Steven Poster, ASC — president of IATSE Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild — has delivered the statement below regarding the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ announced structure of their upcoming Academy Awards program. Specifically, it addresses the way four Oscar presentations — for Cinematography, Editing, Make-Up and Hair Styling and Live-Action Short Film — will be depicted in the telecast of their 91st annual ceremony, to be held on Sunday, February 24:
The news that the Academy had decided to alter the Oscars telecast by shortening certain craft awards was extremely disheartening. Rather than rush to judgment, we immediately reached out to President John Bailey to express our deep concern. While John assured us that all of the nominees in each craft would be noted during the broadcast and the time would be saved by cutting the walk to the stage and perhaps in acceptance speeches, we still find this development troubling. It appears to elevate some crafts over others in what is, at its heart and soul, a collaborative process.
Every member of every branch of the Academy knows the vital role played by below the line artists in elevating Actors, Directors and Films to become nominees themselves. The Foundation of movies is built from images created by Cinematographers, without whom films would just be radio. Acknowledging exceptional Cinematography accomplishment supports the artists who propel the discipline forward and benefits all the other members of the Academy who collaborate in creating films of distinction.
You'll find the ASC's notice on this issue here.