The Oscar Project
By now you've likely heard rumors about some upcoming changes to the Oscars that will be announced next year. There are changes coming to the live telecast as well as a new category that was announced today. Here's what you need to know:
1. In an effort to speed the telecast along and provide more focus on the "big categories," some of the less popular categories will be announced during commercial breaks of the telecast. The awards will still be handed out during the live ceremony, but the television audience will not get to see them presented live.
2. There will be a new category for "outstanding achievement in popular film" and while the Academy announced that additional details would be forthcoming, this is likely to be a catchall for franchise films from the world of comics, science fiction, comedy, and horror.
3. Future ceremonies will likely take place earlier in the year, closer to the beginning of the calendar year. The ceremony this year was in early March while 2019 will award Oscars on February 24th, followed by February 9th in 2020.
So what exactly does this mean for your favorite films and the Oscars in general?
In this writer's opinion, it won't truly fix the issues that The Academy cited for making these changes, namely low television ratings. The fact is that most television ratings are down simply because of the way people consume their media today. Adding an award that caters to "fanboys" isn't going to fix that. Not showing some of the award presentations won't fix that because the telecast will still be several hours long.
The people who want to tune in and watch the coverage of the red carpet and see the fashion will still do that. They may or may not watch the actual awards, but the interest will remain the same for that part. Those who tuned in to see if their favorite comic book or sci fi flick could get an award in the Visual Effects of Sound Mixing/Editing categories, might not come at all anymore since those are some of the categories likely to be pushed into the commercial breaks.
Ultimately, making movies is an art form. It requires many people working together to create that art and while not every film is for every viewer, there is something for everyone out there. I hope that these changes will make a positive impact on the Oscars and achieve what they are looking for, but I fear that the ratings will continue to drop and ultimately we may end up with an awards show that lasts an hour and a half and awards the top 6-8 prizes at the expense of so many other contributors that make the movies of today possible.
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?