So after the Academy resolved the Kevin Hart hosting debacle for the upcoming 91st Annual Academy Awards ceremony and the singing of only two Best Original Songs, they’ve managed to find themselves still mixed in controversy. With the annual awards show just 13 days away, the organization has announced that they will be presenting four Academy Awards during commercial breaks instead of during the live broadcast. So for those DPs out there who love Cinematography or those who love Editing, or those who enjoy Film Shorts, or those who create unique looks for characters with Makeup and Hairstyling, well, you won’t be seeing those awards being presented live because those are the four categories being given out during commercial breaks. More on the report here below.
Just how many more times is this show going to find itself stepping into the wrong situation? Figuring out how to cut down the runtime is one thing, but sacrificing songs or giving out awards off-screen isn’t the way to go. After all, there was a huge uproar when it was reported that only two of the Best Original Songs were going to be performed live instead of all the nominees. That obviously gave the impression of favoritism. Now cinematography, film editing, live action short, and the category of makeup and hairstyling will not be presented to television audiences? That is simply outrageous.
The explanatory speeches that go into these awards before they are presented only highlight their importance in a film. It helps the audience know that every member of the team has value. They also help younger viewers understand that there is much more to a film than writing or directing.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like these awards are worth giving away in front of home audiences. THR says the Academy will still be honoring the spirit of the show by handing out 24 awards, with winners giving out their acceptance speeches later in the broadcast.
Here’s how Academy president John Bailey explained the cuts to the presentation of the four awards:
“With the help of our partners at ABC, we also will stream these four award presentations online for our global fans to enjoy, live, along with our audience. Fans will be able to watch on Oscar.com and on the Academyâ€™s social channels. The live stream is a first for our show, and will help further awareness and promotion of these award categories.”
While there is sure to be outrage among the film community, this will look like an experiment, more or less. “Bailey, who in addition to being president sits on the board of governors as a representative of the cinematographers’ branch, said the executive committee of six of the Academy’s 17 branches volunteered to have their respective awards presented under the new system, and that the Academy selected four of them.” Additionally, four or six awards may not be presented on a rotating basis. And the four that are being excluded from the broadcast this year will be guaranteed to be presented, live and on air, next year. I can only imagine they would keep the major ones like acting, directing, and best picture.
And while the respective branches had every right to take issue about this matter, a video presentation that was shown to them reportedly eased those concerns. Those who saw the video reportedly said that “it provided a respectful acknowledgment of the affected category.”
Per THR, Baily concluded the meeting with, “So, buckle up! We are committed to presenting a show which we all will be proud of.”
Joking aside, I’m sure there will be only a handful of ways that the show could be cut down without sacrificing presenting the awards to the respective winners. Maybe don’t have such an ostentatious and overly showy cold opening that lasts up to 10 to 15 minutes long? Why not cut out some of the theatrics like the jet ski moment of 2018 or the handing out of pizzas and the selfie moments?
And just as a reminder, here are the nominees for the awards for cinematography, film editing, live action short, and makeup and hairstyling:
Never Look Away
A Star Is Born
Live Action Short Film
Makeup And Hair
Mary Queen of Scots
Winners for the 91st Annual Academy Awards will be revealed on February 24, 2019. The ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA, and broadcast on ABC.