The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences MUST respect filmmakers and film fans
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Right now we're looking at the most inadequate Academy Awards in history. Yes, in my opinion ABC, the Academy's leadership and the show's producers are to be blamed.
As you know, up to 8 categories will be removed from the telecast and ghettoed into the commercial breaks. The Academy's message to nominees in "crafts" categories, shorts, docs undoubtedly is: We will give you statues, we will listen to your speeches, but we don't consider you important enough to include you in the live telecast. We'll show an edited clip showcasing winners in lesser categories sometime during the telecast. So, a bunch of talented people will get a few seconds of trimmed down acceptance speeches.
All due respect, Academy, but this is disgusting. This is disrespectful and not in tune with film's status as a collaborative medium. Cinematographers, editors, costume designers, make-up artists, sound mixers contribute to the cinematic experience as much as writers, directors and actors.
Can you imagine A Quiet Place without the work of the sound editors? Can you imagine The Favourite without Sandy Powell's glorious costumes? Can you imagine Roma without the airplane's reflection in the water in the opening scene? Wasn't film editor Zach Staenberg at least partly responsible for turning The Matrix into a Zeitgeist phenomenon? Close your eyes. What do you remember from The Lord of the Rings? The costumes, the sets, the visual effects, the sound design (the moment when the ring was created)?
Of course, the Academy insists that this move won't degrade the importance of the awards in crafts categories. But it most certainly will.
Additionally, it will kill the suspense in these categories as well.
It will also deprave viewers of moments such as that moment when Kevin O'Connell accepted his overdue first Oscar in 2017 and thanked his mom on stage (as this was her wish). It will deprave talented, hard-working people from being seen and recognized. The Academy appears to be fine with that. As The New York Times put it in an article the Academy probably would ignore, the people who are responsible for the Oscars, i.e. the Academy, are ashamed of the Oscars. And what do they do? They bow to ABC's demands. They explain that the ratings in 2018 were low. Well, not that low. Go check. The Oscars are still the highest-rated award show on TV. In 2018, the Oscars had ratings the Emmys, Tonys and Grammys could only dream of.
So why all these changes? Why going after people who would never care about the Oscars by alienating your hardcore audience?
Once again: So why the changes, Academy? Why the disrespect toward great artists? Is this what you stand for? Isn't the Academy an org that should represent filmmakers?
You know, on Oscar night, a bunch of great artists (in lesser categories) will feel the way the great Hattie McDaniel must have felt back in 1939 - invited but unwelcome.
And finally, some figures.
A crafts category usually takes 2.5-3 minutes of air time. Acting categories take up to 10, sometimes more. Pizza deliveries and dull "let's surprise that crowd" moments - up to 10. And of course, you decide to slap filmmakers.
Reconsider. The other option is turning into an irrelevant dinosaur of the past.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced two extremely disrespectful and ugly decisions.
The first one is the inauguration of a best popular film award. This award will lessen the impact and the prestige of the Academy Award.
But this the lesser evil. The other decision is to bring the Oscar telecast down to three hours by cutting awards from the telecast. This move is absolutely disrespectful to filmmakers. In the future, actors will continue getting their awards and deliver long and self-important speeches while editors, composers, production designers, people whose contribution to the world of filmmaking is just as special, will be featured in montages. Their awards will be presented in commercial breaks. Just like a few years ago they got their awards in the audience and were not allowed to get on stage. Is this the message the Academy is sending? That they don't care about the people they represent.
John Bailey and Dawn Hudson should be ashamed of themselves. They are doing so much damage, it's ugly.
Filmmakers and lovers of film, let's keep the Oscars the way they are. Let's keep honoring filmmakers instead of turning the Oscars into a big joke.
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