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Tuesday, February 04, 2020

#OscarsSoWhite : How'd That Work Out

Oh, how soon they forget. Remember the big movement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to 'diversify the Oscars' because they were too white, too straight, and too white-man dominated.

The Academy confronted its lack of diversity by adding thousands of new members of color, female,  and bringing in hundreds of filmmakers hailing from outside the U.S. - that was 2019.

Enter 2020. Diversity is hard to find at the Oscars. Of the 20 acting nominations, only one is a person of color. So even with thousands of new 'diverse' voting members  we're back to square one as these new members didn't vote based on diversity but on merit - as is should be.

There are two disruptive trends going in the movie business:

First, that there is a tremendous amount of production going on with both the studios and the streamers pumping out content like there is no tomorrow.

Second, it is getting less and less costly to produce a feature film. All that is required is a decent script, a bit of grit, and an iPhone.

2019 was the hallmark of the low-budget indie film. Whether this is sustainable is anyone's guess. It appears that the digital effects-packed films garner the majority of  cinema admissions. This all forces the award-givers, like the Academy, into a quandary: embrace inclusion or go for engaging entertainment?

One man's disruption is another's breakthrough. The tide is turning back to the relevant vs. the must-dos. The social cause makes for poorly viewed content. Most thinking folks are aware of the social and environmental issues and they don't need constant reminding. What they seek is high-quality, engaging entertainment.

Just saying,
Jim Lavorato 

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