This will be the year that Oscar limps into the digital age, with a giant package of Internet-only features, including interviews with all 177 nominees, a blog kept by Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres and a much-dreaded 'Thank You Cam," that will allow the winners to flood your hard drive with all the names of the people they want to thank, probably all the way down to their lawyers and personal assistants. In last Tuesday's L.A. Times article on the move, mega-producer Laura Ziskin, who is handling this year's ceremony, claimed that she wants to "transmit as much content as possible" and will be focusing on delivering loads of information on each individual nominee. "We sent everyone a questionnaire, asking about their background, how they got their jobs, what was the most challenging thing on this film, you know, to get their stories."
Ziskin also admits that the purpose of the 'Thank You Cam' is to more or less shuffle the 'thank you' portion of the speech -- when the winner reads out a number of names that no one has ever heard of -- out of the main spotlight. "I told them at the nominees lunch that if you need a list, you aren't thanking the right people," Ziskin is quoted as saying. "These are people at the pinnacle of their talents. They know how to make a great show, an entertaining show. And I told them if they don't, the Oscars will just go away." She pulls it back a little after that, saying "OK, maybe I'm being a little hyperbolic."
Here's a thought -- how about having Tobey Maguire come out in his Spiderman costume to give the Best Picture award? Or better yet, how about having the audience just call in during the ceremony and judge the winner? It's not like the Oscars have any credibility anymore, anyway.