Steve Pond talks to Bruce Davis about the Academy’s crisis point, about the Best Picture ten, about the success of last year’s show:
Is it accurate to suggest that the Oscars have reached something of a crisis point?
Yes. Clearly, it‚Äôs tricky when an organization has essentially one source of income, which happens on one day a year. And in recent years we‚Äôve been threatened both by world political situations and by the Guild negotiations. If we had a down year like the Golden Globes did (in 2008), that would be a nightmare for us, a complete disaster. So yeah, we need to be feeling our way very carefully to see if there‚Äôs still a way to run an operation this complex and this worthwhile in a new kind of environment.
And then he kind of admits what we’ve all known for a while now – that the Foreign Language and Animated, and maybe Documentary really are in the category ghetto (the switch-up should fix this, he concludes):
Did the recommendation to move to 10 Best Picture nominees come from this year‚Äôs Oscar show producers, Bill Condon and Laurence Mark, or had it been discussed before that?
They certainly recommended it, but there had been other groups talking about it. We got a lot of suggestions that we should sub-divide the Best Picture category, as other awards shows do. Once you start doing that, you could have dramas and comedies and musicals and science fiction films and whatnot.
But what we didn‚Äôt like about that is that as soon as you subdivide it, you‚Äôre not really committing to a Best Picture anymore. You‚Äôre saying, ‚ÄúOkay, this was the best of that subsection, and this is the best of this subsection.‚Äù We‚Äôd like to continue to say, ‚ÄúOut of all the different kinds of movies, this one we think was the very best.‚Äù
The 10 nominees give us a way to do that, and at the same time it allows a broadening of the playing field. It seems reasonable that we ought to get the best of the action films, the best animated films, maybe even a doc will sneak in there. Maybe you will begin to see a more representative spectrum of the good work being done.
It widens the possibilities significantly but the real results of it will probably seen in full next year. Still, interesting to hear old Bruce Davis give talk on the record. I think Steve Pond must have an uncle who knows some guy.