A week before this year's Oscars ceremony, some of the most influential names in Hollywood joined forces to object the film's academy decision to hand out four Oscars during the commercial break.
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Spike Lee, Roger Deakins, and Martin Scorsese are among the 40 directors, artists and cinematographers to sign a protesting letter to urge the academy to reverse its policy. Sandra Bullock, Emma Stone and Jon Hamm also signed the letter to support their colleagues.
In a public announcement dated February 11, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said that the awards for cinematography, editing, makeup, and hair styling, and live action short films will be given during the ad breaks at the 2019 Oscars telecast on February 24. The Academy clarified that the viewers will be able to have a look into the edited version of the winner acceptance speeches later in the live broadcast.
The innovative idea is an attempt to make the Oscar telecast shorter and encourage television broadcasting. In 2019, the Academy will hand out 24 Oscars. It is planning to shorten the duration of the ceremony by nearly 40 minutes to three hours this year, announced from the committee.
Russell Crowe called it "a fundamentally stupid decision" and too "dumb for words."
Russell Crowe called the idea ''too dumb for words'' and ''a fundamentally stupid decision.'' Alfonso Cuarón, whose movie Roma is nominated for ten awards this year, including cinematography, was the first industry insiders to speak up. In an emotional tweet, he pointed out that the movie masterpieces have existed without actors, colors, storyline, and music, but not without cinematography.
Gareth Ellis-Unwin, the Oscar-winning producer of The King's Speech and Head of Film and Animation for the skills charity ScreenSkills, also expressed his most profound disappointment by the academy's decision. Moreover, he announced he would not be voting in the last round of the Oscars as a protest.
Furthermore, Ellis-Unwin defended his colleagues who remained behind the scenes saying that every one of them was important in the filmmaking process, including cinematographers, editors, make-up artists, and hair stylists. Not recognizing their roles in the team would be damaging to the industry, concluded Ellis-Unwin.
In its response to the industry, the Academy reassured that no single award category would be underestimated. Furthermore, added from the Academy, the ceremony will be live streamed for the first time this year, and people can watch it online.
What do you think of the new idea of the Academy? Do you support it?