Between Two Ferns, Oscars edition

Zach Galafianakis' Oscars coverage is pretty much all the Oscars coverage I want to watch. In part one, Zach sits down with Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts & Amy Adams. In part two, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Chastain, Sally Field and "another special guest from Lincoln." (HT: Chris Sacca)

Allow the Oscars to explain why we should never, ever e-vote in a national election

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tried experimenting with electronic voting this year, to disastrous results (e.g., getting logged out if your password isn't strong enough, then waiting for the mail to deliver a new one -- after a phone call to customer service). Considering how the Oscars can barely get its act together to find out who they want to nominate (let alone win), just imagine how effective e-voting would be for a political election, a national one, that determined who runs the country. Hint: Not at all effective. In any way. At all. Let's never speak of this again. (via Moviefone)

Oscar's first round of Best Original Song contenders: fixing last year's mistakes

It was reported yesterday that Adele's James Bond theme song, "Skyfall," would be eligible for the Best Original Song award at the upcoming Oscar ceremonies, despite including elements of the well-established (and, at this point, not original) Bond theme. But what's also news is that unlike last year, when 37 out of 39 possible songs were disqualified for the same award, there are now 75 contenders and different standards. The Academy is shooting for a total of five nominees, up from last year's confounding two. So, what happened, and what did they fix this time around? And who can beat Adele? (In my opinion? Nobody.)

Read the rest

The Simpsons might win an Oscar, heavy on the "might"

While it's probably a long shot, a four-minute Simpsons short is currently included on the list of ten (narrowed down from 56) animated shorts that are eligible for an Oscar this year. Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare" was shown (in 3D) before Ice Age: Continental Drift this past summer and featured a fierce battle between the youngest Simpson and Baby Gerald. Written by James L. Brooks and Matt Groening, The Longest Daycare's possible nod could be sweet, sweet payback for The Simpsons Movie being shut out for Best Animated Feature back in 2008. But, as I said, it might be a long-shot; other nominees include Disney's Paperman (currently being shown before Wreck-It-Ralph), Minkyu Lee's Adam and Dog, PES' Fresh Guacamole, and Raul Garcia's The Fall of the House of Usher, which is narrated by Sir Christopher Lee. The Wrap has the complete list of the ten final contenders, and the nominees will be announced January 10. (via Splitsider)

Seth MacFarlane tapped for the Oscars

Very groovy news coming through the entertainment pipeline this morning as we find out who will host the Oscars: Seth MacFarlane! The Family Guy and American Dad creator, who just opened up Saturday Night Live's new season with a bang, has been chosen to host the next Academy Awards telecast early next year. Hopefully, he will show up to rehearsal this time! (video link)

And speaking of Saturday Night Live, they have announced their October lineup of hosts and musical guests: This Saturday, October 6 will be Daniel Craig with musical guest Muse, October 13 will be Christina Applegate -- coming back for her second time as host -- with musical guest Passion Pit, and October 20 will welcome Bruno Mars, who will do double duty as host and musical guest. (That would have been such a great Digital Short, so can Andy Samberg and Co. please come back to do just one? If anyone knows the correct person to bribe, please let me know.)

Seth MacFarlane's Big News [Oscars on YouTube]

Saturday Night Live's Backstage Blog

Maru, internet-famous cat, goes to the 2012 Oscars

Everyone's favorite internet cat goes to the Academy Awards. Well, in poster form. You can't buy the posters, or the cat, but you can buy the book. More about the legend in this previous Boing Boing post.

(Cheezburger via Swintons via Bricorama via @antderosa)

Pirating the Oscars: 2011 edition

Andy Baio has continued his excellent annual series, "Pirating the Oscars," which tracks each year's Oscar nominee's appearance on file-sharing networks, and keeps statistics on the method by which each nominee is captured and uploaded (camcordered, ripped from screener/pre-release cut, ripped from commercial DVD, etc). Because Andy does these stats on an annual basis, we get a longitudinal view into the way that file-sharing is changing in response to the studios' countermeasures, and in response to new technologies in general.

* This year, three films were leaked online within a day of their theatrical release -- Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter.

* The Rabbit Hole screener was leaked online eight days before its theatrical release, while Winter's Bone [ed: excellent film, but don't make the mistake I made -- it's not a date-night kind of movie!] was the slowest to leak online (so far) at 125 days after its theatrical release.

* Oscar-nominated films tend to get released late in the year, but how late? More nominated films have been released on December 25 than any other day, but the median date is October 20.

* For the first year, the first high-quality leak of a film -- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- was a PPV rip, most likely from a hotel's new movie releases on pay-per-view.

* Retail Blu-Ray rips are now frequently being leaked online now before retail DVDs, so I've modified the "Retail DVD" column to include them.

Pirating the 2011 Oscars

Google Spreadsheet