I love this photograph – well done Matt Sayles for taking it. I’ve no idea why he did take it at the time but, given how the night unfolded, it became perhaps the picture from Oscars night 2017. And it’s back-stage, not front-of-house; it’s a seeming nobody, not a celebrity – not a winner or even a nominee. But it’s the person who could bring the house down. And his attention is, as became apparent, elsewhere.
And it’s such an ordinary shot. Just a guy checking his phone. But, afterwards, (as declared this week) it changes the rules of engagement.
The solution, it seems, for future Oscar ceremonies, is to keep the human, and try and stop him or her being a distracted cyborg. Cut out the technology. An ironic moment for the high point of an industry that is technology, indeed is technology using technology. Going forwards, the accountants overseeing the ballot results generating the Oscar winners “will also be required to participate in Oscar rehearsals.” It’s remarkable that that’s not the case to date.
Seemingly, it’s a solution emphasising a human moment, despite human error provoking the need for it. But the entanglements run a lot deeper than that, really.