Saturday, August 8, 2015

Topic Of The Day: Edward Norton's Oscar Proposal

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Topic Of The Day. For today's topic, I will delve into some comments made by Edward Norton about the whole awards campaigning process. I think he is very on point with his thoughts. I do have some minor reservations, but I certainly get where he's coming from and would even like to expand upon his ideas. Here we go:

First off, here is a link to an interview where he offered his proposal:

According to Norton, they should put a ban on For Your Consideration ads which apparently only solicit awards. I agree to a certain extent because there are films that don't really need that kind of promotion. All the films by the bigwigs (Universal, Dreamworks, Weinstein Co., etc.). He thinks that any films that spend money on those types of ads should be disqualified. But they could have a certain criteria for films that send out ads. One thing that I personally think they could do is only have films with budgets of about $10 million or less send out ads. Films that need the exposure more than the Lincolns, 12 Years A Slaves, American Sniper's, and Les Miserables' that don't need the buzz and the limited release treatment. That way, the effort and money put into the ads for these smaller films feels more paid off since they might not have a big distributor on their shoulders. I also think that they should have a rule prior to Nomination Day stating that any film with a budget of about $20 million or above and any individual performer in a film with a $20 million budget or above that puts out FYC ads for themselves before nominations are announced gets automatically disqualified from the race. Strict, I know. But there are a lot of films that could never make it to the Oscars that could benefit from FYC ads a lot more. Plus, it could save the big studios some money because that is the biggest factor in the Oscar race. It is all about money spent on screenings, screeners, ads, etc., which is very unfortunate.

Another part of Norton's proposal is that he thinks that a lot of the guild awards and shows like the Golden Globes shouldn't be televised. I do agree to a certain extent because audiences don't really care about those. Most of them probably just want to see the big show. Although the Globes rely on ratings so who knows how it'll affect them. But by not televising the guild awards, it might actually create some suspense on Oscar night. Since the masses that rely on the televised awards shows to figure out the winners on Oscar night won't really know who they are, they could have an easier time tuning in so they can wonder. As I have mentioned before, one of the biggest flaws with the Oscars is their predictability and them making sure the same names mentioned throughout the season are called up to the stage. But without the precursors being aired, Oscar voters might not be easily swayed by public opinion.

Although, I do have some minor reservations about Norton's proposal. One is that, by letting the AMPAS decide who they want to vote for without studios influencing their decisions, it could potentially allow voters to continue their preferential buddy system. That's another one of their biggest flaws. Although we could see some interesting and out of the box choices, I worry that we could still see the same names pop up. Not only that, but if studio films don't send out FYC ads, then who knows if the studio genre films that the masses pull for will be much of a factor in the Oscar race. While I did offer up my own restrictions as to what films can and cannot create ads, at the same time, there are plenty of studio films that we want to see make it to the Oscars that wouldn't be there without an aggressive campaign.

So those are my thoughts on Edward Norton's proposal to change the Oscar campaigning process. Whether you agree or disagree with his thoughts and whether you agree or not with my own proposal based on his, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

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