Should a film require a theatrical exhibition to qualify for major awards?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Lounge' started by CJ, May 18, 2017.


Should a film require a theatrical exhibition to qualify for major awards?

  1. Yes - Films should be shown in theaters if they want to be eligible for these kinds of awards.

    3 vote(s)
  2. No - What does it matter?

    8 vote(s)
  1. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll HTT Refugee Donor War Zone Member

    The way I see this is as a debate on whether awards eligibility should be based on release path or 'production type', for lack of a better term. David, CJ and some others believe 'production type' should be the criteria, while the Academies use release type. That may be overly simplified, but seems to be the basic point of debate.

    If the Academies had changed their rules over time from production type to release path I might agree with the 'production type' argument. While both Academies have exhibited more than their share of hypocrisy, that is not the case WRT this point. Both Academies, from their very beginnings, have consistently maintained release path as the primary eligibility requirement and have only made changes to reinforce that.

    I would also note that I believe this is a "Good Thing". In my opinion the strong stance both Academies have taken has been a motivating factor for the creation of other awards shows, film festivals and other alternative awards programs. Those other shows are competition and competition is good. If enough viewers/consumers/customers stop watching the Oscars and Emmys and start watching other awards shows and it is because of eligibility rules, it will force them to change those rules. That that hasn't happened, at least not yet, is the real answer right now, IMO.
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  2. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll HTT Refugee Donor War Zone Member

    First, because of what you (and CJ) just indicated: you stream on your home theaters, but that is not theatrical release. How most people watch original TV programming and original streaming programming is exactly the same; on their TV, in their home. You and CJ may have actual theater rooms, but they are still in your home and you have control or when it starts, pauses and stops. I also do exactly the same and as far as I am concerned the only difference between cable TV and streaming is which Activity button I hit on my remote. To see an original theatrical release I have to leave my home and go to a theater. Sure, I can wait for it to be released on Netflix or cable, but then it is no longer an original release.

    Also, you and CJ are rare exceptions. Despite what the demographics of this and other HT forums might lead some to believe, only a very small percentage of people have actual dedicated home theater rooms in their houses. The vast majority do the same thing I do, watch broadcast, cable, DVDs/BRDs and streaming on the same display and in the same room.

    Second, this discussion thread is about awards eligibility and that is how the primary awards organizations categorize them, as well.
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  3. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Nope. The script was written by Alan Rudolph (childhood friend of Larson) who also directed as a loose storyline about two scientists competing for a prize to discover the meaning of life. It had over 100 Larson panels made live action in the film, and we shot several hours of footage on Super 70mm. John Larroquette played the evil scientist and Randy Quaid the good scientist. There were tons of cameos, tons of snarkiness and we were negotiating with Jim Henson to do the Martians who invaded. It was a mess of a story, actually, but we thought The Far Side's fame was enough to get it done. We were wrong. David Blocker (Hoss Cartwright's brother) was the producer. As far as I know Columbia owns the footage now if it still exists.
  4. It's a different world today than it was in 2005, or 1985, or 1927. The organizations are stuck in their concrete shoes, whining about the kids playing in their yards. It's a good way to commit suicide.

    You're absolutely correct in that they choose based on the release method. Is that how things should be done in 2017? Not for you or me to decide.

    Because it is impossible for me to go to a theater and watch Wheel of Fortune or Stranger Things, I choose to categorize them based on the type of content. I understand that it's not my (or your) choice how to classify content for the awards shows...but the content that Netflix and Amazon are producing, depending on what it is, could fit into either the Emmys or the Oscars.

    How is Eddie Murphy: Raw any different than Eddie Murphy: Delirious or the new Louis CK comedy special, besides the fact that Raw received a theatrical release? It's not.

    You can read a new article every single day about how the business model of commercial theaters is dying, how they're trying all types of new gimmicks to save it, and how all of them might show a slight bump in business, but not enough of a bump to change the downward trajectory. The fact that the Academy has tied itself to a sinking ship is not my problem. If they could see past their cigar and film canister, they might see that and decide to embrace new technology. I don't see that happening.
    CJ and DYohn like this.
  5. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll HTT Refugee Donor War Zone Member

    I don't disagree with you about the business model issues or that all businesses and organizations must adapt to changes if they want to survive.

    IMO the the Television Academy has done a decent job of adapting. Originally they spurned cable TV, then embraced it and even created new categories for cable shows. When streaming providers began producing original content they almost immediately welcomed them into the fold. The Motion Picture Academy missed the boat on both of these and in the long run they may fail because of their adamant stance on theatrical release. But that is the nature of competition; those that can adapt survive, those that cannot or will not, fail.
    CJ and Travis Ballstadt like this.

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