THE MORNING BUZZ: Readers' Picks Poll Has Standing21 Mar, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik
Video Store Magazine and Hive4Media.com have announced the winners of the first annual Oscar Readers' Picks Awards. For the past five weeks we have solicited the home entertainment industry for its choices for winners in 24 Oscar categories, with voting taking place via HTML e-mail ballots and this Web site. A few Internet-challenged folks even wrote in for ballots. In the end more than 1,300 votes were tallied from the full spectrum of our readership base including studio/home video unit executives, video specialty retailers, mass merchants and a broad variety of other retailers, and distributors. You can get the full story here.
While the point of this poll was to have fun, I think the results should be taken with some seriousness. After all, while the voters in this poll (that's you) may not be movie business "peers" as are official Academy members, you are, just as importantly, business partners. Important business partners, as we all know, from the amount of revenue home video contributes to the major studios and independents who create these films.
And of course, you watch a lot of movies! Your livelihood depends on correctly positioning and marketing the quality of these verifiable critical and popular successes nominated for Academy Awards. This is, as we have always heard, a hits driven business. Choosing the "best" in popular media is, obviously, a subjective choice that must lie somewhere between the achievement of certain cinematic artistic and esoteric qualities, and the ability to have these qualities delivered in a way that enriches the widest possible audience. That, in a nutshell, makes for an overall success. Who better to make that choice than the people who must try and market these products from here on out to 90 percent of the U.S. households with some form of video playback machine?
That being said, the home video industry seems to be concurring with the vast consensus of awards already given and polls already taken, at least on the Big 4. When it comes to Best Picture you picked A Beautiful Mind (hands down); Best Director, Ron Howard (hands down); Best Actor, Russell Crowe (hands down); Best Actress, Nicole Kidman (close, very close; it's a three-way race here with Kidman, Halle Berry and Sissy Spacek).
Hopefully, we'll draw some attention with this Readers' Picks poll and look forward to an even bigger voter turnout next year. See you at the Oscars.