President of International Cinematographers Guild calls Academy decision a humiliation

"Never Look Away" © Sony Pictures Classics

The Academy faced more anger from the film industry this week as filmmakers, actors, cinematographers and editors vented their frustration on social media and signed open letters condemning the changes in the live broadcast with 4 Oscar categories being altered.

The National President of the International Cinematographers Guild said that the decision to cut the Oscars broadcast in order to save time was “humiliating” for the winners according to Variety. However in another turn of events actors Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Elizabeth Banks, Robert De Niro and director Quentin Tarantino joined a chorus of filmmakers in signing an open letter to the Academy urging the decision be reversed.

In another open letter, this time, issued by the Academy, AMPAS stressed that all categories would be featured during the broadcast and that a vote had been held in August regarding the altered broadcast where time spent walking to and from the stage would be edited out. Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling and Live Action Short winners would instead be announced by presenters, and have their speeches featured later in the broadcast. However it is understood that the winning speeches will not be live, therefore the winners of those categories will not be seen by audiences around the world in the same context. This appears to be one of the main issues filmmakers have with the decision, and they are also dismayed that commercial breaks are ‘replacing’ filmmakers in these 4 key areas of film production instead of showing them.

Film editing and cinematography are essential to filmmaking therefore any diminished status of these categories in the broadcast is being scrutinized by filmmakers, but it is unlikely that the format will change significantly despite the criticism.

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