A backlash is brewing over the decision made by the Oscars to snub the cinematography, editing, live-action short and make-up and hair styling awards into the ad breaks of this year’s ceremony.
As well as movie heavyweights like Guillermo Del Toro and Russell Crowe slamming the decision, the body which represents many US cinematographers has now weighed in.
In a letter to his 380 members, the president of the American Society of Cinematographers, Kees van Oostrum, has said: “We cannot quietly condone this decision without protest.”
“We consider filmmaking to be a collaborative effort where the responsibilities of the director, cinematographer, editor and other crafts often intersect,” he added.
“This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimizing our fundamental creative contributions.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, van Oostrum added that it was ‘unfortunate that the Academy was forced to do this’.
According to the plans, the winners’ speeches will air later on in the broadcast, and there are plans to rotate the awards which miss out for 2020.
THR also reports that according to certain sources, the cinematographers branch of the Academy volunteered to be bumped into the ad breaks.
The move has been made in order to shorten the notoriously lengthy ceremony.
But it’s not gone down at all well.
Guillermo Del Toro, who won Best Picture for The Shape of Water last year, said: “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.”
Alfonso Cuaron, a previous winner and a nominee this year for Roma, added: “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.”
Russell Crowe, in his usual uncompromising style, also tweeted: “The Academy is removing cinematography and editing and make up from the televised show? This is just such a fundamentally stupid decision, I’m not even going to bothered trying to be a smart arse about it.
“It’s just too f**king dumb for words.”
Alec Baldwin said: “To hand out these awards in such a flagrantly dismissive fashion is unconscionable. Cinematography? An afterthought? The Academy keeps sinking lower and lower w these ideas.”
Many others have chimed in too.
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
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
For every young person who might watch the Oscars and dream of one day being an editor or cinematographer or make-up artist, I hope you enjoy all the musical numbers.
— Jason Reitman (@JasonReitman) February 12, 2019
The irony is, without cinematography, editing, and hairstyling and makeup, this Oscars cermony is going to be a live action short. https://t.co/raEj3n5sof
— Colin Hanks (@ColinHanks) 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
The Oscars happen on February 24.