The news this week that The Oscars will not be appointing a host for the biggest night of the film industry for the first time in 30 years hit me hard.
Why do that?
Is it because they cannot find an extroverted celebrity in America that won’t shame them? Then look harder, and faster, Oscars, because you’re running out of time.
Sounds superficial of me, I know. But, you see, an Oscars host has an important role to play well beyond the task of welcoming guests to an awards night. They must articulate and surmise what’s actually affecting the film industry right now: what they care about; who is in the limelight; who is at the centre of the scandals; and the deeper issues that are close to their hearts. In other words, in the opening address, the host reflects the sentiment of the industry in a way that, as a host for a podcast channel representing an industry, I’ve come to appreciate and respect.
As a podcast host, agenda setting for the podcast is not easy, or random. It’s based on a lot of ground work. I am meeting people within the industry and listening to their challenges and successes to attempt to read the industry’s sentiment. It’s elusive and complex to synthesise and process without hours of listening and deep investigation and research into the audience personas. The Oscars host needs to be someone who is heavily involved in the scene to be able to articulate what we’ve come to expect.
The podcast channel I host, ASCI Lounge Podcast Channel is nominated for an award in the Industry & Careers category for the Australian Podcast Awards because we’ve been recognised for capturing the sentiment of the industry through our episodes - nailing the topics, guests and education that our 4,000+ listeners care about. I wonder who is hosting our awards night? Certainly not as big a gig!
The film industry has a lot of global influence. What affects them, touches them, or drives them, resonates with us - more than we may realise. Okay, maybe not the scandals, but you get what I mean! Apart from being entertained, we do feel connected, in a sense. That’s why The Ocsars’ host address always goes viral. It’s a certainty. In my previous blog, I talk about a common element that causes something to go viral - I think it comes down to a good read on sentiment.
The Oscars host address is worth staying up late to watch, to catch the sentiment before it deep dives into a viral vortex. That applies a lot of pressure on a host. I get it. It is a difficult task. It’s a tall order. The current sentiment of the film industry is so hard to read. there’s #metoo and there’s LGBTQI, there’s racism and there’s all sorts of fraudulent contracting - who’d want to go there! It could ruin your career!
This got me thinking, does this fear explain some of your reluctance to be an industry thought leader? Does your potential talent as a go-to-commentator go under developed because you deem it too risky? In a previous blog, I share some very safe and viable options that help to give you a voice via a very cost effective platform: podcasting. It’s a lot less stressful than the limelight of The Oscars!
Unless The Oscars renege and find someone at the last minute, I will be left disappointed this year. Perhaps The Cookie Monster can step in and host? I’m sure there are many who are willing to write the script anonymously. Come on America, pull some strings and make it happen for 2019!
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