Golden Globes: How Do They Win?

2012 Golden Globe Awards logo

The Golden Globes mark the beginning of a hectic month in the film business ending with the presentation of the 2012 Academy Awards in late February. Last night, the best and brightest strutted their stuff and puffed their chests for the first time this year in an attempt to show Hollywood superiority for 2011. While most people love to watch this for the fashion or the chance to see their favorite stars share a bit of genuine emotion, it makes you wonder just how it is that they win these awards. The answer is very simple: The Hollywood Foreign Press.

Who exactly is the Hollywood Foreign Press? Aside from being the mysterious group that everyone seems to thank when they get a golden statue, the Hollywood Foreign Press is a group that dates back to the 1940’s. At first it was simply a method for Hollywood journalists to gain more access to the stars. They presented awards in 1944 at an informal ceremony at 20th Century Fox Studios. The idea was so well received that the Globes eventually were able to differentiate themselves from the Academy Awards in the 1950’s by including awards for television. This is all back story and doesn’t fully answer the question of how the winners are selected. We’re getting to that.

The Hollywood Foreign Press is a very exclusive group. There are only roughly 90 members, and unlike the Academy Awards where several hundred people are voting, it is only these 90 people that decide the winners of the Golden Globes. None of their names are secret and are posted on the Golden Globes website. However their voting process is taken very seriously. So seriously that the prestigious Ernst & Young, known for tax and advisory services, handles the entire process. They check the credentials of the voting members, making sure that they are still eligible to vote, deliver the ballots, recover the votes, count the selections and then finally deliver the winners to the event. Before the event itself only three people actually know who the winners are.

While the process is not as complicated as selecting Oscar winners, it is still very important to the Hollywood process. The Golden Globes provide an early forecast of what may happen at the Academy Awards. It isn’t an exact science but based on the results of last night’s Golden Globes, I’d put money on either The Descendants or The Artist┬áto win best picture… but I’m not a betting man.