Dear Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences…
By Scott Feinberg
hollywoodnews.com: Scott Feinberg thinks the Academy should make a different change than the one it was reportedly considering at its Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday night (to move up the 2011 Oscars ceremony to January).
Dear Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,
I understand that you recently met and discussed some major changes to the Oscar calendar, most notably the idea of moving the Oscars show up from late February into January. Personally, I don’t really care when you have the Oscars, but I do hope that you can help with another problem: we’ve got to find a way to get studios to spread out the release of awards-worthy movies throughout the year!
Currently, the vast majority of awards-worthy movies come out during the fall and winter, while the vast majority of movies released during the spring and summer SUCK. Why? Because—understandably—studios don’t want to release their best films so far in advance of awards voting that (a) voters have already forgotten about them by the time they get their ballots at the end of the year, and/or (b) they have to fund extra-expensive awards campaigns to try to keep voters from forgetting them.
I believe that this is a problem that can only be solved through the intervention of the Academy itself, and I think I know just the way for you to do it…
How about having TWO voting periods? At the end of June, have voters select the 5 best films released between January and June; and at the end of December, have voters select the 5 best films released between July and December. Then, after tallying the votes by mid-January, mail voters an alphabetized list of all 10 best picture nominees, and ask them to rank them from best to worst, just as you did last year, to determine your best picture winner. (You could still have the Oscars show at the end of January or beginning of February.)
It seems to me that this system would offer studios a strong incentive to release awards-worthy films during the first half of the year, too, since it would be just as easy (if not easier) to make the final cut. I think voters would appreciate the change too, because they are currently asked to see roughly 50 films within a very short period of time (which very few actually manage to do despite their best efforts), whereas under the proposed system those films would be spread out throughout the year (and merit, rather than timing, would take precedence). Most of all, those of us who have heretofore been subjected to loads of CRAP for half of the year while counting down the days until the “awards season” would instead have an awards season year-round.
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