Oscar Predictions 2016 – Review

So per my last post where I made educated guesses, I will now review how I did…Overall, I guessed in 18 categories, and was right in 13/18 times for about 72% accuracy.

Picture – Wrong

Director – Right

Original Screenplay – Right

Adapted Screenplay – Right

Cinematography – Right

Film Editing – Right

Sound Editing – Wrong

Sound Mixing – Wrong

Original Score – Right

Production Design – Right

Costume Design – Right

Makeup & Hair Styling – Right

VFX – Wrong

Actor – Right

Actress – Right

Supporting Actor – Wrong

Supporting Actress – Right

Animated Feature – Right

Note:  my analytics do not predict who wins in what Oscar category. They evaluate $(CV) [content value] — this exercise was purely my making educated guesses in regard to my gut instinct of what I thought the Academy would reward.

Oscar Predictions 2016 – Review

Oscar Predictions 2016

NOTE 1:  The below does not reflect all categories.  I did not put in my 2 cents in categories I am not knowledgeable enough in this year.  The following reflects my guesses based on categories where I have seen enough content to have an opinion on what I think the Academy sentiment will be.

NOTE 2:  these are NOT my personal picks for what I feel should win, these are my guesses as to what I think will win based on Academy sentiment.  Please note this difference.

Picture – The Revenant

Director – The Revenant

Original Screenplay – Spotlight

Adapted Screenplay – The Big Short

Cinematography – The Revenant

Film Editing – Mad Max: Fury Road

Sound Editing – The Revenant

Sound Mixing – The Revenant

Original Score – The Hateful Eight

Production Design – Mad Max: Fury Road

Costume Design – Mad Max: Fury Road

Makeup & Hair Styling – Mad Max: Fury Road

VFX – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Actor – Leo DiCaprio

Actress – Brie Larson

Supporting Actor – Sly Stallone

Supporting Actress – Alicia Vikander

Animated Feature – Inside Out

Looking forward to seeing how accurate my guesses are!







Oscar Predictions 2016

What film studios do…


At their core, film studios are distribution mechanisms.  When you hear people talk about “production, financing, distribution,” the most important component of that equation is the distribution element.

In the current paradigm of Hollywood, there exist numerous financing entities that do not have distribution capabilities, from vehicles set up by high net worth individuals to pooled groups of capital created by former fund managers who are now penetrating the Hollywood ecosystem.

But the key takeaway when you think of the “majors” (Disney, Fox, Universal, WB, Paramount, Sony, & perhaps we even include Lionsgate now as the “7th major”) is that they are distribution apparatuses.

I’ve trafficked with people ranging from senior execs in production departments to talent representatives, who literally fail to understand the most crucial component of the matrix that defines either (1) the companies they are working for ; (2) the companies that handle their or their clients’ work.

Indeed, wikipedia defines “film distribution” as “the process of making a movie available for viewing by an audience” …This is about as clear as mud.  As my lawyer friends would say, that sentence is filled with “loaded terms” — ‘what process’ ; ‘making a movie available’ etc.

So what exactly is “distribution?” Here’s how I suggest thinking about it:

  • The actual architecture (whether physical or digital) through which studios show (“exhibit”) their intellectual property to consumers, who then part with their $ for the ability to experience said films
    •  Drilling deeper, it involves maximizing revenue through a series of exploitation channels (see a movie at a theatre, watch it on DVD, etc.)
      • These channels have historically occurred in a set “order of operations” which are specifically designed around…
        • Time & Exclusivity (theatrical release comes before the DVD release for example & later on in the lifeline for example, HBO is the “exclusive” home of a specific franchise film for a certain # of showings)
          • Because of differentials in time, there are different pricing structures (pay for a ticket at the theatre, or wait later & see it “free” on TV)
            • Ultimately, distribution aims to maximize sales by creating a matrix of opportunities for consumers to actually consume

In summary, film studios are essentially venture capitalists who make a limited number of investments per year (‘n’ # of films) & then seek to maximize value through what has historically been a pretty set ecosystem in regard to the extraction of said value.

This science-meets-art of extracting maximum value from content is the ultimate goal of distribution.  And it’s what the studios have historically had an iron-clad grip on, which separates them from say an independent financing entity or a production house that just produces.

The interesting thing about all of this is that with the rise of the internet, that aforementioned ecosystem is becoming less “set” as technology infringes upon every aspect of the film landscape.  And the conversation revolving around the changing technological landscape is by far the most fascinating in regard to the distribution ecosystem.  But that is a conversation to be continued another time…

What film studios do…