An Oscars meeting took place yesterday between the show’s producers, Steven Soderbergh, Jesse Collins, and Stacey Sher, and the nominees after many of the nominees raised concerns about not being able to be in Los Angeles on April 25 as COVID cases are surging in many places around the world and travel advisories are still in place. Oscar producers had previously said that they expected all nominees and presenters to attend the Oscars in person and that’s just not safe or economical for everyone. On top of the health risks, there are also financial concerns. Keep in mind, even though the marquee nominees probably have the money, so many other nominees aren’t movie stars with movie star bank accounts. So you’re talking about flights and hotels – with several days of quarantine built in.
So now they’re saying that they’ll be providing nominees in Europe the option to head to “hubs” in London and Paris, and they’ll have a live feed set up from those locations although they’re still encouraging anyone who can get to LA to make it to the proper Oscars venue which will be set up as a cocktail party. Per THR:
"We've turned it into kind of a cocktail party, essentially," Soderbergh said. He elaborated, "Nominees will be rotated throughout the evening so we don't exceed the limit in the main road." Nominees who have been rotated out will move to one of two adjacent courtyards, where the pre- and post-show will also take place. Those "will be fun," Collins promised.
To attend? Sure. But to watch? That will be the challenge. I’m an Oscar nerd, so I’m going to be locked in for every single minute. That’s probably not most of the audience though. So how will the show keep them tuned in?
“[Soderbergh] explained that the producers are working on making the ceremony as visually impressive as possible — shooting it in wide-screen, 24 frames per second, with an opening that "is going to make your knees buckle."
I have no doubt the opening will be like a movie. From there though it’ll be really interesting to see how they hold people’s attention. But here’s my favourite part of Scott Feinberg’s report for THR on yesterday’s meeting:
"Are we wearing masks the whole time, even when we are up onstage?" asked one nominee (who is perhaps getting a little ahead of himself or herself). Soderbergh replied, "Bring a mask. It's still in play. And as soon as we know more, we will tell you." He added, "It's that fluid."
Interesting detail here. Because Feinberg could have just been like – during the meeting, someone asked if masks are mandatory and here’s what Soderbergh said. But the story came out like this instead. So… who is getting a little ahead of himself or herself? Here is where I’d like say “F-CKING SORKIN” but I don’t actually think it’s him.