Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs gives Interview

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, is interviewed by BoxOffice Magazine and answers what qualifies a film to be nominated.

According to Isaacs, "With regard to our present rules, a film must play theatrically in Los Angeles for seven days in order to qualify". Essentially, the amount of money a film makes has no bearing on the nomination process, all a film must do is play on a screen in Los Angeles for at least a week. One week, in a movie theater in Los Angeles, that's it.

It's to hard to imagine a box office flop receiving a nomination, but this is possible under The Academy® rules. In general, mega blockbusters show popularity to attract people into movie theaters. However, profitable movies don't always feature award-winning performances, writing, directing, and other areas of the filmmaking process.

Check out the question/answer session on BoxOffice Magazine with The Academy President Cherly Boone Isaacs.

http://pro.boxoffice.com/news/2016-01-20-ahc-2016-interview-cheryl-boone-isaacs-president-academy-of-motion-picture-arts-and-sciences








Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Amazing article on Why Asian FIlms haven't fared well at the Oscars!

Slumdog Millionaire is one of the very few Asian films to succeed at The Academy Awards®. Given a great movie script based on a book and written by a UK screenwriter, as well as a top UK director in Danny Boyle, this 1-2 punch teamed-up to make a spectacular movie about cultural challenges in a foreign land. Through the eyes of two brothers, we got a glimpse of Mumbai, India. Ultimately, we celebrated Slumdog Millionaire as a Best Picture winner - it qualified as an Asian film.

Asian films lack the starpower and studiopower to win Best Picture at The Oscars®. There is no support to woo Academy voters, giving them that "wine and dine' treatment to take a second look at their Asian-based movie. As special interests lobby politicians to pass and/or reject a bill, movie studios must exercise this same agenda to get Oscar® attention. Usually, these film studios realize whether they have a great film or not. It is worth the risk to market an award-winning masterpiece to generate film buzz.

Asian films rarely win any Academy Awards®. Winning an Oscar® for Best Picture is as rare as a Lain actor winning an Oscar for Best Actor, a feat only accomplished once in 1950. For some unknown reason, international audiences gravitate toward American movies rather than give Asian films a shot at winning awards. Asian films about Asian lands, those which American audiences enjoy, are rarely considered mainstream.

Please read this amazing CNN travel piece on Asian films and the history of them at The Oscars®. Visit here.




Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jada Pinkett Smith vows to boycott The Oscars after all white representation in Oscar Nominations

On Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday holiday, Jada Pinkett Smith took to the video waves to express her disgust in The Academy for shutting out diverse performers and artists. Despite making a personal statement that makes sense, she labeled The Academy as #OscarSoWhite to reiterate her point. This lack of diversity is perhaps a solid reason she won't be attending and/or watching The Oscars® this year. In addition, Spike Lee shared that he's also boycotting this year's award event.

Is this the right way to confront The Academy®? Should diverse Hollywood talents coerce The Academy to implement change? What about pressuring film studios to make more diverse movies? Such diverse performers are obviously nonexistent in Gods of Egypt. Based on world history, we recognize that Egypt citizens were primarily diverse.

Is The Academy doing their job to select the best performers no matter their cultural background? Or should they make sure to at least populate all categories with a few diverse performers?

We ask for your honest opinion; should Hollywood actors, directors and writers get into the diversity game to change future nominations? The Academy is not a college-based system where some of the best students are pushed out to make room for diverse academics. Famed Hollywood director Spike Lee has called for Affirmative Action in Hollywood. It appears that controversial filmmaker Michael Moore is also joining this movement for change. Could we see change soon?

Denzel Washington is one of the greatest actors to bless Hollywood with his excellent acting range. To date, Washington has won two Oscar statuettes in Glory and in Training Day. He did get overlooked for his performance in Hurricane, but this didn't stop him from delivering another great future performance. Denzel Washington has graced the silver screen since the 1980's.

Will Smith is absolutely one of my favorite actors in the world. When he got nominated for an Oscar® in his work on The Pursuit of Happyness, I was rooting for him to take the gold. This inspiring movie hit home, where the city of San Francisco is fighting an all-out assault to treat homelessness. The daily struggle to resolve human problems and chase the lost American Dream are depicted in this film about Chris Gardner. If I remember correctly, Forest Whitaker won Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland that year, a much deserved victory portraying a tyrant king in an African country.

I really wanted Will Smith to win his first Academy Award. Excluding Will Smith from Concussion could have sparked this #OscarSoWhite debate clouding the upcoming The Oscars® award show. Will Smith received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Drama in Concussion, similar to several actors/actresses who received nominations and didn't get Oscar nominations.

Jada tweeted out a second statement concerning her feelings on this diversity subject matter. In this statement, Jada made a realistic point that is accurate. Nevertheless, we shouldn't boycott The Oscars® to punish fans. Millions of fans enjoy watching Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith movies. They would want to see both of them at The Oscars® this year.




Push for your production company to make great movies with diverse performers. This is how you can fight against the lack of diversity in The Academy Awards. Focus on telling diverse stories through making compelling scripts come to life. Prove The Academy is wrong to restrict Oscar nominations across the major categories.

Selma director Ava DuVernay probably deserved to become the first African American/Black female director to receive an Oscar® nomination. Could The Academy be worried about gender instead of diversity? Kathryn Bigelow was the first female director to win an Academy Award in this category. This win occurred as recent as the 2010 Academy Awards event. To put this in perspective, Bigelow has been active participant in the film industry since 1978.

After DuVernay was blocked from receiving an Academy Awards nominations in the Best Directing category last year, we don't see her slated to direct any upcoming movies beyond television shows. Gender equality is a prevalent issue directing large movie productions. As mentioned above, Kathryn Bigelow is the first female to ever win an Oscar for directing. She is a white female who won in 2010.

The studio system is responsible for reducing the number of diverse movies that reach movie theaters, rather than the inverse of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences blocking Oscar® nominations amongst ethnic performers and artists. The higher number of diverse movies translate into higher probability to receive Oscar® nominations.

The Academy® didn't have a problem nominating Jamie Foxx in two acting categories in the same year - Collateral and Ray. He went on to win the top acting award, taking home a Best Actor Oscar® statuette for his magnificent work in Ray. Morgan Freeman won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for Million Dollar Baby. Denzel Washington has won twice. Halle Berry won the top Best Actress prize for Monster's Ball in the same year Denzel took home his Best Actor trophy for Training Day. Forest Whitaker won Best Actor in The Last King of Scotland. Newcomer Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dreamgirls. Mo'Nique won in 2009 for her role in Precious. Octavia Spencer won for The Help, whereas Lupita Nyong'o collected an Oscar in 12 Year's A Slave. There are a number of diverse Oscar nominations to consider, as well.

The last few years are rough for diverse Oscar® nominations. In 2015 and 2016, we won't see any diverse performers other than white actors/actresses trying to win an Oscar® statuette. The exclusion of diverse talent doesn't mean the Academy doesn't appreciate the wide body of work delivered year-in, year-out by diverse performers. Some of the top white actors didn't get nominated this year.

The Academy® has proven to nominate diverse talent. They're not afraid to award an Oscar® to performers with diverse backgrounds. However, Asian American actors are rarely nominated and scarcely win in any of the major categories. We don't hear any Asian American, Indian American, and Latin American complaining about their lack of nominations.

The proof of diverse talents are featured in a wide range of movies. We enjoyed director Ryan Coogler's Creed movie, which should have got him an Oscar nomination in directing. However, Coogler's lead actor Michael B. Jordan showcased an over-the-top performance. To be quite honest, we enjoyed Michael B. Jordan more in Fruitvale Station than in Creed. In the future, we anticipate that MIchael B. Jordan will get nominated for an Oscar and may have a fighting chance to win.

Hollywood must authorize additional diverse movies to make an impact at The Oscars®. The Academy® will soon realize a dire need to reform their member base. It is up to diverse Hollywood performers to champion a new diverse movement, increasing future Oscar® nominations among the top categories. Nevertheless, studios must open diverse doors through optioning diverse screenplays and producing these film projects.

Thank you Jada Pinkett Smith for shining a spotlight on the lack of diverse nominations in major Oscar® categories. Hopefully we will see more movie studios making award caliber movies with diverse performers in lead and supporting roles.

Though the majority of The Academy® include white members, these voters have been fair in recent years to nominate diverse performers and award some of them Oscars®. We shouldn't forget about these past nominations and awards because there were are so few diverse lead and supporting actors in movies this year. The probability to get nominated and potentially win an Oscar® compare to winning a state lottery. It is not that easy to be diverse in Hollywood, especially with the studio system controlling which movies are made, which scripts are optioned and who stars in these movies. Affirmative Action is the wrong road to take in Hollywood. We want to watch the top performers and artists based on their talents, not receive a free pass attributed to their cultural background.

The Oscars® will air on Sunday February 28, 2016.









Movie Taglines for Best Picture movies The Oscars® 2016

Oscar-nominated Best Picture 2016

The Big Short - This is a true story.

Bridge of Spies - "In a world on the brink the difference between war and peace was one honest man."

Brooklyn - "Two countries, two loves, one heart."

Mad Max: Fury Road - "The Future Belongs to the mad."

The Martian - "Help is only 140 million miles away."

The Revenant - "Blood lost. Life found. Inspire by True Events."

Room - "Love knows no boundaries"

Spotlight - "Break the story. Break the Silence."  

Enjoy movie taglines? Check out MovieTagline.com.





The Revanant is top trending movie on IMDB

The Revenant is trending number #1 on IMDb. Leading The Oscars with 12 nominations, this true story movie is taking the movie world by storm. It is Leonardo DiCaprio's best shot at winning his first Academy Award after 3 Best Actor nominations and 1 Best Supporting Actor nomination.

The Revenant is a visually stunning depiction of the 1800's American West. Nature ruled this artistic film, revealing the dangers possible in extremely cold conditions and survival techniques necessary to stay alive.

As painful as this film was to watch, we commend the director for pushing hard to complete his epic masterpiece. Based on true story movies are definitely a popular choice in past Oscar award shows.

The Revenant is trending as the top film out right now. We expect this Oscar-nominated movie to capture at lease a handful of Academy Awards, including Leonardo DiCaprio's first ever Oscar statuette. Watch The Oscars on February 28, 2016 on ABC.




Friday, January 15, 2016

Academy Award® Nominations 2016

Best Picture

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant 
Room 
Spotlight

Best Director

Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Inarritu - The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight



Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn


Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed


Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs


Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short - Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn - Nick Hornby
Carol - Phyllis Nagy
The Martian - Drew Goddard
Room - Emma Donoghue


Best Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies - Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, & Joel Coen
Ex Machina - Alex Garland
Inside Out - Peter Docter, Meg LeFauve, & Josh Cooley
Spotlight - Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton - Jonathan Herman & Andrea Berloff


Best Cinematography

Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario 

Animated Feature Film

Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

Production Design

Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Visual Effects

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Original Score

Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Foreign Language Film

Embrace of the Serpent
Mustang
Son of Saul
Theeb
A War

Film Editing

The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sound Editing 

Mad Max: Fury Road
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Martian
The Revenant

Animated Short

Beer Story
Prologue
Sanjay's Super Team
We Can't Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

Best Original Song

"Earned It" -  Fifty Shades of Grey
"Manta Ray" - Racing Extinction
"Simple Song #3" - Youth
"Til It Happens to You" - The Hunting Ground
"Writing's on The Wall" - Spectre

Makeup and Hair Styling

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
The Revenant 

Costume Design

Carol 
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Documentary Feature

Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone? 
Winter on Fire

Documentary Short

Body Team
Chau, Beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann
A Girl in the River. The Price of Forgiveness
Last Day of Freedom


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Academy Award® Nominations Announced Today in Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay Categories

The 2016 The Oscars will be held on February 28, 2016. 

Academy Award nominations were announced today. These hard working screenwriters created some fascinating movies. 

Congratulations to the 2015 Oscar nominated screenwriters! Two thumbs up and a big smile. Go for the gold statuette.  


Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short - Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn - Nick Hornby
Carol - Phyllis Nagy
The Martian - Drew Goddard
Room - Emma Donoghue



Best Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies - Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, & Joel Coen
Ex Machina - Alex Garland
Inside Out - Peter Docter, Meg LeFauve, & Josh Cooley
Spotlight - Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton - Jonathan Herman & Andrea Berloff