Eyes on the Prize: The Oscars

by | Mar 8, 2024

For nearly a century, the Academy Awards, fondly known as the Oscars, have stood as the pinnacle of achievement in the world of entertainment. This iconic event has become synonymous with glamor, prestige, and the celebration of cinematic excellence. To hold or lay claim to one of those little gold statues is the end goal of many aspiring filmmakers- and it’s MediaTech Institute’s goal to give our graduates the tools they need to take a shot at that goal.

A Glimpse Back at the Academy Awards

The Oscars were first held on May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Initially a modest gathering, the ceremony has since grown into a global phenomenon that attracts millions of viewers worldwide. The first ceremony had 12 categories to celebrate the new and growing industry, Britannica sharing the categories as being; most outstanding production, most artistic or unique production, and achievement by an actor, by an actress, in dramatic directing, in comedy directing, in cinematography, in art directing, in engineering effects, in original story writing, in adaptation writing, and in title writing. 

Picture from the first Academy Awards Ceremony, with just 270 in attendance. 

The structure of the event changed a lot to keep up with the times, notably the categories becoming more recognizable to the modern audience by the second Oscars. The second Oscars was reduced to seven categories, and “Best Picture” combined two of the categories from the inaugural event. Since then, categories have been merged, discontinued, and added, like the addition of “Supporting Actor and Actress”, or the addition of “International Films”, which are some of the most popular audience categories today.

The Modern Audience

In recent years, the Oscars has seen a lot less viewership, despite having multiple incidents go viral on social media after the live event- like “LaLa Land” being named best picture when the winner was actually “Moonlight”, or the infamous Chris Rock slap by Will Smith.  Those unexpected moments from recent Oscars aside, so much of the entertainment industry still holds the event (the prize) in high regard. 

At MediaTech Institute, we’re watching the trends of other live events like the Super Bowl moving to streaming platforms, and we wonder if that’s the future of the Academy Awards. After seeing a steep decline in viewership since the late 2010’s, we predict the Academy may follow in the footsteps of other network TV events.  The Film and Video Production industry is constantly moving forward and changing- making it integral that MediaTech Institute stays on top of current industry shifts. Our goal is ensuring our students have the most relevant education and experience upon graduation.

The Talk for 2024

March 10th, 2024 is the Oscar’s 96th award ceremony, celebrating the best of the best films and performances from 2023. The list of nominees from this year stirred up conversation about the trend of blockbuster films being nominated, even in the “best picture” category. Legendary directors like Martin Scorsese, who’s film “Killers of the Flower Moon” was nominated this year, have gone on record saying “Well, the industry is over,” because of blockbusters like “Barbie” being nominated for best film.

Blockbusters have traditionally been out of the Oscar running, minus some exceptions until the last couple decades. Now it is becoming more regular, with more blockbuster and action movies breaking the glass ceiling of Oscar nominations. Movies like “Top Gun”, “Mission Impossible”, “Barbie” and multiple “Marvel” movies being nominated in recent years prove the trend of the Academy leaning into the most popular movies of our time- despite some resistance from industry “royalty”.

Hollywood tends to follow wherever the audience is, so blockbuster’s competing against the traditional “Oscar bait” movies likely won’t be going anywhere soon. 

Setting MTI Graduates up for Success

We are excited for the future of MediaTech alumni who are nominated for any big-time Entertainment Industry award, and we work towards that daily as we educate the future great minds of film, TV, and production. Our hands-on approach, on-set experiences, and opportunities to collaborate with a whole spectrum of other creatives puts our students ahead of other crew members working in these competitive entertainment industries. 

Check out our Film and Production degree programs today, whether you’re just starting out or looking to reinvigorate your career.

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