When we think of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, we think of Oscar, that golden boy of Hollywood every film industry pro hopes to win. The Academy hands out Academy Award of Merit statuettes once a year, but in between, it delivers something else. Not for the pros, but for moviegoers - and Internet users - like us.
A few weeks ago, the Academy launched Academy Originals, a documentary-style online video series that explores the history of film, the movie-making process, and the groundbreaking works that made movies what they are today. Available on the Oscars Web site as well as on YouTube, there are already a half-dozen digital shorts averaging five minutes in length to choose from. Future episodes are expected to include Academy members Kathleen Kennedy, Paul Haggis, Phil Tippett, and others.
All current Academy Originals are worth watching. Here are a few to get you started.
"When you watch a movie in a theater, you are in the hands of whoever has made that movie. It's a very human experience, to learn about yourself what pulls you into a world and makes you lose yourself, and what doesn't."
This short follows stand-up comedian and actor Patton Oswalt as he goes inside the Academy vault and selects a classic to screen.
"I love and hate what I do. It's like an addiction. I want to solve the problems. I want to make it work."
In this Academy Originals video Dustin Lance Black - screenwriter and Academy Award-winner for the film Milk - explains his distinct and exhaustive creative process.
"I'd been pushing for CG for years, but I didn't think we were ready for it. I wasn't sure."
The newest and most-viewed video of the bunch, Moments That Changed the Movies: Jurassic Park tracks the making of the first movie to go beyond stop motion animation and use photo-realistic CG (computer-generated) animals.