Friday, June 26, 2009

2010 Oscar News

In case any of you doubt the impact that the Academy Awards have in the world's filmmaking industry, check today’s news that announce the Academy will increase the number of films from 5 to 10 for the Best Film nominations!

The only reason I could think of for increasing the number is the marketing push that a nomination gives a film as listing five or ten does not have much impact in results, except to disperse more voters’ votes; but viewers will get interested in watching the nominated films.

By the way they should do the same with the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Anyway if you feel like reading the official press release go here.

Update: For those interested in press reaction to the news, here is an article that can give you more perspective about this decison. -end of update-

New Update: some reactions...
Some feel that the Hollywood economy needs this boost, that spending on ten Oscar nominees will drive up boxoffice and DVD value. But should that be the Academy's job? "They're whoring out the Oscars," says one indie producer. "The Golden Globes have more integrity than the Oscars. It's dilutes the pure value attached to best picture."

"This will bring an exciting new dynamic to the show and give the entire awards season new energy," says Oscar campaigner Ronni Chasen. "It will be good for business and provide an opportunity for five more movies to gain added visibility and exposure that would be good for box office. This should be a win-win for everyone." The LAT's Patrick Goldstein, who has been lobbying the Academy in his column for Oscar reform, agrees.

Coming out ahead are specialty distribs such as Sony Pictures Classics, which could have used extra Oscar juice for smaller quality films such as last year's Rachel Getting Married, or Frozen River. But SPC's Tom Bernard worries about Oscar voters being able to see all the films, even with eight extra days in the schedule this year. The nominations will be announced February 2 and ABC will broadcast the Oscars on March 7. Bernard hopes the Academy will make some moves to increase the number of member screenings. Distribs will send out more DVDs, but what's going to make a given voter watch them all? "It's more inclusive and that's a good thing," says Bernard. "But it's hard getting the membership to watch all the films NOW. It's difficult to get them to see five foreign language films."

The worst thing about all this is the dilution of the exclusive, special nature of the top five. What if the ten selections aren't top notch? To put it bluntly, there isn't an overabundance of quality films anymore. What if they aren't all well-reviewed? The movies at the bottom of the best picture ten may reflect mere hundreds of votes. "Everyone is a contender now," says one studio publicist. "It's not the rarified five anymore. It makes it less elite."

Said one miserable Oscar campaigner: "People who thought they had no shot? Today they think they do."

-end of new update-

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