The Academy today revealed the categories that the viewing audiences will not see and will instead be presented during commercial breaks and edited into the show later.
They are: Film Editing, Cinematography, Makeup & Hairstyling and Live Action Short. While four is fewer than the “6-9” rumors that were floating around since the initial announcement was made last August, it’s still riling up industry and film lovers alike. Many pointed out the irony of Academy President John Bailey being the head of the board of governors of the cinematography branch.
Something I noticed with the specific categories that were chosen was their relation to ABC/Disney nominations outside of the Top 8. They break down like this:
Visual Effects – 3
Production Design – 2
Costume Design – 2
Original Score – 2
Original Song – 2
Sound Mixing – 1
Sound Editing – 1
Animated Short – 1
Documentary Short – 0
Film Editing – 0
Cinematography – 0
Makeup & Hairstyling – 0
Live-Action Short – 0
That can’t be a coincidence, can it?
The announcement was sent via email to Academy members Monday, where Bailey detailed the plan for this year’s show, stating that the Academy is “still honoring the achievements of all 24 awards on the Oscars.”
Bailey did clarify that the speeches from those four categories will find their way into the telecast, saying “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 Academy’s social channels. The live stream is a first for our show, and will help further awareness and promotion of these award categories.”
One positive to result from this news is the acknowledgement that the Academy has been behind on how current audiences consume their television experience. “Viewing patterns for the Academy Awards are changing quickly in our current multi-media world, and our show must also evolve to successfully continue promoting motion pictures to a worldwide audience. This has been our core mission since we were established 91 years ago — and it is the same today,” Bailey commented. The live stream will be a first for the Oscars, along with this being the first year of no paper ballots for final Oscar voting.
A video of how the new format will appear on the broadcast was shown to selective branches and was reportedly met with positive results. He also reiterated that all five Original Song nominees will be performed but made no mention of the intention of reducing each to 90-second version, nor the 90-second seat-to-speech rule the Oscar producers are imposing on winners.
In closing, Bailey paraphrased one of Oscars’ most famous films, All About Eve, saying “So, buckle up! We are committed to presenting a show which we all will be proud of.”
The 91st Academy Awards will be live on ABC on Sunday, February 24th at 5pm PST/8pm EST.