TONY POTTS: Oscars 2013 Show Proves It’s On The Dell Inverted Hockey Stick Fast-Track


I truly feel the Oscars are in a time-warp. Seriously. Specifically, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. It’s as if the entire world…Facebook, iPhone, Apps, Twitter, iPad, Skype — and the billions of humans who use them and new technology to watch movies, find movies, rate movies, critique movies, rave about movies and make movies (among everything else in the universe) never happened. None of it exists.

This technology allows innovative producers to put together incredible shows, if they’re allowed to do it.

People asked me if I thought Seth Macfarlane would lead the Oscars out of the usual hum-drum show it’s become. I said, “No.” Here’s why.

I remember chatting with former Oscar hosts Jon Stewart and Chris Rock during their week leading up to the show.

While they didn’t come out and say it, I could tell that the weight of the Oscar mafia was bearing down on them. And I say mafia in only the kindest of terms.

You see, I had seen it before. These very talented individuals are asked, courted at times, to host the Academy Awards. Stewart and Rock are exceptional at what they do. They both do it in the comfortable, well-crafted environment of their world. The Oscar world is an entirely different world.

I could tell when I chatted with Jon Stewart that he was inside the Oscar machine. When creativity and new thoughts run up against “the way it’s always been.”  Chris Rock?  Same thing. I asked Chris on a Thursday before the Sunday show if he was able to be Chris Rock, if the Academy was reigning him in at all? He just shot me a look.

Year after year we start off with hope it will be different and hope gets put through the Academy meat grinder, circa 1978, and it comes out the other end as Oscar Sausage. This is 2013. There are complete gluten-free menus in restaurants these days. Geeeeez!. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the Oscars. I went to every one from 1999-to-2011. It’s like when you have a relative who you love but who can’t get out of his or her own way.

Pretty soon the Academy will have to get out of it’s own way before late one day an intervention suddenly appears. An intervention because the Academy has continued to ignore the inventions of the day, which will cost them the 20-30-year olds who are embracing the new technology and new ways of doing things, watching things and more.

If the Academy doesn’t embrace the young, who will watch when the 40-50-60 year olds are gone? Apple did a smart thing when it opened up it’s retail stores. Rather than have all the laptops and computers bolted to the counters like every other retail store, they had them all available to pick up and play. More importantly, they had those little computer stations for kids. Suddenly kids were using Macs. Then kids wanted Macs. Then the iPod came out. Kids wanted those. Then kids wanted music and went to iTunes. Then they grew up and went to iPads and iPhones. You get the picture.

What did Microsoft do during this time? Nothing to capture the youth market, the adult buyers of the future. My 19-year-old daughter doesn’t associate anything with Microsoft. She is Apple everything. She rarely watches tv. It’s all second screen, YouTube, etc.

My 8-year-old daughter will never use a PC. She’s Apple wired.

Here’s my point. The Academy is a poor-man’s Microsoft. Teens and those in their 20s are vaguely aware of the Oscars. How will it ever open up the live-show equivalent of the interactive Apple retail store?  Or will it be the pc equivalent of Dell? Once great, but quickly becoming marginal?

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