Friday, February 17, 2012

Award-nominated writers and others opine about online Oscar voting

Last night, February 16, 2012, the Writers Guild of America West, the Writers Guild Foundation, and Variety magazine hosted the “Beyond Words 2012” special panel event at the Writers Guild Theater at 135 South Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills, featuring “an exciting line-up of Writers Guild and Academy Awards-nominated screenwriters in Original and Adapted Screenplay categories, sharing personal experiences about their acclaimed films and the craft of screenwriting.”

Etopia News was there at the pre-panel reception, asking attendees their views on the recent decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to conduct elections for the Oscars® online. Here are some of their comments:

Ron Bass, moderator of the panel discussion and screenwriter of Rain Man:

“I’m not saying I’m against it. It’s just every year I get this little nice paper ballot. I get to sit down and think. I can’t push the wrong button by mistake. I don’t quite get it. There aren’t that many of us and it’s not something that has to happen that quickly, but I suppose…”

John Logan, screenwriter of Hugo:

“I’m sort of an old-fashioned guy. I like the actual paper ballot, I like sitting there, I like chewing on my pen, and crossing out an actual physical box. I’m a traditionalist.”

Alexis, an awards consultant, was more supportive:

“I think online voting for the Academy is a fantastic idea. I think it will make it much easier for people to make their choices and maybe provide a little bit more clarity for people. The only thing that I think is a downfall is that those that don’t have access to computers or the Internet will feel a little left out maybe if there’s more information offered on the Internet that’s not [available] otherwise.”

Alexander Payne, screenwriter of The Descendants, was succinct in his comment:

“As long as Diebold isn’t in charge of it, who cares?”

Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter of Moneyball, was enthusiastic yet neutral:

“I’m a brand new Academy member. I just became a member this year. So this is the first time I’m voting, and I just love being able to vote. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s a mail-in ballot or the Internet. If it’s the Internet someone is going to have to show me how to use it or I’ll end up voting in the American Idol contest or something. I think everyone will vote. I think making it easier is a great thing.”

Many of the attendees didn’t know about the Academy’s decision to move to Internet voting and many of them didn’t care about the issue one way or the other.

1 comment:

wjk said...

Interesting report. They sound a lot like the general public!
(BTW you need a "share" widget w/ more than just Twitter and FB on it)
Bill Kelleher
Twitter: wjkno1