Will Academy Voters Learn Anything From the Transformers 3 Oscar Campaign?
Yes, I just wrote the words "Transformers Oscar campaign." Sigh. It's time we come to terms with the fact that each installment in Michael Bay's robot action series has technically been nominated for one or more Academy Awards -- deservedly so, really, given the technical achievements these CG metal-on-metal bashfests have under their belt, even if everything else in these films are aggressively, brain-numbingly mediocre. But Paramount aims to take home one of them statuettes this year, by god, and so they've created an awards campaign to break through to Oscar voters in the most effective way possible: Through their TV sets.
Bay's billion-dollar summer hit Transformers: Dark of the Moon is nominated in three technical categories: Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. No matter how much you may loathe this series, one thing is irrefutable: Transformers 3 boasts some of the best vfx of the year. That churning building-chomping giant bot thing cutting down a skyscraper in glorious, shiny detail? Mesmerizing, really. Bay slowing down his previously indistinguishable CG robot action for the third film actually helped highlight the amazing visual work he and his team pieced together out of bits and data, and though the first Transformers lost the Visual Effects Oscar to The Golden Compass (the second lost Best Sound Mixing to The Hurt Locker), 2012 seems like the year for a Transformers win for vfx. (Dark of the Moon is up against Hugo, Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Real Steel in the category.)
Which brings us to the two sound categories. Does anyone out there who's not a sound engineer actually understand the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing? Fine, I'm sure there are a handful of expert McKnowitalls out there. (Essentially, editing is the selection/assemblage of sounds and mixing is the blending of all sounds/dialogue/audio for the final film.) But you know who doesn't understand the difference between the two? Normal people, and a whole lot of Oscar voters.
That's probably why Paramount's Transformers Oscar spot doesn't even bother distinguishing between the two sound categories. "Just vote for us across the board!" the campaign practically screams, and why not? The goal of these spots is basically to put Transformers in the minds of the voters -- the ones who can be swayed by a TV commercial telling them that these are the best effects of the year. Take a look at the ad below and chime in below: Do you think this campaign will finally earn the franchise their Oscar?