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.
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…


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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima