Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Big Show

The Big Show

High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards®

Steve Pond

Farrar, Straus and Giroux




An unprecedented look at the machinations behind everyone's favorite Hollywood circus and what it reveals about the business of moviemaking.

Oscar parties. Oscar pools. Oscar style. Oscar predictions. The Oscars breed their own peculiar mania and a billion people worldwide are alleged to watch the broadcast every year. While that figure may be the Academy's big white lie, the Oscars draw a viewership well into the hundreds of millions--a tremendous audience for what is essentially a television program. But this is no ordinary show. Love it or loathe it, the Oscars are an irresistible spectacle: a gloriously gaudy, glitzy, momentous, and foolish window into the unholy alliance of art and commerce that is the film industry. The Oscar statuette is a totem of such potency that millions are spent and careers laid on the line in the reckless pursuit of an eight-pound chunk of gold-plated britannium.

The Big Show is a chronicle of the past fifteen years of the Academy Awards, the most tumultuous decade in Oscar's seventy-six year history. Written by the only journalist ever given carte blanche access to the planning, production, and backstage intrigue of the Oscars, it offers an unguarded, behind-the-scenes glimpse of this singular event, along with remarkable insight into how the Oscars reflect the high-stakes politics of Hollywood, our obsession with celebrities (not to mention celebrities' obsession with themselves), and the cinematic state of the union.


The Big Show

Putting It Together
The 66th Academy Awards

"THE PELLET with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon," Chuck Warn muttered to nobody in particular...


Praise for The Big Show

“Steve Pond has long been the hardest-working pop culture writer around, and The Big Show proves it. This backstage journey through the last decade of Academy Award specials adds up to way more than the sum of the de rigueur gossip, glamour, and glitz--though there's plenty of that. Based on years of his own behind-the-scenes reporting, Pond delves deep into a closely-held world that the public never gets to see, and brings back an all-access-pass portrayal of the stars and the star-making machinery that makes sure the show must go on. If the Academy awarded Oscars for books about their annual festivities, The Big Show would have no competition.” —David Rensin, author of The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up

“Anyone who's been around show business comes to realize that often the show behind the show is the most entertaining and intriguing. Steve Pond has taken full advantage of his unique, fly-on-the-wall perspective on the Oscars and the result is a compelling, insightful, and revealing look into the glamorous engine room of Hollywood's biggest night.” —David Wild, author of The Showrunners: A Season Inside the Billion-Dollar, Death-Defying, Madcap World of Television's Real Stars

The Big Show is better than the best seat in the house. Only one journalist has ever been given long-term complete access to the Oscar telecast, and the great news is that it's Steve Pond. A masterful writer, Pond gives you the wonderful feeling that you're along for the ride as his exclusive guest. He whisks readers backstage, behind the curtain, and into the inner sanctums, taking you through the laughably pretentious moments, the quiet sadnesses, and the humor, preparation, anxiety, glory, and aftermath of the biggest show around.” —Cameron Crowe, Oscar-winning writer/director of Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire

“After nearly a decade of amazing access, Steve Pond tells all in a deeply dishy, always engaging look at What It Takes to put together everyone's favorite Hollywood extravaganza. Nobody can take you behind the scenes of Oscar night like Steve Pond, which is why The Big Show is a must-read for any Oscar fan . . . and any Oscar winner.” —Chris Connelly, five-time Oscar pre-show host and red carpet fixture

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Steve Pond

Steve Pond has been writing about popular culture and the entertainment industry for over twenty-five years for publications including Premiere, the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and the Washington Post.

Steve Pond

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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