggle in Adele’s eyes as she accepted the award for “Skyfall” for Best Original Song. (Some sarcasm there, but Adele did seem truly touched.)

So why is this element the common denomiator?
Because without struggle and conflict you don’t have a story. You especially don’t have a story that moves people, be it to laugh or to cry.

You may have forgotten them since high school English and Litarature classes (I had to Google them to remember), but they’re still present in every tale heard told over and over again, the four basic conflicts: Person vs. Person, Person vs. Self, Person vs. Society, and Person vs. Nature. The hardest part is that the best of stories are entwined with more than one of these or even all of them. I’ll spare you the gritty details here, so for more on the basic conflicts of storytelling check out eHow.

Inspirational Losers

Stories of conflict and struggle inspire us. I think it’s put best by one of the world’s greatest visual storytellers, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, who said:

“Defeat is a lot funnier than victory. Most of us know what it is like to lose some kind of contest, and we can identify with that. How wonderful it must be, thousands of people admire the person who is holding up the trophy. But we forget also that somebody had to lose and we can all identify much more closely with losing than winning because most of us have lost.”

Art by Joe Flood

Art by Joe Flood

The power of the conflict between Pi and himself in Life of Pi inspired a friend of mine, visual storyteller and comic artist Joe Flood, to create visual representation of the story for fun on his blog Knee Deep. Ever since it was first published “Life of Pi” has inspired numerous talents in visual art to create imagery and visualizations of Yann Martel’s novel. The enormity of Pi’s conflict versus himself and his spirituality marked only a matter of time before it would translate into an unbelievable film.

That’s a Wrap

So what does Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman’s desperate struggle for freedom and survival in their amazing musical perfomances have to do with Tapastic, again? Or Ben Affleck’s Best Picture winning Argo? Or Zero Dark Thirty? Or Django Unchained? Or Amour? Or Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won no awards but, I believe, greatly deserved to? (We can hash this out in the comments.)

The creators that struggle through great conflict to tell the visual stories they were born to tell and our commitment to a craft that connects all people because we are all lovable losers at one point or another.

So… While you’re waiting to Netflix the winners from last night, comment below and check out some incredible visual stories on Tapastic.com!

What 2012 films do you think should have been nominated or won?