By John H. Foote
All short awards are announced and given two weeks earlier at the technical and special awards ceremony. Eliminate production numbers, make the night about the awards, Lean it down. No witty banter, nothing written, these are actors and directors presenting, let them improvise.
House lights to black…fanfare music…
On giant screen, 2018 appears. This is followed by a compilation of scenes from the best films of the year, every nominee is represented. 8:00 minutes
Award for Supporting Actor .. 5 minutes
Award for Supporting Actress .. 5 minutes
Award for Sound…5 minutes
Award for Sound Editing…5 minutes
Award for Film Editing…5 minutes
Compilation of Nominated Songs…8 minutes…no live performances, portions of songs play over clips of film on giant screen.
Award for Best Song…5 minutes
Award for Costume Design…5 minutes
Award for Animated Feature…5 minutes
Award for Documentary Feature…5 minutes
Award for Foreign Language Film…5 minutes
Requiem for Those Lost…6-8 minutes
Award for Best Production Design…5 minutes
Award for Best Visual Effects…5 minutes
Award for Best Musical Score…5 minutes
Award for Best Cinematography…5 minutes
Award for Adapted Screenplay…5 minutes
Award for Original Screenplay…5 minutes
Award for Best Actor…5 minutes
Award for Best Actress…5 minutes
Award for Best Director…5 minutes
Award for Best Picture…5-8 minutes
End telecast with scenes from winning film as credits roll.
The actual reading of the nominees should take no longer than 30 seconds, Best Picture excepted, going to 45 seconds. The remainder of the five minutes will be devoted to the winner’s speech. Three and a half minutes is a lot of time, most will do less.
That is around 120 minutes actual time, some speeches will be shorter than others, some longer. The play-off music should begin at six minutes.
The only ads permitted are trailers of upcoming releases so the industry is paying for the telecast.
Rather than a meandering telecast fraught with commercials, we have a lean, fast-paced, hostless ceremony all about the awards.
ABC should hire me as producer tomorrow. Their Oscar telecast would not exceed two and a half hours and be free of terrible dance and production numbers.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.