ASC scolds Oscars for cutting category for commercials

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Well, this is getting interesting. According to The Wrap, the president of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), Kees van Oostrum, has sent a strongly worded letter to the organization’s members on Tuesday.

This is in reaction to Academy president John Bailey revealing on Monday that Best Cinematography, along with the categories for Film Editing, Live-Action Short and Make-Up and Hairstyling, would not be presented live and instead be awarded during commercial breaks.

Van Oostrum called The Academy’s move a “most unfortunate decision” and promised to “protest” the decision.

“This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimizing our fundamental creative contributions,” Oostrum said. “We cannot quietly condone this decision without protest.”

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Bailey’s decision has been roundly condemned by past nominees and winners including Guillermo del Toro and this year’s nominees, the director of Roma, Alfonso Cuarón.

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The plan to move some of the categories off the air has prompted a Twitter hashtag, #PresentAll24, urging the Academy to reconsider.

Read the full statement below:

Dear members of the ASC,

Yesterday afternoon the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced that the Best Cinematography presentation — as well as the awards for Film Editing, Live-Action Short and Make-up and Hair Styling — would not be broadcast live but presented in a delayed and edited version during the televised Oscar ceremony. This decision was apparently made in order to shorten the length of the Academy Awards broadcast.

After receiving many comments on this matter from ASC members, I think I speak for many of them in declaring this a most unfortunate decision. We consider filmmaking to be a collaborative effort where the responsibilities of the director, cinematographer, editor and other crafts often intersect. This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimizing our fundamental creative contributions.

The Academy is an important institution that represents our artistry in the eyes of the world. Since the organization’s inception 91 years ago, the Academy Awards have honored cinematographers’ talent, craft and contributions to the filmmaking process, but we cannot quietly condone this decision without protest.

Kees van Oostrum
ASC President

The move has even caused Chicago filmmaker Michael Jolls to launch a change.org petition to demand ABC to keep the awards presentation intact. If you would like to sign it, here.

The Oscars air on ABC on Feb. 24.

More to come…

Source: The Wrap

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