Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

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Precious Doll
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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:06 am

Mister Tee wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:And moving it up to early February? Good god: there'll be no time to see the foreign/documentary nominees. And the precursor season, which already feels like fraternity rush, will be crammed into an even tighter window.


Is there time now?


Even last year, I only watched Faces Places, The Breadwinner and Strong Island in the 72 hours before the show. Never did get to Last Man in Aleppo. And I'm pretty sure I saw at least 2-3 of the foreigns in the 10 days prior.

A possibly encouraging sign: all of these changes are getting fiercely negative reaction from Oscar pundits and bloggers, including the ones who most often advocate for more populist policies (like nominating comic book movies). And the tone in many of the pieces is viciously mocking. There may be WAY more pushback on this than the Board of Governors expected. I wouldn't be surprised if, among other things, some of the tech branches threatened a boycott if they're pushed off air.


I meant to mention these posts before and missed them.

It's utterly ridiculous for the Academy voting members to be expected to sit through the volumes of film they are expected to watch in a shorter time frame. Someone on Goldderby was also saying that the BFTAs will be moving their awards ceremony forward in 2020. I prefer the good old days when the BFTAS were after the Oscars and most of the winners were British myself. Since they have been trying to copy the Oscars they have become one of the worst things possible: a clone comlete with implants and botox.

Academy members have lives and most of them don't revolve around much 3 or 4 films every day for a couple of weeks. Hell, they might be working on a project, having family over (its that time of year), going on holidays themselves or simply not up to it. People get sick too and if you happen to be unwell with a pile of DVDs next to the bed and you don't feel like watching them - your unlikely too.

I think I can speak with some authority with watching a large volume of films in a short period of time - it gets tiresome and very quickly. During June for 12 days straight I watched just over 30 films at the Sydney Film Festival. I'm currently in Melbourne with tomorrow to be my last day and all going well will have watched 41 films over by the end of tomorrow night. I could stay another 5 days and watch some other films I'd like to see but I'm sick of it and I want to go home - I have had ENOUGH. 3 weeks after we get home we then fly to Portugal for 6 weeks and little if no cinema the whole time - bliss.

I've also decided to pretty much can Melbourne, at best we would come down for a day or two and see the one film most wanting to see and to hell with the rest. And to tell the truth my very first day and both the Sydney & Melbourne film festivals this year were meet with a feeling of 'I don't want to do this'. I've been going to the Sydney one since 1980 and with age it gets more tiring and the realty is that all the stuff that I want to see the most will turn up in cinemas or on DVD/Blu Ray in the next 12 months and I get to save all that money that I spend on expensive meals, accommodation, etc. So the Academy shorting the viewing time is not going to go down well with members (as least with film festival audiences its self inflicted) and we are likely to get the most boring and predictable results possible.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:42 pm

So, I think it's kind of sweet that, the very week the Academy highlighted the dire need to acknowledge Popular Movies, filmgoers of America turned out en masse for a ridiculous movie about a giant shark.

#EmmysforSharknado

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:55 am

It's sort of weird because last Oscar season I had and still have serious thoughts of scrapping seeing some the minor categories.

I'd figured it was the 90th year and that would be a good time to stop seeing just about everything nominated, save Film, Director, Acting, Screenplays, Foreign Language Films and a few of the technical awards which I would continue. Save me some time and money trying to track certain titles down, etc and more time for other things to enjoy in life. Whilst I don't religiously watch the show its these sorts of changes that will very well cause me to turn my back on the Oscars - such a shame as they have given so much pleasure over the years. But if the downgrade them, there really won't be any point continuing to take anything more than a passing interest at best.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:16 am

I'll always love the idea of the Academy Awards and the concept of awarding the very best in quality even though that concept has been flawed from the very beginning with studio and later guild politics dictating nominations and affecting wins throughout its history, but the show itself is another matter.

We're long past the day when the only place to see major stars was on the Oscars. Nowadays there are no major stars anyway and the performers we do see are the same ones we've seen throughout awards season. Last year they not only couldn't find 90 former winners to gather for a 90th anniversary portrait, they didn't even try. The magic is gone. Dumbing down the show even further is like performing an autopsy. It can't hurt the deceased to cut him or her open. They're already dead.

Its been a slow death with outside and inside forces contributing equally to the demise.

From outside we have the change in the way movies are distributed. We go from New Year's Day thorugh Labor Day on a diet of cheesy horror movies, dumb comedies and action hero franchise event films. Anything of quality that comes along in this period is strictly by accident. Then we have the diversion of film festivals at which a couple dozen films of potential quality are shown and then dumped into theatres all at the same time in October and November with a handful reserved for year-end release. Those year-end releases, though, had better have figured into the precursor awards that begin in early December or they won't draw much business or traction with Academy members who don't go out to see anything anymore anyway. They simply wait for their screeners to arrive and then for the msot part just watch the ones that have drawn the most noise.

From the inside we have the changes in the show's format. We have the removal of the honorary Oscars from the regular presentation, the only thing that in lean years gave the show its distinction. We have the expansion of up to ten nominees for Best Picture, but then we don't have ten nominees suggesting that there aren't ten films worthy of nomination so what was the point? We have the extended membership, which is nice, but at the same time we have the cleansing of the membership rolls making older, non-active members feel unwanted even though movies are still in their DNA. There's no passion in the Academy leadership. There's no Frank Capra, Bette Davis or Gregory Peck at the helm. Why isn't a Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep or Tom Hanks president of the Academy?

These latest change proposals may be dumb, but they can't hurt the corpse. It's too late to save the soul that inhabited it.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:20 pm

Okri wrote:How is this different than the Hoop Dreams for documentary anger, or the foreign film changes after 2007, in your mind?

The three changes are the same in the narrowest sense: each is meant to engender different results in the categories involved. But I think there are significant differences in the how and why the changes were/are meant to be achieved.

In the case of documentaries: there was a strong sense of cronyism prevailing among the rather limited group making the nominations. Films that had wide distribution/acclaim seemed to be perennially disadvantaged in favor of those made by people on the selection committee or their acquaintances. Suspicion was they were essentially rigging the system, to keep a popular favorite from likely triumphing over one of this clique's productions. This rigging had been going on for a while, but the Hoop Dreams thing made it crazy-obvious, and the Academy fixed things so that widely-seen docs now had a shot. (And, of course, they started winning -- which makes underdog fans unhappy, but, you know, why should this category be different from all other Oscar slots?)

(Aside: I wonder why the animated feature category hasn't been subject to the same "cut out the corruption" purge. The obvious blackballing of The LEGO Movie should have been the Hoop Dreams of its category.)

Foreign films were somewhat different. The process of winnowing nominees from such a wide pool of film was a deeply time-consuming effort. This wasn't such an issue when the category first appeared in the 40s/50s, because far fewer countries submitted films. But that's changed as worldwide cinema has expanded. These days, I don't know the exact number, but I assume it requires nominators having to screen something in the area of 100 films? The average industry-ite doesn't have near the time for such a project. So, volunteers for the committee tended to be retirees. I'm not opposed to these folks on principle -- particularly since the designation would apply to me these days -- but there was no doubt that the films they tended to nominate took on a much blander cast than those that had been nominated (and had been winning) in the 60s and 70s. The group clearly favored sentimental movies in general, often set in the years of their youth (lots of WWII and Holocaust movies), and resisted those that took much esthetic risk. At a certain point, this became too much for the Academy to bear, and they instituted reforms that helped somewhat hipper efforts make the cut. And, once voters were given these films as options, they started to win. I can't imagine, for instance, either Dogtooth or The Great Beauty being nominated by the fussbudget committee -- but the latter, once nominated, actually won.

In one sense, these two examples seem opposite: the idea under documentary was to get greater representation for audience-friendly efforts, while in foreign film the push was for the more difficult films to get their shot. But in another sense it was the same goal: to let prominent, often critically-acclaimed films take center-stage in Oscar voting the same way prominent, critically-acclaimed English-language fiction films do in the main categories.

The push for Best Popular Film seems the opposite: to lessen the emphasis on critical acclaim (since critically-acclaimed box-office hits already get best picture nominations all the time, as many here and elsewhere have documented), and to affect the voting outcome not by letting all films have their equal shot to compete with the field, but to improve a certain class of films' chances of winning by establishing arbitrary criteria that excludes some of the competition. (In that sense, animated feature might be the one category that's most analogous, but even with that you have clear criteria -- 99% of the time, it's easy to tell an animated film from a live action one -- rather than the still undefined standard of this new proposed category.)

Something interesting about the overwhelmingly negative response to these proposed changes (the only people I've seen in favor are Sasha Stone, Scott Feinberg and Mark Wahlberg -- take from that group what you will): it includes both people who think Black Panther should be nominated for all major Oscars, and people like myself or BJ, who...don't. It's a bit like Dems lining up with Never-Trumpers just now -- we've been foes before, and will no doubt soon be again. But, right this moment, we're united against a clear and present danger.

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby The Original BJ » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:21 pm

Okri wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:Here’s a wild idea: if the members of the Academy deem Black Panther to be worthy of a nomination for Best Picture, they should vote for it. If not, they should vote for something else. The idea that this movie is somehow more entitled to a Best Picture nomination than anything — and any Oscar voter who doesn’t think so is a failed Academy member — is starting to get on my nerves.


How is this different than the Hoop Dreams for documentary anger, or the foreign film changes after 2007, in your mind?


I guess any changes are going to be viewed through one's personal opinion of whatever movies they're intended to benefit. Which is to say, for me, finding ways to get more franchise blockbusters recognized by the Academy feels like causing rather than fixing a problem. Imagine if the documentary branch changes were not to make sure the next Hoop Dreams and Crumb were included, but Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, or the foreign film changes not to rescue 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, but Apocalypto.

I'm certainly not opposed to change for change's sake -- I think the influx of new members from all corners of the globe has been a welcome development (admittedly because I think it's probably benefited the kinds of movies I like to see included, like Phantom Thread and Call Me By Your Name). But I personally feel like the Marvelization of film culture hasn't been the most welcome development (and for the record, it's not like I HATE all of those movies or anything), so I'm not that enthused about it taking over the one arena where it seems those movies aren't center stage all the time.

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Franz Ferdinand » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:13 pm


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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:39 am

Okri wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:Here’s a wild idea: if the members of the Academy deem Black Panther to be worthy of a nomination for Best Picture, they should vote for it. If not, they should vote for something else. The idea that this movie is somehow more entitled to a Best Picture nomination than anything — and any Oscar voter who doesn’t think so is a failed Academy member — is starting to get on my nerves.


How is this different than the Hoop Dreams for documentary anger, or the foreign film changes after 2007, in your mind?


I think the documentary selection category has also and remains somewhat flawed, though since the days of Hoop Dreams I get the impression that there are a lot more film eligible for the category.

I think the changes to the Foreign Language Category have been very effective and did seem radical at the time - a committee selecting an extra 3 or 4 films to be added to a shortlist of 9 of which 5 will make the cut - but it has produced a 10 year run or so of winners that are an impressive bunch of films. I don't know the ins and outs of the changes over the years but during the 1980s and 1990s some horrendous choices were made in this category, third rate films directed by nobodys and if I'm correct about the voting process back then, seen by very few members of the Academy. Shame they hadn't come up with those change earlier as 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days would have been a likely (and deserved) winner in 2007.

Change can be a good thing when it is positive and pro-active and produces better results, like the Foreign Language Category but this 'popular film' stuff belongs on Peoples Choice or MTV not the Oscars.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Okri » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:02 am

The Original BJ wrote:Here’s a wild idea: if the members of the Academy deem Black Panther to be worthy of a nomination for Best Picture, they should vote for it. If not, they should vote for something else. The idea that this movie is somehow more entitled to a Best Picture nomination than anything — and any Oscar voter who doesn’t think so is a failed Academy member — is starting to get on my nerves.


How is this different than the Hoop Dreams for documentary anger, or the foreign film changes after 2007, in your mind?

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:51 am

To get us back on track, I looked this up.

The Oscars seem to want to model themselves after the Grammys. The Grammys mostly nominate and reward the biggest, most popular names in music. They have the biggest stars presenting and performing. They hardly have any actual awards in their show at all (They presented only 9 on air despite having 80+ categories and 3 hours to kill).

Their ratings? 19.8 million

The Oscars: 26.5 million.

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby OscarGuy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:27 am

Wesley Lovell
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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Reza » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:54 am

Reza wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:Here’s a wild idea: if the members of the Academy deem Black Panther to be worthy of a nomination for Best Picture, they should vote for it. If not, they should vote for something else. The idea that this movie is somehow more entitled to a Best Picture nomination than anything — and any Oscar voter who doesn’t think so is a failed Academy member — is starting to get on my nerves.

All of that said, I’m increasingly thinking the movie is in for a Best Picture spot. The bird-in-the-hand rule is really benefitting it right now, since it’s really the only thing even in the Oscar conversation at this point, and we also haven’t seen anything remotely at the Get Out/Dunkirk level (and may not through the rest of the year) to take its populist heat away. All of the past few days’ articles have me thinking people are really taking it seriously as a contender, and that perception should help it a lot.


I am in 100% agreement with you BJ but I also think everyone is now so shit scared of 'offending' someone with anything from a sideway glance to an omission now deemed worthy of crucifixion or worse by 'social media'.


Only in the United States of America. Thank God sanity still prevails elsewhere in the world.


I guess not. Just read your post about your experiences at the cinema and on the road.

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Reza » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:48 am

Precious Doll wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:Here’s a wild idea: if the members of the Academy deem Black Panther to be worthy of a nomination for Best Picture, they should vote for it. If not, they should vote for something else. The idea that this movie is somehow more entitled to a Best Picture nomination than anything — and any Oscar voter who doesn’t think so is a failed Academy member — is starting to get on my nerves.

All of that said, I’m increasingly thinking the movie is in for a Best Picture spot. The bird-in-the-hand rule is really benefitting it right now, since it’s really the only thing even in the Oscar conversation at this point, and we also haven’t seen anything remotely at the Get Out/Dunkirk level (and may not through the rest of the year) to take its populist heat away. All of the past few days’ articles have me thinking people are really taking it seriously as a contender, and that perception should help it a lot.


I am in 100% agreement with you BJ but I also think everyone is now so shit scared of 'offending' someone with anything from a sideway glance to an omission now deemed worthy of crucifixion or worse by 'social media'.


Only in the United States of America. Thank God sanity still prevails elsewhere in the world.

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:27 am

The Original BJ wrote:Here’s a wild idea: if the members of the Academy deem Black Panther to be worthy of a nomination for Best Picture, they should vote for it. If not, they should vote for something else. The idea that this movie is somehow more entitled to a Best Picture nomination than anything — and any Oscar voter who doesn’t think so is a failed Academy member — is starting to get on my nerves.

All of that said, I’m increasingly thinking the movie is in for a Best Picture spot. The bird-in-the-hand rule is really benefitting it right now, since it’s really the only thing even in the Oscar conversation at this point, and we also haven’t seen anything remotely at the Get Out/Dunkirk level (and may not through the rest of the year) to take its populist heat away. All of the past few days’ articles have me thinking people are really taking it seriously as a contender, and that perception should help it a lot.


I am in 100% agreement with you BJ but I also think everyone is now so shit scared of 'offending' someone with anything from a sideway glance to an omission now deemed worthy of crucifixion or worse by 'social media'.
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Major Changes to Oscar Telecast

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:04 pm

Here’s a wild idea: if the members of the Academy deem Black Panther to be worthy of a nomination for Best Picture, they should vote for it. If not, they should vote for something else. The idea that this movie is somehow more entitled to a Best Picture nomination than anything — and any Oscar voter who doesn’t think so is a failed Academy member — is starting to get on my nerves.

All of that said, I’m increasingly thinking the movie is in for a Best Picture spot. The bird-in-the-hand rule is really benefitting it right now, since it’s really the only thing even in the Oscar conversation at this point, and we also haven’t seen anything remotely at the Get Out/Dunkirk level (and may not through the rest of the year) to take its populist heat away. All of the past few days’ articles have me thinking people are really taking it seriously as a contender, and that perception should help it a lot.


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