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    • With the Oscars still in the media spotlight, some veterans of the industry are upset at how significant of a presence Netflix had at the awards show this year (cue angry old man yelling at the sky). Apparently, they believe that for a movie to be considered for an Oscar it must first have a theatrical release of at least four weeks. In other words, movies that are only released online don't deserve to be nominated alongside "traditional" movies which are released in the cinemas.

      I love going to the movies. If you saw my post about my favourite movies of 2018 you'll know that it's one of my favourite pastimes. But I have absolutely no problem with Netflix movies (or movies from any other streaming service) being nominated for Oscars alongside other movies which were released in the cinema. To me, a movie is a movie, regardless if you watch it in the cinema, on your TV, on your PC, or your smartphone. Netflix unsurprisingly, responded to this with a very succinct tweet.

      Watching movies in a cinema is a great experience. The big screen. The heart-pounding surround sound. The collective responses of the entire audience to something that happens in the movie (the way everyone in the cinema gasped when Iron Man was stabbed by Thanos in Infinity War for example). But that doesn't mean movies that are released online should be looked down upon. They offer their own experience, like being able to watch whenever and wherever you please, a library full of movies which are no longer showing in cinema, and perhaps more importantly, as Netflix pointed out in their tweet, accessibility.

      I feel like movies that are released online can and should be held in the same regard as movies that are released in the cinema. Just because they are released online does not mean the people who made the movies worked any less than the people who work on "theatrical" movies. I have no experience in film-making, but I'm sure the directors, cinematographers and directors of photography, casting directors, costume designers, script writers, editors, stuntmen, and of course, the cast, all work just as hard for Netflix movies, as I'm sure they would for "traditional" movies as well. As such, I say keep the nominations coming for Netflix (and streaming) films. Times are changing, and it's about time the old guard of Hollywood learns to adapt.

    • I couldn't agree more.

      If old-guard filmmakers like Steven Spielberg want to get people out of their houses and watching movies in theaters, there are much more positive things they could be doing than trying to gatekeep the Academy Awards.

      This is especially awful considering that so many of today's older filmmakers began their careers as scrappy young upstarts challenging the norms of the old Hollywood establishment. Spielberg himself used to sneak into film studios as a kid, and got started as a director by doing low-budget TV movies. He had to prove again and again to the old guard that he wasn't just some snot-nosed know-nothing kid. Even after he had directed huge blockbusters like Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark, many in Hollywood didn't see him as a "serious" filmmaker because they considered those films low art.

      I love movies. I watch movies constantly. I love that I can watch them from the comfort of my home. I've invested in a very nice home theater system so that the movies I watch at home look and sound spectacular. I've discovered so many wonderful movies this way that I never could have seen in theaters even if I had wanted to. Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon have helped make it possible. They've also helped usher in a golden age of television that has forced feature filmmakers to step up their game, which is a good thing.

      Many years ago, before I could afford a great home theater system, I used to rent DVDs from Blockbuster and lie in bed watching movies late into the night with my laptop on my chest. I loved movies just as much then as I do now. Someone who watches movies on a tablet or a phone today is no less valid a movie lover than someone who watches them in IMAX.

      One of my favorite directors, Steven Soderbergh, won the Best Director Oscar for Traffic in 2001. He now shoots movies entirely on iPhones and has experimented with releasing them directly to streaming platforms. Should he no longer be eligible for an Oscar because of his choice of camera, or because he'd prefer not to work with traditional theatrical distributors?

      I believe someone who truly loves movies should love great movies no matter how they're made or distributed.

    • Those in power want the rules to favor them.

      Back in 1994 when Schindler’s List won the Academy Award for Best Picture, the studios only released around 200 films into theaters each year.

      In theory, studio films that had a big cast and a big production crew had an edge in winning an Oscar. Why? Because all of them can vote and influence other voters in their network.

      If you were a voter and didn’t see a nominated film when it was released, you basically had to attend special screenings at theaters in Hollywood during the weeks before the awards show. So you might cast your vote without having watched all the entries.

      In the 1980s, Hollywood cut back on creating character study films like On Golden Pond, Taps and Ordinary People because video allowed indie filmmakers to make equally compelling movies for a fraction of the traditional film production costs.

      So the studios produced big budget blockbusters that the indies couldn’t compete with.

      I love “small films” that would get rejected by most theaters: