Monday, 8 March 2010

Did that old guy, Oscar take home the prize?

So the Academy Awards have come and gone, with most of the predicted winners going home with a statuette. This year was a bit different as the 82 year old show tried to counter the dwindling interest and viewership from the younger audiences. The "Biggest Night in Hollywood" in my opinion has been in recent years been a dud. From the long drawn out monologues, the boring run throughs of less then exciting categories, the lame teleprompting quips - Oscar had started to show its age. And...

 Let's face it, if you ask your 16 year old about "An Education", or "A Serious Man", they would be like, "Huh?" When I first ventured online to peek at the nominees I thought I had gone to a spoof page. Seriously. Where there were supposed to be the traditional 5 artsy-fartsy films for Best Picture, there were 10, and they included "Up".

"Up"? For Best Picture? Times had changed.

Not only did the conservative Academy open the awards up to more mainstream movies, that traditionally would never have seen the prestige of the red carpet, but they also leaned a little more on social media than they did last year, with live streaming on their website and on their Facebook page of the nominations ceremony. Their Facebook page is pretty good too. Great behind the scenes video and photos, trailers for all the nominated films, performance clips and the like. A lot more nominee generated content and stuff that people would be interested in, from choosing that dress for the red carpet to how the statuettes are made. And as I always say, there is an app for everything and there was an app for Oscar as well.

The Oscars unveiled its new application for the iPhone and iPod Touch just in time for this year’s show, and there is truly something for everyone. Users can get caught up on all the nominations by watching movie trailers on the Flixter app, follow all the fashion with the Style App, and learn Oscar-related trivia with the Movie Challenge Oscar Special App. The Oscars iPhone App will also allow its users to make predictions and share them through Facebook, Twitter, text and email as well as release behind-the-scenes footage of rehearsals and preparations leading up to the show. (

There was no live tweeting from Oscar himself, which is a bit unfortunate, especially as Twitter has really grown astronomically since the last broadcast. I really think tweets from Oscar would have gone a long way in generating more interest. Not to say that everyone else did not tweet, but what better way to drive people back to your other channels to check out all the other great stuff you may have come up with to draw people to your "big night".

I don't know if there was an Oscar blog or not, but it seemed like everyone else kept us in the loop, up to the minute,  like CNN and LA Times. An opportunity to give us exclusive coverage - lost. It would have been nice if even their Facebook page was kept "live" so to speak, with photos or video from the red carpet and behind the scenes of the show, if not the ceremony itself., which could have worked if they had enough dazzling, exclusive content to make people WANT to switch to ABC and watch the live broadcast. But as you see, the page became static on Saturday.

So did Oscar win? Did they rake in the viewers to the show last night? Did millions more than last year tune in to see Katherine Bigelow becomes the first woman to win "Best Director" ever, beating out her ex-husband both for directorial excellence and for Best Picture? Did the younger audience they hoped to pull in, come on board to see a bevy of younger presenters like Miley Cyrus and Zac Efron? Was the social media buzz buzzworthy enough to do the job?

Did it win for you?

"An Education" - great movie. I am one of the artsy-fartsy lovers. I probably will not watch "Up" in this lifetime.

Photos: MTV


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