The impetus behind today’s announcement to reveal the Oscar nominees in 24 categories next Thursday wasn’t the result of an outcry by those nominees who are omitted from the short-burst telecast that runs each year during ABC’s Good Morning America and on countless cable and social media outlets that revealed only the bread and butter categories. Actually, no one complained about the way it always had been done.
It was simply the Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron seeing to correct something that has bothered them for years. “We’d get up and watch the announcement live on TV, and I’d always say to Neil how frustrating it was to only find out a handful of nominees and then have to wait for the rest to be put online,” Zadan said. “We wanted to know right then who got nominated in each category and how many nominations each movie got, right now. We live in an age with social networking and live television where it felt not right to ignore the branches that got slighted. We brought it to [Academy President] Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and fortunately she loved the idea.”
Meron said it won’t take that much longer than usual, with a four- or five-minute segment done with JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron, followed by a second segment running seven or eight minutes done by Chris Pine and Boone Isaacs.
There is such keen interest globally in the Oscar noms that they probably could create a branded program, much the way that the National Football League has done with its annual draft of collegiate players. They didn’t see that happening — and luckily there will be no nominee acceptance speeches. Boone Isaacs said this was more about recognizing the collective efforts that go into making awards-caliber films.
“The Academy is all about recognizing the talent it takes to produce these movies,” she said. “There are 17 branches, and we wanted to reflect the importance of what they bring to the process. This is a new way to make sure all these fine filmmakers get recognized personally and have their particular craft recognized. Craig and Neil have come up with interesting and unique ways to showcase the value of filmmaking, and this fit right into the Academy’s determination to help publicize all these contributions.”