I love Steven Spielberg as an artist, but his proposal to change the rules to keep streaming companies out of the Oscars, is way off base. As the Academy Awards attempts to stay relevant, he proposes to constrict, rather than expand, the scope of what constitutes an Oscar worthy film.
Mr. Spielberg prefers to watch a movie in a theater. That’s fine, until he wants to codify his personal preference, as a requirement for Oscar qualification. Netflix follows the arbitrary rules and puts their films in theaters for the required amount of time. This isn’t good enough? Interestingly, action films make most use of the “big screen experience” and they RARELY get a nod from Oscar, outside of the technical awards. Clearly, it’s not the experience that’s being protected.
What it seems to boil down to is protecting the prestige (& profits) of the traditional studios and the ancillary distribution markets that inherently erect insurmountable barriers to entry, for the vast majority of filmmakers. If only the studios have the access and resources to fund a major theatrical release, then only the studios will be able to qualify for the lucrative Oscar. The Academy would be setting themselves up for failure, by leaving innovation behind. They will be leaving great content behind, and in the process, relegating themselves to irrelevancy.
Who will care about the Academy Awards if people know that worthy films aren’t even able to compete?
The saving grace is that the Academy voters have themselves voted for films from these new studios. Will the Academy members agree that they were wrong and can no longer be trusted? Let’s hope they vote contrary to Mr. Spielberg’s flawed plan, and continue to honor filmmaking, not the status-quo, studio club.
Los Angeles Times Entertainment
The Hollywood Reporter
Los Angeles Times: Steven Spielberg to propose Oscar rules that could keep streaming films out of contention.
I had the fortune of being invited to see a movie in 4D Motion Effects. Yeah, that sounds a full 6 syllables of impressive. What is 4D Motion Effects? Is it really that amazing?
Well, check out my post-screening reaction below and then read along for some more thoughts and information about where you can experience this yourself in Southern California. Hint: You can pick up a load of fresh strawberries while you’re there.
I saw TWO screenings of films today. I just got back from seeing “Captain Phillips”. That’s an intense ride based on the true story of ship raided by Somali pirates. Earlier in the day, I saw the documentary. This one, you may not have heard of, but trust me…it’s excellent. This film is an example of film and music coming together to make something great.
The picture on the left here is the actual theatre of the Director’s Guild of America, where I see these films. This picture was obviously taken by the Lumia 1020, currently in my care and I used the Hipstamatic Oggl app to capture the squared off wonder.
I took 1020 with me and I walked to the DGA. Back when I was a Marine, we would call hikes, “humps”. I guess I took the hump on a short hump. Cue the Beavis and Butthead chuckling. Along the way, we stopped and took notice of things and more importantly we captured them in 41 megapixel glory. Don’t worry, I’ll share some of the good stuff, after the break.
It’s that time of year. The weather gets hot and we all head inside to see big summer blockbuster films. We all know that the films vary in quality as much as they do story. That makes the risk great, considering the monetary investment involved. How do you hedge your bet?