By Oliver Gettell
12:00 PM PST, February 1, 2014
One of the last stops on the awards-season train celebrates one of the first steps of the filmmaking process at the Writers Guild of America West Awards, which kick off in just a few hours.
Comic actor Brad Garrett will host this year's ceremony, and viewers can tune in to the live webcast, which will also feature pre-awards interviews with nominees from film and TV, starting at 5 p.m. PST at www.latimes.com/envelope and www.latimes.com/wga.
Included on the stream will be the WGAW's first “Mighty Pen” tweet competition, in which fans and followers will finish the sentence “The secret to great writing is…” (see www.wga.org for details). Five finalists will be announced during the show.
In addition to the former "Everybody Loves Raymond" star's emceeing, the WGA Awards could also provide some insight into the current state of this year's awards race, which culminates at the Academy Awards in March. All five guild nominees for original screenplay are up for the equivalent Oscar, as are three of the five guild nominees for adapted screenplay.
The WGA nominees for original screenplay are the con story "American Hustle," by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell; the fallen-socialite tale "Blue Jasmine," by Woody Allen; the AIDS drama "Dallas Buyers Club," by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack; the futuristic love story "Her," by Spike Jonze; and the father-son road movie "Nebraska," by Bob Nelson.
The guild's nominees for adapted screenplay are the family drama "August: Osage County," by Tracy Letts; the relationship two-hander "Before Midnight," by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke; the hijacking thriller "Captain Phillips," by Billy Ray; the Navy SEAL story "Lone Survivor," by Peter Berg; and the shady-stockbroker tale "The Wolf of Wall Street," by Terence Winter. ("Before Midnight," "Captain Phillips" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" are also nominated for the Oscar.)
Some high-profile films, including "12 Years a Slave," "Rush," "Philomena" and "Fruitvale Station," weren't eligible for WGA nomination because of guild regulations.
In addition to feature film awards, the WGA will also honor outstanding writing in television, new media, video games, news, radio, promotional and graphic animation.
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