With the 93rd Oscars forced to adapt and change with the coronavirus pandemic still a major factor, the production team for the April 25 ceremony announced Wednesday reflects those conditions.
Producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh unveiled 14 key members of their team for the show, which will air live on ABC from both the Oscars’ usual home at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station. Among the returning veterans are newcomers including The Roots drummer and filmmaker Questlove, who had previously performed on the telecast but is now musical director; Oscar-nominated screenwriter Richard LaGravenese, who also penned the Soderbergh-directed Liberace movie Behind the Candelabra, as a writer; and Dream Hampton, a writer and executive producer of Surviving R. Kelly, also as as writer.
All three are first-timers in the Oscar world. Other newcomers include Jesse Collins Entertainment veterans Jeannae Rouzan-Clay (BET Awards, Super Bowl LV Halftime Show Starring The Weeknd) and Dionne Harmon (A Grammy Salute to the Sounds of Change, Super Bowl LV Halftime Show Starring The Weeknd) as co-producers. They will be joined by veterans of the annual broadcast including supervising producer Rob Paine, who has been part of the Oscars team for 20 years; co-producer Raj Kapoor, back for a fifth consecutive year overseeing screen content and performances; and Taryn Hurd who returns for the eighth consecutive year as talent producer.
Head writer writer Jon Macks, the longtime Tonight Show With Jay Leno scribe who returns for his 24th Oscars telecast after recent gigs writing for the 2020 Democratic National Convention and the Celebrating America inauguration special, will lead a team that includes Amberia Allen (second Oscars), Rodney Barnes (Wu-Tang: An American Saga) and Mitchell Marchand (MTV Music Video Awards) along with LaGravenese and Hampton.
Other veterans returning include production designer David Rockwell, who served in that role for the 81st and 82nd Oscars and is a Tony winner with more than 60 theatrical productions including She Loves Me, Kinky Boots and Harispray (he also designs Nobu hotels and restaurants); and lighting designer Robert Dickinson, who returns for his 32nd Oscars show with 18 Primetime Emmy Awards to his credit — including three for Oscars telecasts.
As Deadline scooped this week, there is no single host planned for this year’s ceremony, with producers now out with offers to talent they hope will come in to present the categories on a rotating basis.
Glenn Weiss returns to direct the Oscars for a sixth straight year but little else is known about the makeup of the ceremony. Organizer the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has told nominees there will be a ban on Zooms, so popular with other Covid-era shows including Golden Globes, Critics Choice and the upcoming truncated SAG Awards.
“Our plan is that this year’s Oscars will look like a movie, not a television show, and Glenn has embraced this approach and come up with ideas of his own on how to achieve this,” Collins, Sher and Soderbergh said when Weiss came aboard last week.
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