New TheAcademy president David Rubin on a shorter Oscar season, praising movie theatres, and AMPAS code of conduct | The Deadline Interview
“Will I be seeing you in Telluride?” I asked new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president David Rubin as he celebrates his first full week on the job today, after presiding…
“Yes. I mean it was not meant to be a statement about the ongoing conversation regarding what is a motion picture because that’s a larger issue that can’t be summed up in a catchphrase,” he said. “It really was a call to the Academy members to participate, to be engaged with other academy members. There’s something that happens at an academy screening, which doesn’t happen when you’re sitting at home watching your television. You’re engaged with other film professionals talking about the movie you just saw. Not to mention the collective experience of sitting in a dark theater staring at a screen. There’s nothing like it,” he added, while emphasizing he is also in favor of how the Academy will deal with the ever-changing ways in which consumers watch movies, and what really defines them in the first place for an organization that still touts it is about the “arts and sciences” of the medium.
But it is a new day, at least at the top , so first things first.
A Star Is Born , Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther,
all were nominated for Best Picture this time around, and each won Oscars too. The interest in the actual movies being honored has always been the most reliable barometer of ratings success for the Oscar show, and Rubin, like past leaders , is ever hopeful to maintain a balance. “I think I’m hoping that there are enormously popular films that are also of tremendous quality so that we can engage as wide an audience as possible who are eager to see the fate of those films at the Oscar ceremony. We have no control over that but we are endlessly optimistic, and based on what I understand to be the slate of films between now and the end of the year, very encouraged.”
Anything else? He seemed amused when I asked if he was rooting for
As for the (ill-considered) controversy in some quarters about this year’s Best Picture winner,
Rubin says that especially with the shorter upcoming season that the Academy is very cognizant of the time table and will make every effort to give members access to the films by stepping up all the members’ interests and activities in getting to see those films in time. Good luck with that. It was difficult enough before, so will be especially hard in a truncated period but let’s hope AMPAS uses every tool , and maybe even relaxes some rules , in order to encourage as many members as possible to see the movies.
“Our efforts and attention is focused on tremendously stimulating content in its exhibition that appeals to the everyday moviegoer and to the cinephile, and to make sure that this represents accurately the arts and sciences of motion pictures and also appeals with tremendous relevance to today’s audiences and today’s moviegoers, (and) museum goers,” he said. ” We are expecting families who are tourists coming to Los Angeles to flock to the museum as well as cinephiles who are looking for a deep dive into moviemaking. I think we’re all we’re all coming together to bring this museum toward its opening date and we’re on a regular basis assembling all the elements needed to get it done. It’s as though we’re producing a major, major motion picture, and we are in the sort of final stages of production moving into post-production, and we will we will bring it to ‘theaters’ , opening just at the right time. “
On the touchy subject of the Academy’s well-publicized Code Of Conduct that has resulted so far in the expulsion of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby , and Roman Polanski, Rubin didn’t dodge the subject and instead doubled down on decisions he took part in as a Governor , and Secretary of AMPAS Board, a position that deals directly with membership issues.
Despite some of the Herclean tasks he has been handed, overall Rubin seemed upbeat and confident, telling me the number one goal of his revolves around the care and nurturing of the membership , both domestic and international. His ultimate promise , as stated in his August 8th letter to those members is to “Connect. Collaborate. Engage. “Read more: Deadline Hollywood
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