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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Who killed the Oscars?

They're giving tonight's Oscars ceremony a facelift. There's talk of the presentation having a theme. What? Other than the Oscars theme? I'm feeling embarrassed already. Apparently, in keeping with the times, it will be more restrained. That memo didn't get through to Angelina Jolie who's trying to get hold of a $20 million necklace to wear on the night.

TV audiences have been dropping steadily over the years and the producers would like to restore an element of surprise. It's strange because all the elements they're trying to change - the tight focus on a couple of films as potential winners as pre-selected by lots of lesser awards shows in the run-up, the parading of all the starflesh on the red carpet beforehand, the leaking of details of the show in the press - have been deliberately introduced by the industry in an effort to maximise the evening's impact and ensure its subsequent box office clout.

Some business academic ought to put a name to the process by which businesses, in seeking to extend their control over a golden egg machine, invariably kill the goose. Witness the death of the singles chart. Slaughtered by the fell hand of the music business, the very people who most needed it to survive.