UNITED STATES—Hearing that the Academy Awards would not have a host for the 2019 ceremony did not stun me to say the least. However, after news broke this week about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences broadcasting awards for 4 categories: film editing, cinematography, makeup and hairstyling and live-action short via commercials are was speechless. The notion that AMPAS feels the need to relegate specific categories during commercials is a blatant slap to those who work in the cinematic universe.
We’re told year after year that all people want to see are the actors and actresses claiming the top prize. I used to agree with that claim, that’s until I became a filmmaker. When you study cinema you learn the ins and outs of what it takes to make a movie. I mean actors, actresses and directors come last, if you actually think about the dynamics of a movie. I mean some might want to denigrate makeup and hairstyling, but they help people look their best on camera. Live-action shorts are responsible for many well-known directors getting their start and editing and cinematography are everything when it comes to the camera.
It is the editor who pieces the movie together. It is the editor who helps control pacing. It is the editor who helps craft the story and build suspense people! When it comes to cinematography, that might be the most important aspect of filmmaking because it’s all about the camera. Rather it is a wide shot, long shot, close-up, low angle, high angle, that decision on how to move the camera can completely change how a movie is perceived and received by the audience.
I mean the Oscars are considered the granddaddy of all award shows and to not allow those individuals who have worked hard at their craft to have a moment to shine on live TV is just baffling. These people matter just as much as everyone else in the film industry; they should not be considered second tier, which is what this stunt by AMPAS feels like.
If that is the case why don’t we just eliminate the notion of cinematographers, editors, makeup artists, hairstylists and those who make live action shorts? The Academy don’t think they deserve their due, so why continue to give and give to an energy, when on the biggest night in the world of entertainment you don’t get your 45 seconds on stage to deliver your ‘Thank You’s’ to those who impacted your career.
There isn’t even a host this year, so please explain how presenting several awards during a commercial even makes sense? That is the one thing that I’ve ALWAYS respected about the Academy Awards: they give out all 24 awards that are part of the ceremony. It’s not like the Grammys that has a 4-hour telecast, and only gives out like 10 awards. The Grammys are an utter joke compared to the Oscars if you ask me. However, this latest stunt has me wondering just what AMPAS will do next. If it’s these four categories this year, what will happen in 2020?