Saturday, December 4, 2010

For Your Consideration, can you stop?!?!

As Awards Season is opening, and the countdown to the Oscars started, movies like The Social Network, The Kids Are All Right, and Inception are getting real awards buzz that await for the Oscars. Critics, bloggers and film freaks would predict movies that would be recognised as the best films of the year. But seriously I hate it.

The problem with Awards Season is that voters and board members of each organisation that hand out movie awards nominate movies we never heard of and/or just focus with at least two movies that are certain to win a Best Picture award especially at the Academy, we skip each award event because of these movies. This was my problem with last year's award season. People were looking at two movies: a $2 billion grossing movie (made from Hollywood) Avatar and a $46 million grossing movie (independent) The Hurt Locker. The Hurt Locker was the champion of this battle ultimately winning Best Picture at the Oscars. (Interesting fact - Hurt Locker was released the same week as Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. Ironically, Transformers was named Worst Picture). The movies that were recognised but were not part of the close battle was Precious. It was adopted from Oprah and I was wondering whether that the screenplay was almost patronising, it mustn't won the Best Adapted Screenplay which would have been reserved for Up In The Air.

However the biggest problem I have with the season was For Your Consideration.

For Your Consideration is three words made by Hollywood studios to advertise movies in websites, newspapers and magazines and DVDs to convince organisations that give out awards (the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Screen Actors Guild) to nominate their movies which they think is great and they would spents millions of dollars to advertise their movies for the sake of them being submitted for a nomination or two

What causes this. I don't know. Hollywood studios would like to cash in because they have sympathy towards directors, actors and writers who make movies for their studio. If it was a box office or critical success or both, then the studios will likely to show these film again in ads in every entertainment publication for a better chance of having the movies submitted.

FYR is getting really obvious and at the same time oblivious of the conseqences it would have on the studios. If the movies submitted for voting weren't nominated, then they would have to lose $70 to $80 million in advertising revenue. This is going too far

Last year, studios submitted Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen for the Oscars as well as 2012 because they both grossed around $800 million. However both were also critical disasters receiving a 20% and 42% by Rotten Tomatoes respectively. Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen was later honoured for Worst Picture at the Golden Raspberry Awards. It was weird given how it's absurd to see Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich nominated for a Best Director

But there were some movies that were putting great risk of advertising and for that matter was recognised by others. When the Academy announced ten Best Picture nominees, Warner Bros. put in ads for The Hangover. It was a box office hit as well as acclaimed. It wasn't nominated for any Oscars, but won a Golden Globe for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy).

One thing I hated about For Your Consideration is that it doesn't achieve anything for each film unless the films advertised were submitted for voting were then nominated. Studios are so desperate for the recognition they want for the films they've produce, that the more advertising the less chance it has for a spot at the Oscars.

FYC had some movies successful for an Oscar nomination that it became a total loser. For example Martin Scorsese had Harvey Weinstein, the studio owner for The Weinstein Company to advertise his movie Gangs of New York for a bid at the Oscars. It did, received nine nominations and not a single win. It is a pity cos it was a waste of $50 million.

But when Scorsese hit back with The Departed receiving his deserved Oscar for Best Director, there was no marketing with the three worded heading. So he might have learnt his lesson... sort of. He now has Shutter Island in the FYC heading and it is possible that his latest flick has a one in 34 chance of being nominated. If it was marketed for Best Picture then it would belong to The Blind Side slot (the nominee that was nominated for no reason).

This would be a grim story for Toy Story 3 which Disney heads are so desperate to have the film winning Best Picture, it named it the Best reviewed film of the year (with a 99%). This movie would have an impossible chance from winning from any categories nominated except the Best Animated Feature category in which much of Pixar had dominated. No voter would be voting for an animated feature for the prestigious award even if it was the highest grossing animated feature or was part of the greatest trilogy of all time.

I would say that when they (the studios) use FYC, it is because they had wanted to be recognised since the awards season had officially lost their mainstream appeal. Precious, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, and There Will Be Blood were all well known because they were critically acclaimed and when they are popular with the public it's during awards season. Juno had grossed $300 million with a $10 million budget.

Last year, when Avatar became the highest grossing movie of all time it is $2 billion in counting. Now we see Avatar to be the total loser of every awards event with the exception of the Golden Globes while The Hurt Locker wins big.

Now if I guess, if a movie became so big based on word of mouth or box office hit they are likely to get pwned by the voters. This was what happened with Brokeback Mountain which had lost to Crash for Best Picture in 2005. Many people claimed that homophobia was a factor of it winning, but I believed that Brokeback focused too much on its FYC that it lost.

FYC is also a way of manipulating the voting process. It is a form of propaganda to convince voters to nominate their movies. It's like an political election where your movie campaigns to be recognised. These can be the movies that are produced for the stupid. If my theory is correct, I would expect Grown Ups to be campaigned for Best Picture and Best Ensemble.

It is the greed of studio heads to cash in so their movies can be recognised. Movies are not nominated if a movie was bad or if the movie was great. Unfortunately studio owners as well as the members of the Academy are the stupidest people on Hollywood for decision making on toast.

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