Oscar goes mobile
It is the new Oscars, delivered your way. This year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and ABC truly went all out to woo movie-lovers—especially the younger crowd—through many fresh tools and new mobile applications.
Courtesy of Oscar.com and ABCâ€™s iPhone/iPad application â€śOscar Backstage Pass,” viewers were able to catch the show through 17 cameras on both the red carpet and in the Kodak Theater â€“ shots not shown on network television. All you had to do was kick back and enjoy full access to the show via livestreaming â€śhiddenâ€ť cameras that caught the stars behind the scenes.
Via the Oscar Backstage Pass, users could catch a glimpse of what truly was happening at the Academy Awards through formerly exclusive arenas such as the press room and the backstage area. The app kicked off with coverage of the countdown and the red carpet, exhibited the actual ceremony and concluded with the official Oscar party, The Governorâ€™s Ball, which was shot through five different cameras.
Variety was the name of the game: With so many cameras, viewers were able to watch the action from an array of perspectives. If the usual network commentary is not your thing, this app would have given you new options. Plus, it did not stop for those pesky commercials.
Footage was often charming and more relaxed, including catching up with stars as they left the stage, and video quality was reputedly fantastic, especially for Wi-Fi users. The walk-ups even presented an opportunity to take a gander at famous moments in Oscar history.
The low points, however, were the lack of audio or poor sound, and the occasional loss of authenticity through apparent attempts on the part of the academy to steer clear of controversy. For example, the app edited out a question to a star about her self-promotion campaign for the Oscar.
Another slight downside was the price. While the simple app was 99 cents, it cost $4.99 for an â€śall accessâ€ť pass with additional livestream cameras to catch all the arrivals and ceremony. With around 1 billion people per year catching the Oscars, the chance to make money was not ignored.
So for those unhappy with the Backstage Pass app, Live from the Red Carpet, from the E! Network, offered an alternative â€“ for free. This application, however, only boasted one additional camera angle, although it did offer a â€śGlam Camâ€ť to display 360-degree glimpses of starsâ€™ getups.
The Backstage app also fell apart when it came to Oscar trivia. Those interested in all the facts could have checked out the Obsessed With Hollywood app, with all the latest Hollywood trivia, and 2,500 questions and 200 hours worth of play time.
Other components of the social media campaign included a Twitter feed, @TheAcademy, and Facebook page, which kept viewers updated with who won what. Oscar co-host James Franco even tapped into the action, with photos and video clips of the latest happenings backstage.
#8220;We did it tonight. History,” said Franco in one video during the broadcast, reported Variety.
“Well, you achieved history today,” Anne Hathaway, his co-host, said. “You did something original.”