As part of the Academy’s efforts to streamline this year’s Oscarcast and keep it to three hours, it confirmed today that throphies in four categories will be presented during commercial breaks.
As Deadline’s Pete Hammond reported last week, Best Cinematography will be one of the categories whose presentation will be taped and aired later during the ABC broadcast on February 24. The others, revealed today in a letter to members from Academy president John Bailey (read it below), are Live Action Short, Film Editing, and Make-up and Hairstyling. All of each category’s nominees will be aired, along with the winner’s speech. The Academy also confirms they will be live streaming during those commercial breaks so the viewing audience can also watch live online along with those in the Dolby Theatre.
The Cinematographers branch led the way in arguing for this change by showing how it could be done. In addition to Bailey being a co-governor in the branch, he had a piece cut together as an example of what it would look like and convinced other board members it actually was an improvement, without losing any of the dignity of the presentation or downgrading it.
The categories that are most affected will be rotated each year.
Here is Bailey’s letter:
Dear Fellow Academy Members,
After months of anticipation and much talk, I’d like to address a topic that’s close to me.
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.
As you may remember, last summer the Academy’s Board of Governors committed to airing a three-hour show. I want to reiterate however, that all 24 Academy Award-winning presentations will be included in the broadcast. We believe we have come up with a great way to do this, and keep the show to three hours.
While still honoring the achievements of all 24 awards on the Oscars, four categories—Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling – will be presented during commercial breaks, with their winning speeches aired later in the broadcast.
And, 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.
The executive committees of six branches generously opted-in to have their awards presented in this slightly edited timeframe for this year’s show, and we selected four. In future years, four to six different categories may be selected for rotation, in collaboration with the show producers. (This year’s categories will be exempted in 2020.)
The Academy Awards honors the year’s best films and filmmakers. It is an international show, filled with great emotion, and (we hope) stirring acceptance speeches. This year, in addition to performances of all five nominated songs, the show will feature Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic playing during In Memoriam, as part of their own centennial celebration.
So, buckle up! We are committed to presenting a show which we all will be proud of.