Inclusion requirements for Oscars

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  • #16
    Originally posted by sc111 View Post

    How is it affecting you as a writer? Is it that none of your lead characters can be played by non-white or female talent?

    Do you specify "White Anglo Saxon" in your character descriptions to ensure casting directors don't mess with your vision?
    sc111, I gave you an example of a story (white supremist) about how it could "affect" me as a writer.

    I get your point about casting, but still, Standard A could affect a writer, even if it's not in the majority of cases. In my opinion, even if it's just one case where an artist's freedom of expression is affected, that's one case too many.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post

      Your point is that if the business people of the film live up to two of the three Academy Standards of B, C, or D, then Standard A will have no bearing on the Academy's acceptance of the writer's story.

      My point is that the Academy is wrong to even consider Standard A on a writer. Artistic freedom is just that. Free to create as the writer deems fit to express his artistic/creative vision.
      Close, but you've neglected a salient point. You can make a film that completely ignores the Academy rules. As I said earlier most films are made knowing they will not compete for awards. There are some 'prestige' 'for your consideration' movies made to compete for awards. It's part of their marketing strategy that starts 6 months to a year in advance with marquee prestige film festivals, hoping for critical buzz that leads to a NY and LA opening to more buzz, then a wider opening, finally followed by a nomination bump in ticket sales. In short there is a tiny subset of films made that specifically compete for awards, and anyone can just opt out of that gauntlet by not adhering to the standards.

      And the Academy has made the process extremely flexible by allowing you to tell whatever story you want by making some trade-offs with Standards B,C, and D if A can't be accomplished with the actual story. It's like artistic cap and trade.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by zetiago View Post

        ... And the Academy has made the process extremely flexible by allowing you to tell whatever story you want by making some trade-offs with Standards B,C, and D if A can't be accomplished with the actual story. It's like artistic cap and trade.
        This. 100%. And as a woman writer I'm not even quibbling that Standard A does not include a female character though standards B,C, and D lists do add "women."



        Last edited by sc111; 10-22-2020, 04:00 PM.
        Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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        • #19
          Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post

          sc111, I gave you an example of a story (white supremist) about how it could "affect" me as a writer.

          I get your point about casting, but still, Standard A could affect a writer, even if it's not in the majority of cases. In my opinion, even if it's just one case where an artist's freedom of expression is affected, that's one case too many.
          As already pointed out -- you can write your white supremacist script. You can sell it. You can break BO history! It simply won't qualify as an Oscar entry.

          This is not censorship or political interference as you claim. The Academy is a by-invitation only private organization.

          As for you citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- WOW!

          Even remotely claiming there's discrimination against white people in the film industry is ludicrous.

          Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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          • #20
            Originally posted by sc111 View Post

            Even remotely claiming there's discrimination against white people in the film industry is ludicrous.
            sc111, how you even slightly interpreted this as my point is mind boggling.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post

              sc111, how you even slightly interpreted this as my point is mind boggling.
              How? Quoting you:

              The Legislative Branch of the U.S. Government past one of the most important legislation in the history of our country: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned discrimination in our society based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

              Now it seems the Film Academy believes such strong legislation is required in the art world to ensure diversity.

              The problem is that the Academy is stepping on my right to Artistic Freedom, which Wikipedia defines as: “the freedom to imagine, create and distribute diverse cultural expressions free of governmental censorship, political interference or the pressures of non-state actors.”

              The Academy wants to control and to censor artists and their creative expressions.
              The way you unfolded your progression of points -- starting with the Civil Rights Act then concluding that the Academy is stepping on your "right to Artistic Freedom" -- makes it clear you feel this private organization is discriminating against you and your all-white cast movie.

              BTW: The US Constitution gives you the right to free speech which certainly extends to artistic freedom.

              HOWEVER your right to free speech does not mean you have a "right" to win an Oscar.
              Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by sc111 View Post

                starting with the Civil Rights Act then concluding that the Academy is stepping on your "right to Artistic Freedom" -- makes it clear you feel this private organization is discriminating against you and your all-white cast movie.
                Variety did an article on a study that revealed that having a diverse cast makes a substantial impact at the box office. Films with a predominantly white cast posted the lowest median global grosses.

                Behind the scenes, are the majority of studio heads white males? Yes. Are females and persons of color underrepresented as directors? Yes. Overall, are females paid less than their male counterparts? Yes. Is their ageism in Hollywood? A large lawsuit said there was.

                As an artist, what I find hard to accept is an edict from a governing authority that feels it's okay to control and censor one's art, as is done with Standard A about on-screen representation, having certain storylines of themes and narratives. I don't care to hear about the options, technicalities and loopholes around Standard A. It never should be there in the first place, especially from an organization that champions' great art.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post

                  As an artist, what I find hard to accept is an edict from a governing authority that feels it's okay to control and censor one's art, as is done with Standard A about on-screen representation ....
                  The Academy is NOT "a governing authority."

                  It does NOT "control" or "censor" anything.

                  It does NOT pass "edicts" on what scripts can or can not be produced.



                  Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I'm with sc111. Every contest sets their own entry rules. The Oscars are just another contest. If you don't like it, don't enter.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post

                      I'm with sc111.
                      Of course you are.

                      Contests gives rules on format, page count, English, etc. Tell me one big credible contest that gives creative rules on what type of characters and story content a writer must write. Not talking about faith based contests. There isn't any because then it would not truly be an artist's creative vision. The contest would had a hand in content.

                      Jeff, it's the Academy's house. No one is saying that they can't make these type of creative rules on an artist. The point was it wasn't right for them to dictate to an artist to include certain major story elements into their vision in order to be considered to be one of the best "original" screenplays of the year.

                      There are Best Pictures of the past that would not have met the Academy's on-screen requirements. Yes, maybe they would have met at least two of the other three standards, but the point is Standard A, dictating what creative content to include to artists, isn't right. It interferes with Artistic Freedom.

                      Yes, Jeff, I know I don't have to enter the game. I just wanted to give my voice on something that I thought wasn't right.

                      Edited to add:

                      If the Nicholl Fellowship competition adopts the Academy's Standard A inclusion requirements, then I will not enter. I write what I am passionate about. Not to conform to a contest's political agenda. If it so happens I write a story that meets the inclusion requirements, then I'll enter.
                      Last edited by JoeNYC; 10-23-2020, 01:23 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post
                        Of course you are.
                        That's silly. I've disagreed with her more than any person in this board's history. I once literally spent days designing and executing an experiment to try and prove her wrong.

                        Tell me one big credible contest that gives creative rules on what type of characters and story content a writer must write. Not talking about faith based contests. There isn't any because then it would not truly be an artist's creative vision. The contest would had a hand in content.
                        So give you an example that doesn't include the obvious example?

                        First off, there are only a few "big, credible" contests. But going to the moviebytes contest page and scrolling for one minute, I find:

                        "Each script must be written in the same genre and style that would have been suitable to conform with episodes for either THE TWILIGHT ZONE or NIGHT GALLERY. "

                        "Allusions and citations from the world culture legacy are allowed as well as elements of absurdity or poetic manner. The next genres are not allowed: Crime, Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller."

                        "Seeking screenplays that represent the millenial voice"

                        "The story must be of any horror genre, be between 70-90 pages, contain a mixed ensemble cast of 5-6 characters, and take place at specific locations at Land of Illusions Theme Park."

                        "The competition is meant to: Encourage filmmakers to offer a fresh perspective and submit contemporary stories with a focus on the American black cultural experience with wide audience appeal."

                        Ooh, here's a big one - the Universal Writers Program - the only film program sanction by the WGA: "the Program develops storytellers who organically incorporate multicultural and global perspectives in screenwriting."

                        "Screenplays must include one or more strong woman character(s) in leadership roles at the center of the story and must be feature-length narratives."

                        "No religious themes. No pornography. No excessive violence. No political themes. No teenage pregnancy."

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post

                          That's silly. I've disagreed with her more than any person in this board's history. I once literally spent days designing and executing an experiment to try and prove her wrong.
                          Hahaha. How'd I miss this? Or has everything been such a blur lately it's all run together now in my mind?

                          Hey, sc111 -- you're a nemesis!


                          Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
                          "No religious themes. No pornography. No excessive violence. No political themes. No teenage pregnancy."
                          Hallmark? Do they have a contest? (you don't have to answer, it's nothing I want a part of).

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post

                            First off, there are only a few "big, credible" contests. But going to the moviebytes contest page and scrolling for one minute, I find:
                            I've made my point about artistic freedom. Jeff, you're entitled to your opinion.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by figment View Post

                              Hahaha. How'd I miss this? Or has everything been such a blur lately it's all run together now in my mind?

                              Hey, sc111 -- you're a nemesis!
                              Nemesis? Cool. BTW: the experiment was many years ago and it had nothing to do with writing.
                              Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post
                                I've made my point about artistic freedom. Jeff, you're entitled to your opinion.
                                I defy you to prove me wrong!

                                Here are ten examples.

                                You are entitled to your own opinion!

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