We’re not the only ones reacting to the Oscars tape delay decision with less than excitement. Last year’s Best Director winner Guillermo del Toro, this year’s frontrunner Alfonso Cuarón and others are speaking out about the Academy’s choice to relegate four categories to non-live announcements of their winners. Cinephiles haven’t been happy about any categories being removed from the live broadcast, but learning that Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling and Live Action Short will be given short shrift especially rankles those in front of and behind the camera.
del Toro is (expectedly) most angry about the first two. “If I may: I would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but – Cinematography and Editing are at the very heart of our craft,” he politely but passionately tweeted. “They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition: they are cinema itself.” The sentiment was echoed by retweets from Edgar Wright, Judd Apatow and every film nerd you know. Also, unsurprisingly, his ride-or-die friend Cuarón weighed in on Twitter, saying, “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.” In addition to being a nominee for director, Cuarón is also favored to win Best Cinematography for shooting “Roma” so this may hit particularly close to home.
But the backlash isn’t just limited to the Oscar nominees and winners who are most likely to be directly affected. “A Quiet Place” is nominated for sound editing, and its writers and producers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods tweeted in solidarity, ““So excited to watch the Oscars this year because it’s a few minutes shorter!” – millennial who still wont watch the Oscars.”
Filmmaker Scott Derrickson quote tweeted The Hollywood Reporter’s announcement of the news with, “Now I have four more reasons to never watch the Oscars.” Seth Rogen, who’s a director on top of his more visible work as an actor, tweeted, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to not publicly honor the people’s who’s job it is to literally film things.” Director Lexi Alexander responded to the news with earned fire: “It’s amazing who we think deserves an Academy award at all, who we dump to the tech award show and now, who we decide doesn’t deserve screen time. Meantime…ever tried to make a movie without AD department?”
Award-winning director and cinematographer Reed Morano posted on Instagram, saying “WHEN RATINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE THING YOU’RE CELEBRATING. OF COURSE THE REVENUE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ART! (THAT MAKES THE REVENUE) SO THE EASIEST THING TO DO IS JUST FOLD INTO LINE INSTEAD OF STANDING UP FOR THE ART YOU YOURSELF CREATE. JUST ANOTHER DAY IN HOLLYWOOD, FOLKS. ????????????????????????” This is the one time all caps might be merited.
If I may: I would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but – Cinematography and Editing are at the very heart of our craft. They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition: they are cinema itself.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) February 12, 2019
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
I know the idea is for ABC to get higher Oscar ratings with a shorter show, but I don't think dropping key categories such as cinematography, editing & makeup / hair will bring in many new viewers. Treat these artists with the respect they deserve & just have a long show, dammit.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) February 13, 2019
Now I have four more reasons to never watch the Oscars. https://t.co/zvtajt5IuM
— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) February 12, 2019
It’s amazing who we think deserves an Academy award at all, who we dump to the tech award show and now, who we decide doesn’t deserve screen time. Meantime…ever tried to make a movie without AD department?
— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) February 11, 2019
What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to not publicly honor the people’s who’s job it is to literally film things.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) February 12, 2019
“So excited to watch the Oscars this year because it’s a few minutes shorter!” – millennial who still wont watch the Oscars https://t.co/Ma4p4bbx7l
— Beck/Woods (@beckandwoods) February 11, 2019
What an insult to award two of the most essential
Qualities of film making in the commercial breaks.
This is a misguided act that robs the awards of
Whatever relevance remains. It’s now just a platform
— William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin) February 12, 2019
The Academy is removing cinematography, editing and make up from the televised show?
This is just such a fundamentally stupid decision, I’m not even going to be bothered trying to be a smart arse about it.
It’s just too fucking dumb for words.
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) February 12, 2019
@TheAcademy Without editing and cinematography you have words on a page or actors on a stage but you sure as hell don’t have a movie.
— Rachel Morrison (@morrisondp) February 12, 2019
Why do I always work with DP Tami Reiker and editor Teri Shropshire? Because in achieving the vision we are inextricably linked. They are main stage not commercial breaks. @TheAcademy
— Gina Prince-Bythewood (@GPBmadeit) February 12, 2019
For an awards do that is supposed to be by the industry, for the industry, the Academy sure doesn’t have a lot of respect for the crew who put in most of the work. https://t.co/ICsv8zKaAm
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) February 12, 2019
A lot of filmmakers I respect are up in arms about this year’s #Oscars, but I think it was a brave choice for the academy to remove the “viewers” category
— Joss Whedon (@joss) February 12, 2019
Come on Oscars!! @TheAcademy— Editors and Cinematographers are true artists who are hands-on involved in nearly every facet of a film. They are PARTNERS with the director. It's crazy and defeating that you're not including them in the broadcast.
— Richard Shepard (@SaltyShep) February 12, 2019
Cinematography and editing are two of the most crucial things that make or break a movie! Why ghetto-ize certain categories? Are we honoring achievement in film or just staring at celebrities? So disrespectful. https://t.co/96eBcNfeRM
— Jennifer Tilly (@JenniferTilly) February 12, 2019
Gross decision. https://t.co/25M5lQQ1u4
— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) February 11, 2019