As the COVID-19 crisis continues to upend the entertainment industry, one of Hollywood's most hallowed institutions has begun to adapt. When the Oscars take place this spring, things will look very different from the Academy's previous ceremonies. Here's what we know so far about the changes.
They're planning to hold an in-person event.
While many awards shows have been forced to go virtual during the pandemic, the Academy is still planning to stage a live show at the Dolby Theatre. In December, a representative from the Academy and ABC told Variety, "The Oscars in-person telecast will happen." Added an awards publicist, "The Academy has done a walkthrough of the Dolby recently to see all the multiple options."
Now, the a spokesperson for the Academy has revealed that multiple locations, including the historic Dolby Theatre, will be used in the broadcast. “In this unique year that has asked so much of so many, the Academy is determined to present an Oscars like none other, while prioritizing the public health and safety of all those who will participate. To create the in-person show our global audience wants to see, while adapting to the requirements of the pandemic, the ceremony will broadcast live from multiple locations, including the landmark Dolby Theatre. We look forward to sharing more details soon,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
Still, it remains possible that the awards show will also feature a virtual component, as a supplement to the in-person portions.
The awards have been postponed.
Originally, the broadcast was slated for February 28, 2021, but it was rescheduled for April 25, 2021 due to the pandemic. The eligibility window for qualifying films has also been extended, from December 31 of this year to February 28, 2021.
Films won't be required to have a theatrical run.
Previously, the Oscars required that all movies seeking to take home a trophy had to be in theaters. (Specifically, "be shown in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County for a theatrical qualifying run of at least seven consecutive days, during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily," per the Academy's site.) In April 2020, the Academy announced that for the 93rd Oscars only, "films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available on a commercial streaming or VOD service may qualify."
No one has to understand the difference between sound mixing and sound editing anymore.
The Sound Mixing and Sound Editing categories will be collapsed into one, which will recognize "best achievement in Sound that emphasizes the team effort."
Speaking of audio, the Music (Original Score) category will now require that 60% of the score be original music in order to qualify; in "sequels and franchise films," it must have 80%.
Unlike the theatrical release changes, these modifications seem like they're here to stay.
The International Feature Film category is shaking things up.
Academy members will now be able to vote in the category's preliminary round. Those interested will have to opt-in and adhere to a "minimum viewing requirement" to participate.
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