You may have heard some buzz about the upcoming Film Awards Database founded by Liam Heffernan. As a past writer on Liam’s La La Film, LTD, I was already familiar with him and his film knowledge. Naturally, I was curious to hear more about his latest venture and what he plans for it. I hope through this interview, you will learn more about his latest film site offering and a get a little insight into what keeps him on top of the film awards.
Liam Heffernan is a Film & Television graduate of York St. John College and has an MA in American Studies and Film Studies from the University of East Anglia.
After dabbling with other film writings and contributions, he hit unexpected success as the Editor-in-Chief of La La Film, LTD, which he launched in May of 2013. The film news site originally began only to fuel his passion for awards which is why he first named it Only Oscar. After only a few months, the site grew beyond expectations, and La La Film quickly became a full-fledged film source offering way more than award updates. And Liam as Editor-in-Chief ticked off his first success in the world of digital film journalism. In June 2016 he commingled that site and his Oscar-niche expertise with Movie Marker as the Awards editor. In less than a year, Liam’s continuing movie magic made Movie Marker a notable source of film awards news in the UK.
Here’s my interview with Liam Heffernan:
Q: So what is the Film Awards Database?
Liam: The Film Awards Database is a new online resource that aims to make film awards data easily accessible and transparent to the global film community. The focus is definitely on creating a central source of truth, with a user friendly site and data that can be easily extracted and manipulated.
Q: Who do you think will benefit from it?
Liam: The database is aimed primarily at bloggers and critics, who can use the database to add value to their own work. However, anyone with an interest in the Oscars, the Globes or any other award should find something useful in there.
Q: Will it be easy to use?
Liam: I hope so! I have been building a site that is as user-friendly as possible, though we are only at version 1 and there is a long way to go before it’s optimal, but it’s the start of a long collaborative journey and as we gain a more intuitive understanding of what our users want we can adapt and grow to provide that.
Q: Is it free to use?
Liam: Yes. So it does mean you might see an ad or two. I am exploring the possibility of a premium service, but free access to the core data will never be compromised.
Q: What led you to create it?
Liam: We all know of the big players in this area – IMDB and Box Office Mojo for instance – but as a film awards nerd for many years I have always been frustrated at how fragmented everything is. So I asked myself, would it be great if there was some independent, universal hub for awards season? That’s my end goal. At first it probably will feel just like a load of tables, but this is just the start. We have big plans which will make FADB a one-stop shop throughout awards season for critics, for filmmakers and for the awards organisers themselves.
Q: What do you hope it will do for you and for others?
Liam: On a personal level, one of the things that drove me to do this was ultimately helping to remove the laborious admin from film awards journalism and empower bloggers, journos and critics to spend more time analysing and understanding the data. I suspect 99% of the community that drive press for awards season do it, like me, as a hobby. From studying the Oscars I noticed so many poor assumptions about the awards which have over time embedded themselves as fact. The FADB will hopefully add value across the board by facilitating detailed, accurate and relevant insight.
Q: What do you see as your future in the film world? What do you offer to the film world that we haven’t seen yet?
Liam: I think this is my niche. I have spent many years researching awards and leading coverage on various sites, but there are tons of people who already own this space and do it brilliantly. Just take a look at Awards Circuit, Awards Daily, Awards Watch, Next Best Picture, and then the big players like Variety, Indie Wire, Deadline, Hollywood Reporter who all do pretty extensive awards coverage. Why compete when there’s an opportunity to help make this existing coverage as awesome as possible. FADB is all about collaboration and if I can add a little nugget of extra value to this world I’ll be pretty happy.
Also, I want to meet Steve Carell. The day that happens I’ll probably retire.
Q: Anything else you think is worth adding?
Liam: The Film Awards Database is hoping to launch a limited test version in the new year for feedback, and you can register to be one of our testers for free at filmawardsdb.com.
Liam has an advanced film degree and proven film site successes and yet he still accomplishes all of this expertise as a hobby. It seems whatever Oscar sites Liam works on or creates hit gold, and so I’m not sure his future in film should remain a hobby. If you agree and/or are Oscar-like-minded, reach out to him:
Register to be one of the early testers at filmawardsdb.com
Or email for more info: email@example.com
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