Some of you, that watch the Oscars, may have heard that the Academy of Arts and Sciences want to keep the live broadcast under three hours. So, instead of cutting the introduction of the accounting firm of bored, snooze, and don’t care – they opted to cut awards for cinematography, film editing, live-action short, and makeup and hairstyling. After outrage from their members and Oscar watchers, the Academy has decided to reverse their decision today.
“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling. All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format. We look forward to Oscar Sunday, February 24,” the group said in a statement.
The decision stemmed from a Thursday night meeting with top cinematographers, Academy leadership including President John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson. It was leaked that a full decision would be announced on Friday, according to Variety.
The move was a complete surprise to some observers. “The Academy’s Board of Governors announced in August that they were revamping the ceremony completely to keep it under three hours, and that delayed broadcast of some awards categories was a probability,” according to Slate. Yet, many of the nominated directors weren’t taking this quietly.
“Without cinematographers and film editors, I would be lost, wandering in the cinema wilderness,” Spike Lee — who is nominated this year for best director for “BlacKkKlansman” alongside the film’s editor, Barry Alexander Brown — wrote in an email to The Los Angeles Times.
“I think it’s outrageous,” said Jim Burke, who served as a producer on the best picture-nominated “Green Book.” “To not publicly recognize editors and cinematographers is a big mistake. I’m in favor of a shorter show but not at the expense of these two vital components to the filmmaking process.”
Alfonso Cuarón, whose film “Roma” has earned 10 Oscar nods including best picture, took to Twitter to voice his frustration, as did other Oscar winners including Guillermo del Toro and Russell Crowe.
In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.
— Alfonso Cuaron (@alfonsocuaron) February 12, 2019
While many people may not care about the event, those cuts are particularly insulting to the industry. Cinematography is part of the beauty of a film. Editing is the best reasons films work the way they do. Quentin Tarantino’s films are known for their editing, as does Spike Lee’s films. Live-action short is when up-and-comers get recognition for their start. Of course, makeup and hair is a part of the aesthetic of a film.
Some of the most integral pieces of filmmaking was being rewarded with a slap in the face. Keep in mind that the Oscars are films with cinematographers and editors. If the Oscars wanted to cut the time then maybe we can have less opening numbers, montages, and time to talk about each of the best picture nominees before we even get there.