…And the Academy Award for Being Stuck in the Dark Ages Goes To…Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 by Amy Maslin Comment (0) »
Members of the panel are currently holed up in their private cinemas, swotting up on the nominated films before they cast their votes. Across Hollywood, swimming pools are clogging up with tumbleweed, cobwebs are growing in cocktail bars and the boulevards are deserted – until late February, when the panel will emerge from their mansions to make the pilgrimage to the nearest post office and cast their votes. (Yes you did read that correctly: post office.)
Event organisers may be expecting a few less votes to arrive this year – a mail fail is on the cards due to the amount of solitary tears rolling down cheeks and onto the envelopes – rendering the address of the Oscars counting depot illegible. They will be tears of nostalgia – because this is the last year that the board will vote via the traditional postal method.
“We don’t trust technology”
That’s right – this year, in 2012, Hollywood is preparing to make the switch to digital.
Earlier in the week, awards organisers made the announcement that their betuxedoed arms will be embracing “electronic” voting technology. It also emerged that next year it is “likely” that the panel will be able to stream videos of the nominated films online to assist them in the voting process.
Apparently a lack of trust in computers has prevented the awards ceremony from making the switch until now. Previously the ballots were received and counted by the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who would organise themselves into small teams and count the votes by hand, presumably using an abacus and recording the results with a quill pen on the back of a cigar packet.
AMPAS president Tom Sherak admitted that he had misgivings about using online technology to process secure information. He said: “We are trying to figure out how to take that voting process and do it electronically – I’m still from the old school, but there could be a way.”
Back to the Future
The Oscars have nailed it when it comes to digital marketing however, and have launched a viral video campaign and social media strategy, and an app for the iPad and iPhone. I think they’ve done a good job with the social media – lots of opportunities for interaction and engagement, however the app is only available in the US – poor show!
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