Awards Season 2018

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Apperson
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#51 Post by Apperson » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:26 pm

Big Ben wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:02 pm
Eh it's also a way for The Academy to recognize films like Black Panther without actually letting it in on the major awards. It won't fool the more aware members but it'll look like inclusion to a mass audience.
But surely it won't? A audience of people who genuinely believes that Black Panther is the best film of the year and an important cultural milestone, however much we want to debate that line of thinking, will be turned away when they see it in the same category as any other franchise property that will clog any broadly defined "Popular Fim" category (hell any other MCU film in my mind).

Coincidentally I was thinking about the Academy a few days ago and two things that they most-likely want that are difficult to achieve together:

1. They want to rebel against the dominant franchise mindset present in "commercial" Hollywood and to present prestigious but accessible films that fit that bill. And...

2. They want to remain popular and ,in particular relevant, so as to influence people's movie going decisions and make this brand of prestige commercially viable.

I love the Oscars, they're always entertaining from a discussion standpoint and the Academy has actually cultivated a consistent mode of filmaking that isn't just chasing the new hotness, but I do think that they recoil slightly at the idea that films are commercial, and this manifests itself in rejection of intellectual properties from other forms of pop art and a rejection of films that have elements that exist outside of that one viewing session.

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Cremildo
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#52 Post by Cremildo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:46 pm

The presentation of certain "below the line" awards during the ceremony - such as Film Editing and Sound Editing - helped me grasp, in my early teenage years, when my interest in cinema was still coalescing, certain concepts that are integral to the filmmaking process. More often than not, those categories were more informative and interesting to watch than the so-called main ones. I can only lament that curiosity about the behind-the-scenes aspects of filmmaking is being discouraged by the Board of Governors.

dda1996a
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#53 Post by dda1996a » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:20 pm

Not to come off as too snobbish, but this is Hollywood we're talking about, so they honestly don't give a shit about educating people of the magic of cinema but getting as many people to watch its telecast. I find this awful but not a bit surprising

McCrutchy
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#54 Post by McCrutchy » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:38 pm

dda1996a wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:20 pm
Not to come off as too snobbish, but this is Hollywood we're talking about, so they honestly don't give a shit about educating people of the magic of cinema but getting as many people to watch its telecast. I find this awful but not a bit surprising
But who wants to watch the telecast when the telecast sucks anyway?

I don't think anyone who would watch the Oscars has a problem with the awards themselves, or even really the speeches. The big problem is the skits and the segments and the song performances* and the commercials. Take most or all of those out and you've got an awards show that should easily be able to dominate a two-hour block.

I hope when Black Panther wins this silly Best Popular Film award (imagine the outcry if it actually gets beat by something better, like Mission: Impossible - Fallout!), someone makes a fan art cover for the Blu-ray/UHD with Martin Luther King, Jr. peeking out over the top corner, smiling and holding an Oscar and a huge banner underneath the film's title that says "RACISM IS OVER!", because let's be honest, that's what the academy is trying to do, here.

EDIT: I hope they also go back to 2017 and retroactively award Best Popular Film to both Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (which somehow made almost $1 billion) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, because at this point, that's the only thing the Academy could do to look more stupid. On the other hand, if it stands, this is probably going to be the President Donald Trump of awards, so I guess it makes sense, considering reality.

*I know some people like these, but come on, it isn't the Grammys. 4-5 performances is like 20-25 minutes the show could be shorn of easily. We don't get makeup tutorials, acting lessons or a writer's workshop, either, so I've always felt that the songs are overexposed by actually being performed at the ceremony.

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movielocke
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#55 Post by movielocke » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:55 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:32 pm
There is just no way they will be aired without major edits. No way at all. This will have the opposite effect.
Regarding the editing of the awards--and lets be honest, this is going to be for three awards, the three shorts, so how will this work.

they will still have a package options queued up in the EVS, because they pre-edit three packages for every category (a complete package and a fast package and a superfast package (basically just a graphic)) and this will all be done in the EVS, they won't be round tripping to a NLE.

So what gets edited out. First of all, you pre-record at dress rehearsal the host doing a short throw for each of the categories, so Jimmy Kimmel has a one liner about the category, and introduces the category (because even this intro may be reduced if the time is needed, no celebrities will be booked to introduce the categories, the category duties will be assigned to the host instead)

So this is the first big time savings, because a flexible host bite replaces this entire sequence: jib-shot, audience shots, host shots, audience shots, host introducing celebrity, celebrity walk out, celebrity banter, celebrity intro the category. This can save between 40 seconds and 2 minutes for each category.

the second big time savings is the walk to the stage. You are still going to keep the five-split shot of the nominees, and you're going to keep their reaction. You're going to cut from them hitting the aisle, to a reaction shot of meryl streep clapping, to a shot of them ascending the stage. the entire walk up is gone.

You run their entire speech, which are usually short anyway. Cutting out the walk to the stage saves about 20 to 40 seconds per category.

Why do you run the entire speech? Because you're likely not doing this with an actual editor, you're doing this with an EVS operator sitting in the truck, with a dedicated producer next to him. And neither of those two people are not going to want to make any decisions that will have any potential political blowback.

Additionally, the limitations of the EVS are such that you can't make edits to lift out stuttering or stammering and repetitions of the usual person's live circuitous speech patterns that can be pulled up to save time. This is technology that can do fairly complicated instant replays, but it isn't technology that gives you full nonlinear separated audio and video editing opportunities.

This means, the EVS operator will assemble nine pieces before the show. for each category:

host intro + full package

host intro + reduced package

host intro + "graphic" package

Then once the EVS operator has assembled the shortened piece of the awarding of the category and speech, they assign that piece to the tail of each of the three above options.

They then prep this for the director, and based on how much they are on time or over-time, the producers/director in the truck will make an on the fly decision about which of the three options to be aired. (this is how all the packages for all the categories work, 24 times a show, every decision about which package duration to use is live and based on how much they're on time or over time).

Ideally, most viewers don't even notice the difference.

And most commercial breaks are 3.5 to 6.5 minutes long. so you have your operator doing all of this within a very short time frame, there literally is no time to shorten the speeches, but I mean, it's not like they have a lot of time to do instant replays for sports either, they're used to the time crunch.

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movielocke
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#56 Post by movielocke » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:26 pm

I expect this to be walked back, honestly.

But I mean, "most popular film" is kind of something they badly needed to do. The last few years have nominated some great films, but uh, they also have been increasingly--severely--deep inside of an ever contracting "awards film" echo chamber, to the point that (an excellent fractured fairy tale about) tasteful fish sex just won best picture.

I applaud them for trying to do something to break out of the suffocating echo chamber they're stuck in. I'm not sure that "most popular film" is the best way to do it.

Because this is a self-inflicted wound. people vote for films that are campaigned, screened, and screenered. Studios do not campaign, screen, nor screener "Captain America Civil War" for example that's a waste of five million dollars. Instead studios campaign, and screen, and screener their smaller awards film echo chamber films.

What that means is that you are creating an enviroment whose ecosystem has no popular films participating in it, which means you have created a strong feedback loop of overt and implicit social cues encouraging people NOT to vote for popular films. Raiders of the Lost Ark would never be nominated for Best Picture or Director in 2018, but it was in 1981. That's because in 1981, the studio naturally included the film in its awards process. In 2018 the studio would NEVER invest a cent in the films award process.

What this award is clumsily trying to do is it is trying to force the studios to invest in the awards process again for the films like Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Ideally if this worked, it would cause more of the films in the "Popular films" category to recieve nominations in directing, writing and acting categories as well.

Also, if this worked, the academy could then reduce the BP category back to five films, as there's no reason for it to stay expanded once popular films have their own specific category.

I could see some fairly easy rules for most popular film--must be in more than 2500 theatres at peak release, most earn more than 100,000,000 (or project to more than 100,000,000 by ceremony day for December releases), must have a budget of more than 30 million.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#57 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:29 pm

Regarding the songs and technical categories, the way to give those the attention they deserve while still preserving the precious 8-11PM EST window for the key parts of the main ceremony is to expand and fill out the preshow (which most of the casual Oscar-watchers I know/live with are more inclined to watch than the big categories at the end of the broadcast anyway) with more than the red carpet interviews and fashion reviews to which they currently give all that screen time.

Make it a huge party celebrating and highlighting the best in film craft outside with the crowds for 90 minutes leading up to the main show, along with all the celebrity arrivals and interviews: have all the nominated songs (and, ideally, segments of the scores) performed with the usual stars and production values every 20 minutes or so (with a condensed three-minute version played during the ceremony before the award is handed out); have models sporting the nominated costumes and makeup milling around the crowd and featured in interviews with the nominated craftsmen; intermittently play the sequences highlighting the nominees for sound, visual effects, editing, and production design* (and the work that goes into these elements behind the scenes) on a huge screen outside; and maybe even have a theater showing the nominated shorts on a loop. In addition to giving these categories more of a spotlight than they currently get, this would also encourage casual viewers to stick around to see these awards given out when they might otherwise check out after the supporting actor categories.

This way the Oscar show as a whole is longer and has more broad appeal (and provides more ad revenue for the network and AMPAS), even as the awards ceremony itself is shortened and more tightly focused AND gives more time to highlight some of the highest-grossing films of the year, which tend to have most of the nominations they do receive in the technical categories. Last year, this would have given studios a ton of time to plug, among others, The Last Jedi, Kong: Skull Island, Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Beauty and the Beast, Baby Driver, and War for the Planet of the Apes and their megastar casts, who would have incentive to attend even if they individually went unnominated. Ratings up, more money for everybody, all without short-shrifting the artists and craftspeople.

*Or better yet, have mini-sets mirroring the nominated production designs that the crowd and media can walk through; a creative producer could do a lot with all of these categories, as they tend to be the most tangible and sensory.

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movielocke
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#58 Post by movielocke » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:46 pm

it's interesting, pretty much every year prior to 2004 had a blockbuster nominated, but usually only one, sometimes two, and they rarely won, but they were represented, not excluded.

Starting with 2004 (the post LOTR slump) no blockbusters were nominated for five years in a row (but Crash was nominated hooray for awards film echo chambers).

Which is basically what led to category expansion, the five year blockbuster award drought and commensurate plunge in ratings.

Hilariously, the first year of expansion was Avatar, which certainly would have been nominated, and Hurt Locker probably would have missed a Best picture nomination without the expansion and Avatar would have probably won.

post 2009, representation in best picture is almost totally dominated by awards echo chamber films. Most years do have had popular films nominated, but blockbusters being nominated is pretty inconsistent within those popular nominations

Sure we get Mad Max Fury Road every now and then, but we're more likely to get the equivalent of popular films like Moneyball, and the Academy wants to see more representation of films like Mad Max, not Moneyball.

But if they create this category, it's likely only going to get one or two actual blockbusters and a whole lot of Moneyball respectably popular grossers.

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colinr0380
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#59 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:01 pm

This conversation gets much funnier if you substitute every mention of Black Panther for "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again". And like the 'serious' Academy Awards, Meryl Streep will totally sweep it! (Quite rightly too!)

McCrutchy
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#60 Post by McCrutchy » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:06 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:01 pm
This conversation gets much funnier if you substitute every mention of Black Panther for "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again". And like the 'serious' Academy Awards, Meryl Streep will totally sweep it! (Quite rightly too!)
Thank God this isn't the UK, or this post would have chilling real-world implications.

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domino harvey
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#61 Post by domino harvey » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:46 pm

movielocke wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:46 pm
Starting with 2004 (the post LOTR slump) no blockbusters were nominated for five years in a row (but Crash was nominated hooray for awards film echo chambers).

Which is basically what led to category expansion, the five year blockbuster award drought and commensurate plunge in ratings.

Hilariously, the first year of expansion was Avatar, which certainly would have been nominated, and Hurt Locker probably would have missed a Best picture nomination without the expansion and Avatar would have probably won.
No. The Hurt Locker was always the front runner, from the beginning-- that it would have missed a nom is laughable. And the "blockbuster drought" is not what caused the Academy to expand to ten noms, it was that specifically the Dark Knight didn't get nominated for Best Pic and the Reader did

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movielocke
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#62 Post by movielocke » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:00 pm

domino harvey wrote:
movielocke wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:46 pm
Starting with 2004 (the post LOTR slump) no blockbusters were nominated for five years in a row (but Crash was nominated hooray for awards film echo chambers).

Which is basically what led to category expansion, the five year blockbuster award drought and commensurate plunge in ratings.

Hilariously, the first year of expansion was Avatar, which certainly would have been nominated, and Hurt Locker probably would have missed a Best picture nomination without the expansion and Avatar would have probably won.
No. The Hurt Locker was always the front runner, from the beginning-- that it would have missed a nom is laughable. And the "blockbuster drought" is not what caused the Academy to expand to ten noms, it was that specifically the Dark Knight didn't get nominated for Best Pic and the Reader did
The academy was also spending the year / summer celebrating 1939’s ten nominees, and chatter at screenings was, “these films are so great we should do this again”

Dark knight was the apex of the trend, but if it hadn’t been preceded by the year over year downward spiral in ratings post LOTR it wouldn’t have been considered as seriously.

Hurt locker wasn’t a front runner in July when it premiered and then disappeared, it gathered steam in the fall and built and maintained a strong and smart awards campaign, but I don’t recall it being a front runner in September or even October, a critical darling throughout, a resource the team exploited beautifully, but the front runners were still the unseen big baity end of year films (until they face planted)

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Feego
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#63 Post by Feego » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:07 pm

I would be really curious to see how the Academy goes about determining what is eligible for a nomination in the "Popular Film" category. Would qualifying movies have to gross a certain amount? Would they only consider the top 10 or 15 highest grossing films of the year? Is the highest grossing film an automatic nominee? Just imagining if this category had been created for the recent ceremony, the lineup might have been Wonder Woman, Logan, Coco, Dunkirk and Get Out. The latter two were nominated for Best Pic, none were #1, and only Wonder Woman was in the top 10. If they limited it to just the top 10, then they might just as well call the category Best Action Film.

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Re: Awards Season 2018

#64 Post by MongooseCmr » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:51 pm

For anyone else that was as slow to put two and two together as me, this was apparently put on by ABC to get better viewership for the broadcast, meaning Disney has essentially arranged for themselves to get an award yearly. Incredible to see 80 years of tenuous credibility flushed away in an instant

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knives
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#65 Post by knives » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:57 pm

Um, they already do. It's called Best Animated. Additionally the awards was originally made as a union busting effort that could also pay MGM dividends. This is exactly what the awards were originally made for.

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movielocke
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Awards Season 2018

#66 Post by movielocke » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:00 pm

Feego wrote:I would be really curious to see how the Academy goes about determining what is eligible for a nomination in the "Popular Film" category. Would qualifying movies have to gross a certain amount? Would they only consider the top 10 or 15 highest grossing films of the year? Is the highest grossing film an automatic nominee? Just imagining if this category had been created for the recent ceremony, the lineup might have been Wonder Woman, Logan, Coco, Dunkirk and Get Out. The latter two were nominated for Best Pic, none were #1, and only Wonder Woman was in the top 10. If they limited it to just the top 10, then they might just as well call the category Best Action Film.
i would guess 2017 would have been

Star Wars, Wonder Woman, greatest showman, beauty and the beast, Baby driver

(If we are excluding BP nominees)

Which is more of my top ten than the actual Oscars best picture nine so well done (not seen greatest showman yet)

Other possibilities for 2017 would be It, Ragnarok, spider man, guardians 2, Logan, fate of the furious, apes 3, split, Wonder girls trip and maybe coco—but I have a feeling animated films may not show up here very often.

The sort of film that probably doesn’t get nominated here is jumanji, despicable cars 3, justice league, pirates transformers 5, Kong, just on the fact that there are a lot of good blockbusters/comedies people will be happy to vote for, the bad blockbusters will be struggling to get votes.

I imagine there’s gonna be a 100M qualifier so blade runner wouldn’t count as a popular film.

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Re: Awards Season 2018

#67 Post by McCrutchy » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:21 pm

I don't see how Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle doesn't get included, though. It made over $300 million domestic from December to February, and was received well enough by audiences and critics. If this is to be a category for films that aren't "good enough" for most major Oscars (in the opinion of the Academy, that is), then I don't see how you can ignore its critical and popular consensus unless you want to go off only the box office receipts and just skip voting to hand the award to the winner, in this case, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

I actually thought the film was pretty terrible, and I can't believe it brought in as much as it did, so I would have to hope it doesn't win against other "popular films", but after all, there is the argument that movies like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle do more for Hollywood than a dozen Oscar winners, just by getting butts in seats.
Last edited by McCrutchy on Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Shrew
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#68 Post by Shrew » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:23 pm

Guys, maybe Popular Film just means films inciting popular action on the part of the masses and this is all just to make sure Sorry to Bother You gets a nom.

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swo17
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#69 Post by swo17 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:30 pm

Seems this change would be more palatable if the categories were branded as:

Best Artistic Achievement
Best Entertainment

McCrutchy
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#70 Post by McCrutchy » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:58 pm

I think maybe an even better idea would be to let AMPAS award something like "Best Attended Picture of the Year" (obviously it would need a better title, as it currently sounds like an award given to students, or something) where the winner is literally the film that sold the most tickets during its run. I'm not sure how to solve the problem of films that open late in one year and continue into the next, and I guess you would also have to figure out a way to stop studios from buying tickets in bulk, but assuming that could be achieved, it would be nice to have the Academy acknowledge the film the most people actually went to see, irrespective of premium formats or when in a film's run they saw it.

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swo17
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#71 Post by swo17 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:34 pm

My point was that art and entertainment are the two main reasons people see films, and there are exemplary films in both categories that aren't necessarily popular. So it would remove that stigma of strictly going after ratings while still giving a place for genre films to thrive.

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movielocke
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#72 Post by movielocke » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:45 pm

swo17 wrote:Seems this change would be more palatable if the categories were branded as:

Best Artistic Achievement
Best Entertainment
This is great branding.

I wonder if celebs that take the Oscars too seriously will try to boycott the ceremony. Et tu Sean and Leo?

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domino harvey
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#73 Post by domino harvey » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:50 pm

But entertainment can be artsy and artistic films can be entertaining. It's dumb no matter what. Call the category "Best Action Film," since that's all they really want to nominate anyways and at least it's specific without passing judgment

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swo17
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#74 Post by swo17 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:54 pm

I should think it would attract comedies as well, or really anything that might prompt someone to say "I loved it, but it's not serious enough to put forward for Best Picture."

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Feego
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Re: Awards Season 2018

#75 Post by Feego » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:26 pm

Counting the days until the Academy just follows the Critics' Choice lead and has separate categories for action films, comedies and sci-fi/horror.

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