One Thing I’d Change About the Oscars – Part 1: Ben Flanagan

Here’s the first in a new series of posts that will run up until the March 2 Academy Awards. Each of the Film Nerds will detail what single change they would make to the Oscars if they were put in charge of the Academy. First up is Ben Flanagan!



Last year marked the first time in my moviegoing life I’d seen all five animated shorts nominated for the 2013 Oscar in that category. It took long enough to see that day, but thanks to YouTube, it finally happened.

So last year, I had a dog in the fight — quite literally, in fact, given my favorite of those shorts was “Adam and Dog,” which sadly did not win. But it felt good to care about these films and the budding careers of those responsible.

Prior to the occasion, I had an interest in seeing the nominated films, but there was no local theatrical or online venue where I could do so, therefore, I had no rooting interest when these categories came up during the respective broadcasts over the years. I didn’t care, and the Academy gave me no reason to do so.

I found that watching the 2012 animated short nominees was one of the more fulfilling film experiences that year and could not wait to make this a tradition of mine for the subsequent ceremonies. (Note: I have yet to see the 2013 nominees, and I still haven’t seen any live-action or documentary short nominees.)

That said, if film lovers and Oscar ceremony viewers do not have easy access to watch all 15 nominees, then I would totally nix the categories, at least from the ABC broadcast. Or announce the winners in and out of breaks. It reduces their importance, but if no one has seen the winning films they announce, then what’s the point? We have zero context for what we’re seeing on television, and we’re either changing the channel or, at the very least, taking bathroom breaks during their often moving speeches.

So I propose we either totally get rid of these categories during the main broadcast of the Academy Awards, or the Academy, and ABC make a greater effort to show these movies to viewers who have less access to those who live in cities where they may hold the occasional screening at a handful of theaters across the country.

I’m crossing my fingers for the latter. These folks and their art deserve their day in the sun.

Find more from Ben Flanagan on Twitter (@ThisBenFlanagan), at, and listen to the newest episode of his podcast ASPECT RADIO for a great discussion about IMAX and all its various incarnations.