January 21, 2015

Episode 70: Screener tantrum

Click Me So it's Oscar season, and lo! A certain popular historical drama has found itself largely shut out by the powers that be at the Academy. Could it be because the director of Selma is an African-American woman, and the Academy, in contrast, is largely white and male? (That's a silly question. Of course it could be.)

But there's more to the snubbing of Selma than just run-of-the-mill, everyday bigotry. There are other factors in play. There are politics. There are sensitivities. There are... screeners.

Turns out, much of a film's Oscar chances depend on how many DVD screeners are sent out to key Academy voters, and when. Paramount, the studio backing Selma, apparently didn't send out as many screeners as rival studios did. (And here you thought that all those free, big-screen presentations for guild and Academy voters actually made a difference.) Just how important are DVD screeners to the chairborne masses who vote for Oscars every year? Read this Variety piece to find out more.

Or just listen to this brand-new podcast, in which I explain exactly why a media darling like Selma can face a near-total Oscar shutout largely because of DVD screeners... and one sassy Tweet, and, yeah, probably some bigotry.

Also in this new podcast: I give away another copy of my book, and disclose the secret airport tunnel that lets some stars avoid public security screenings. Plus so much more (Baby Vegas)! 

Have a listen.

Got a question about how Hollywood really works? Ask it in the handy feedback module to the right.

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