Do not Anticipate Any Zoom At The Oscars

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If you’ve been wondering what the Oscars will be like this year, then a few details emerge. We already know the Oscar show will be split between two locations, but more are coming out now. In particular, in a letter to producer nominees Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher, and Steven Soderbergh, they revealed that this is going to feel like a personal event for the most part. Yes, that means, among other things, no zoom. You can read the full letter below, but it’s an interesting plan, if a little inconvenient, as the current pandemic is hardly behind us. Regardless, it’s pretty ambitious, and that’s nice at least …

Now here is the letter:

Congratulations on your Oscar nomination! To borrow the words of an annoying flight attendant, we are honored to be a part of your trip. We trust that you are glad that your fellow artists recognized you in an exceptional year, and it is our desire, as your producers, to create a nominee experience that lives up to and enhances that achievement.

The first – and most obvious – point we’re trying to get across with this year’s show is STORIES MATTER. We as a species are wired for the narrative. This is how we communicate. This is how we learn. This is how we develop. We are surrounded by stories, we swim in them, they are inevitable. And FILMS are – we think – the most powerful form of storytelling ever invented. It is an art form that is unique to the mix of so many other art forms, along with the unique skills required to perform them well. Then there is the final piece: the audience. The fact that a movie can be watched by millions of people in large groups around the world at the same time is another reason for its remarkable reach and enduring influence.

So if stories are important, then the PEOPLE who bring those stories to life are important. Namely YOU. To ensure that EVERY candidate receives the same meaning, we hope that you agree to be interviewed (briefly) to help us tell the story of your journey by April 25th. We want to highlight the connections between all of us who work in the films and show that the process is uniquely intimate, collaborative, and fun (usually. Hopefully?).

In terms of the practical aspects of the show, we plan to host an intimate, in-person event at Union Station in Los Angeles with additional show elements live from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Your first thought, of course, is, CAN THIS BE DONE SECURELY? The answer is YES, IT CAN. We treat the event as an active film set with specially designed test cadences to ensure up-to-date results, including an on-site COVID security team with PCR testing capabilities. There are special instructions for those of you traveling from outside of Los Angeles and other instructions for those of you who are already residents of Los Angeles. This will all come to you straight from the academy to ensure you have a safe, carefree evening (a glimpse into the future?).

For those of you who are unable to attend due to appointments or ongoing discomfort while traveling, we want you to know that there is no option to make the show bigger. We will go out of our way to bring you all personally and all millions of movie fans around the world a safe and ENJOYABLE evening, and we believe the virtual cause will diminish those efforts.

Our speech about speeches. We believe the show isn’t “too long” because of the speeches. Having said that, we’d like to say THAT: with great freedom comes great responsibility, and if you’re wondering what exactly we mean by that, we mean READ THE ROOM. To tell a story. When you thank someone, say their name, not their title. Don’t say MY MANAGER, PEGGY, just say PEGGY. Do it personally. The audience leans back when they see a winner with a piece of paper in hand. The good news is that you should be fairly relaxed at the time of the show, as you have attended a pre-show meetup in the courtyard of Union Station with your nominees and their guests (ONLY nominees and their guests) for the past ninety minutes Show by the way. Oh, and the moderators!). We strive for a feeling of informal exchange and a good mood.

You are wondering about the dress code (should you). We’re aiming for a fusion of inspirational and aspirational, which in actual terms means that formal is totally cool when you want to go there, but it’s really not casual.

After all, a lot has been lost and a lot has changed since the last Oscars. We will recognize that we are reminding viewers of the power and necessity of stories that move us forward, and how films in particular create a special kind of connection between people around the world.

We look forward to seeing you on April 25th.

With all our movie love

Jesse
Stacey
Steven

93rd Oscar Maker

Stay tuned for more …

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