Awards Archive for August, 2009

Awards Want It Long & Hard

There is nothing that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences would like better these days than a shorter Oscar show. The ratings slip a little most years and the sense is that a shorter show would be a more popular show and a more popular show would keep The Academy rich, fat, generous, and happy.
But what do you cut?
The Television Academy faced this issue and got tough about it. They made the call. Shorter show… some awards presented before the telecast and acceptance highlights to run during the big show.
BZZZZT!!!
Not so fast, buckaroos! Winning awards on national TV is our entitlement and we’re going to fry your asses if you try to minimize that in any way! TV Land Prime here we come!
Okay… perhaps that is pushing it a little far. But what are the awards givers going to say when the answer comes back from the networks on the next contract or the one after that and the nets just say, “2.5 hours and you are off the air”?
As the Super Bowl shows, if they can sell those ads, the networks will whore out untold numbers of hours of television space to that end. This last year, NBC, Fox and ESPN all did two hours of pre-show before NBC took the game… with 20 minutes for show before the kick-off.
The Academies are going in the opposite direction.
I respect that this is a big moment in people’s lives and that all the different talent that do great work feel they are due their respect. But as I understood it, this plan by ATAS was to split “the pain” amongst all the disciplines being celebrated. No one has, to my knowledge, ever brought that generous notion up at AMPAS. It’s always been about the less-pop branches defending their turf.
Someone’s eventually going to have to step up, act like adults, and be less celebrated in the name of keeping the entire organization healthily funded. Maybe next year…

16 Comments »

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I remember very much the iconography and the images and the statues in church were very emotional for me. Just the power of that, and even still — just seeing prayer card, what that image can evoke. I have a lot of friends that are involved in the esoteric, and I know some girls in New York that are also into the supernatural. I don’t feel that I have that gift. But I am leaning towards mysticism… Maybe men are more practical, maybe they don’t give into that as much… And then also, they don’t convene in the same way that women do. But I don’t know, I am not a man, I don’t want to speak for men. For me, I tend to gravitate towards people who are open to those kinds of things. And the idea for my film, White Echo, I guess stemmed from that — I find that the girls in New York are more credible. What is it about the way that they communicate their ideas with the supernatural that I find more credible? And that is where it began. All the characters are also based on friends of mine. I worked with Refinery29 on that film, and found that they really invest in you which is so rare in this industry.”
Chloë Sevigny

“The word I have fallen in love with lately is ‘Hellenic.’ Greek in its mythology. So while everyone is skewing towards the YouTube generation, here we are making two-and-a-half-hour movies and trying to buck the system. It’s become clear to me that we are never going to be a perfect fit with Hollywood; we will always be the renegade Texans running around trying to stir the pot. Really it’s not provocation for the sake of being provocative, but trying to make something that people fall in love with and has staying power. I think people are going to remember Dragged Across Concrete and these other movies decades from now. I do not believe that they will remember some of the stuff that big Hollywood has put out in the last couple of years. You’ve got to look at the independent space to find the movies that have been really special recently. Even though I don’t share the same world-view as some of my colleagues, I certainly respect the hell out of their movies which are way more fascinating than the stuff coming out of the studio system.”
~ Dallas Sonnier