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Not that you asked, but...

Q. Who are you guys anyway? 

A. On our more charitable days, we here at the Muriel Awards like to think of ourselves as a scruffy bunch of cinephiles and critical types who band together once a year to recognize the towering cinematic achievements of the past twelve months or so. But when we’re not feeling so positive, we tend to think of ourselves as a bunch of dorks who aren’t respectable enough to vote in the Skandies (editor’s note: no, that’s just Paul who thinks that, and mostly just about himself). Either way, you get the ideas- bloggers, movies, awards. 

Q. How’d you hatch the idea for the Muriels?

A. The official story is that co-founders Steven Carlson and Paul Clark came up with the Muriels back in 2006 during a break between episodes at the U.S. premiere of Out 1. And while that’s not inaccurate, it actually goes back further than that to the now-defunct Opal Awards, which Paul “handed out” all by his lonesome. Hoping to get some other people to join him in his awards-season frenzy, Paul pitched the idea to Steve, and the rest, as they say… 

Q. What’s with the name? 

A. If you’ve seen the main page- and really, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have- you’ll know that Muriel is the name of Paul’s guinea pig. Originally, the name was meant as a place holder while he and the rest of the gang came up with something better, but nothing better ever materialized. Sort of like what happened on Arrested Development with “Operation Hot Mother,” come to think. Anyway, we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s pretty catchy, so for something that began as a provisional thing we’d say it worked out rather well.

Q. What makes you guys different than the bevy of other critical awards floating around the Internets? 

A. Unlike many awards of this kind, most of our voters tend to be non-professional or semi-pro critics, although we certainly don’t discriminate against those who write about movies for a living. More importantly, we don’t harbor any illusions of being awards-season precursors or taste-makers, which frees us up to let our cinephile freak flags fly with sometimes fascinating results (Antichrist, Tilda Swinton, Carice Van Houten). That’s not to say we’re completely immune to the movies also favored by the Academy (The Departed, Javier Bardem). But any resemblance between our picks and those of the “major” awards-giving bodies are, more often than not, coincidental. 

Q. How does the scoring system work?

A. Muriels voters are asked to submit their ballots ranked in order of preference, with ten choices for Best Feature Film and five choices in each of the other categories. The ballots are then scored using what can be described as a modified Passiondex system. In the best film category, each voter’s #1 choice is given 14 points, #2 gets 13 points, and down the line. Similarly, in the rest of the categories, the top pick gets 8 points, #2 gets 7 points, and so on. The points are then tallied and the film or person who receives the highest number of points in a given category is the winner. Ties are broken on the basis of number of ballots on which the film or person appears in the category in question. Beyond that, a tied winner is always a possibility. Hasn’t happened yet, but we won’t have a problem with it if it does. 

Q. So do you guys actually present your awards? 

A. Well, we announce them every February for the benefit of our voters and fans. However, we do not as yet have any awards to give our winners. The one exception to this is for winners of the Best Web-Based Film Criticism category, who receive a snazzy banner to place on their sites if they so desire. However, if you’d like to pony up the dough to rent a venue, pay for transportation and housing so that Steve and Paul can host, and shell out for Muriels statuettes, we won’t object. Just send an e-Mail expressing your interest to MurielAwards@notgonnabloodyhappen.com. Serious inquiries only, please. 

Q. Let’s say I know this guy who wants to be a Muriel Awards voter. How do I… er, how does he become one? 

A. Muriels voting is by invitation only, and presently invitations are handled by Steve and Paul. Because of this, the best way for someone to become a Muriels voter is to make himself and his work known to them. One good way to do this is to participate in the blogathons which we run every once in a while through our blog Our Science Is Too Tight (murielcommunity.blogspot.com). If we like your contribution, we’ll consider you for next year’s Muriels. 

Q. Greetings friend. My name is Dr. Ndugu O’Leary. I am imprison by my country of Africa for political crime and they wish to seize assets of $20,000,000. So that I may to transfer my money away from my country I ask for your help. In exchange for help I will happy to pay you 10% of money or $2,000,000. Please to give routing number for bank and account number so that I may to transfer money? Good wishes, Dr. Ndugu O’Leary. 

A. Once again, all serious inquiries should be directed to MurielAwards@notgonnabloodyhappen.com. Thank you. 

Q. Are you my mother?

A. Not that I'm aware of.

See you at the Muriel Awards! 

Steve Carlson, 
Co-Founder and Chairman, The Muriel Awards 

Paul Clark, 
Co-Founder, The Muriel Awards