One of the great things about watching the Oscars (aside from seeing movie stars decked out in the finest duds on the planet) is that we all watch it at the same time. There are not many events left that are quite like that – the Olympics, the Super Bowl, Grammy’s and as I wrote in 2010 even the World Cup http://wp.me/pJX7l-ca . It should be noted that viewer time shifting (DVR, Hulu or other video sharing services) do not work for sporting events nearly as well as for television programs and movies.
Today when there are major events like the Oscars people watch with their mobile devices, and tweet or post updates to Facebook opining on what they see and think. Brand advertisers love live television events more than anything since the ads cannot be deleted or fast-forwarded through.
The Academy Awards (Oscars) have been held in Los Angeles (mostly in Hollywood) since their inception in 1929. The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences AMPAS (I am not sure where the science aspect comes in) has done a great job of managing the awards process for more than 83 years. The U.S. has (rightly) great pride in having created not only the film industry but maybe more importantly acting as a steward for the industry itself.
With the motion picture industry now being truly a worldwide industry could the Academy Awards consider being hosted in another country other than the USA? Would that be heresy? Many movies made today generate more income outside the U.S. than they do in the U.S. How about hosting the Academy awards in Mumbai? The film industry in India is booming as it is in China. The U.K. has been making terrific films for years – how about London hosting the Academy Awards? Since most of the movie stars travel to the awards from wherever they are, location is not a stumbling block in moving the awards.
I am not suggesting every year the awards be held outside the U.S. But maybe once every five or ten years the show could be hosted and rotated into different countries. And English should remain the language of the Oscars. But would it be the end of AMPAS to consider moving the awards out of the U.S. even if only occasionally? Or might it show that the Academy acknowledges (beyond the ‘Best Foreign Film award) the Academy Awards are an international phenomenon and by sharing the hosting of the awards it could strengthen its brand?
I’ve never been to the Academy Awards myself. So the view is the same from my living room every year. Of course holding the awards in India would necessitate the show being broadcast out of prime time – or at 6:30AM in Mumbai to hit prime time in the U.S (8PM). I guess neither is likely and that’s too bad. It would be cool to share the Oscar hosting experience with some other countries.
What do you think?