From DVD To Streaming: The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Is Renewed

For a large part of the history of major awards, such as the Oscar and the Golden Globe, one of the main problems that studies must go through is to make sure that the content submitted for selection reaches the right hands. From DVDs certified by studios to selected screenings, the producers have struggled with all kinds of obstacles to ensure that voters can not only access the material, but enjoy it from the right dimension without always achieving it. Now, streaming seems to have come up with the ideal solution for both the studio and the members of the different unions with the right to vote in the mecca of cinema.

According to information from Variety, the studios would be refining plans to progressively discard certified DVDs and exclusive projections, for the benefit of a new streaming system that would allow Oscar voters and eventually other awards to enjoy films in contention. in the simplest way possible. This is a step of considerable importance, which would allow members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to enjoy films in contention in private conditions and, in addition, the way that would be easier for later analysis. , which can be complicated with the single projection event method.

Although until now the DVD had been the preferred method of studies for the dissemination of the material under consideration for the option to various awards, it remains a system that, in some cases, causes the original material to be filtered to the web, P2P systems or similar. So streaming could be a secure option that also provides full control over the content to be distributed.


Streaming seems to have come up with the ideal solution for both the studio and the members of the different unions with the right to vote in the mecca of cinema

Recently, Academy President David Rubin declared on IndieWire that the institution would make available online projection by private media of most of the films that could enter the selection for the 2020 Oscar Award, which means a change what a paradigm that could modify the way in which the voting system is analyzed – which includes the time available to the member to view and rate the proposed films – and the way in which the studies interact with the voters.

However, there are few details on how the system change will take place: "All studios are interested in the possibility of streaming projection," a film executive told Variety. "But we have not yet received all the details of the process," which means that the system is most likely to be tested from trial and error between specific sampling groups. What is clear is that it will not be a cheap process: according to an industry source, distributors will be charged $ 12,500 per film, which means that each film proposed by the studio will be taken as a separate product and will have An individual cost.

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A new look at the awards season

Although for now voters can now enjoy the streaming version of documentaries, animated films, short films and other short-lived material (or that are part of online channel catalogs) through the Academy website, the service that will allow Voters watch the films in contention, will be active from next year through an evaluation application that will be tested before the awards ceremony.

According to Rubin, the Academy will eliminate the use of DVDs for “environmental purposes” and at the same time, with the intention of creating a whole new way of relating voters to the material to be evaluated, which would also imply considerable savings for studies. According to internal industry production sources, sending a DVD along with its respective player has a cost of $ 35 per unit, so that streaming streaming – in addition to decreasing the chances of piracy – would save a production house about one million of dollars. In general, studies should send a total of 30,000 DVDs, not only to members of the Academy who will participate in the vote, but also to different groups of guilds and critics, who participate indirectly in promotional and marketing campaigns about the topic.

It is not yet clear, if the evaluation process that will begin to be carried out in a few months will be immediately established as the sole dissemination of the cinematographic material to be evaluated, although the intention of the Academy is to be carried out as soon as possible. "It is not going to happen too soon because voters still want their DVDs, but the goal is to get rid of them," an analyst told Variety. "The Academy wants the unions to follow suit."

The Academy will eliminate the use of DVDs for “environmental purposes” ** and at the same time, with the intention of creating a whole new way of relating voters to the material

Of course, it is a matter of use and custom, something that the industry will have to deal with. An unidentified Academy voter insisted that DVDs are likely to remain the preferred option for much of the guild, especially due to resistance to new technologies. "It's a nuisance: it's another technology thing that you don't need to add to your life," he explained and also made it clear that the whole process of receiving the DVD (which in some cases includes special gifts from the studios) is a tradition. those few will want to give up. "You tell them they can only watch the movie through a streaming App and they will say," Really? "He added.

Even so, most likely and despite the internal complaints, it is that the streaming of the material under evaluation becomes the only method in the industry much earlier than could be assumed: the Television Academy announced in January of this year that would completely eliminate the DVDs for the selection of the Primetime Emmy of the year 2020. In fact, the Screen Actors Guild and other guilds have used in streaming experiences streaming transmission to disseminate various types of materials, prone to the evaluation of guilds and review. That the rest of the industry joins the trend, it's only a matter of time.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the Academy to take an important first step to make the industry evolve in an area of ​​great concern for our partners and members, reducing costs and generating a tremendous positive impact on the environment," said the president. from the Television Academy Frank Scherma in explaining the decision of the PrimeTime Emmy. "Television has a growing role as the most innovative and popular entertainment medium in the world, so this decision covers the evolution of viewing practices and preferences of the 25,000 members of the Academy and the industry in general" he added.

Are we close to a definitive change in the way in which Academy voters relate to the material to be evaluated? After increasing the number of members (which included a greater number of women and ethnic representation), it is most likely that the democratization of means for the evaluation of the material makes it easier for voters to express their opinion about films and other cinematographic material. Will that mean a paradigm shift in the way awards are awarded? It only remains to wait.