With a traditional personal Oscars at the Dolby Theater unlikely, we asked some industry experts to tell us about the TV show they would like to see:
A comedy writer whose credits include The Simpsons and Late Night With David Letterman, as well as the 2009 Oscars Preshow and 2014 Kennedy Center Honors.
To add to the excitement [best-picture category]I suggest that the Oscars adopt a Miss Universe type of final. Each nominee for best picture would choose someone – let’s say the directors – to represent that film. And the top 5 would be called up from the stage. Take 2020 as an example. The top 5 could be “Little Women”, “Jojo Rabbit”, “The Irishman”, “1917” and “Parasite”. So you have this lovely picture of Greta Gerwig, Taika Waititi, Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, and Bong Joon Ho. They’d all be standing shoulder to shoulder, and Jane Fonda, who was the host, would say, “It’s because of these five finalists . Which one will win the Oscar for best picture? “Then you start with the fourth runner-up. Maybe it’s “Jojo Rabbit”. The third is “Little Women” and the second goes to “The Irishman”. Then you have this lovely moment when Sam Mendes and Bong Joon Ho take hands and everyone’s heart beats. And then they announce that the first runner-up is “1917” which means “Parasite” is the best winner of the year.
If for any reason the Miss Universe winner is unable to complete her duties, the first runner-up takes over. Maybe we add a clause: if one of the producers turns out to be a rapist, they lose [the award] and the runner-up will be the best picture winner for that year.
A comedy writer whose credits include 23 Oscar shows for which he won two Emmys.
Nobody wants to look at a screen full of famous faces. If I were the academy I would forget about Dolby. I would shoot in the academy museum [the organization’s delayed new institution] and do the whole thing about how this year’s movies fit in with movies from the past 93 years. And about the difference between streaming something at home and being in a theater with people. This would be a huge plug for the museum to be on the list with Disneyland and Universal as places to go in LA. Plus, the show would go back to what it’s really about, experiencing movies. You have a million [remote camera setups] for the big nominees so you can go to them when they win and they don’t have to stand there in masks. They can be in their full glory. And [some categories] must be shot before the show. It doesn’t all have to be live except for the winner’s reveal.
Then I think it can go back to what it was. The Oscars are a gigantic source of income for so many people. But this is going to be a special year. Everything is unprecedented right now, so it will be [too]. That doesn’t mean it will set the precedent.
An Emmy-nominated former writer and producer of “Seinfeld”.
Let’s be honest. The caption of every Oscar night is, Wow, see how much better our life is than yours. We wear dresses that cost roughly the entire Tulsa tax base. We hold embarrassing acceptance speeches and can cancel one day later. I mean, just choose that privilege back a little. Hollywood should give up the idea that everyone aspires to be us.
These are not glamorous times, and yet we act as if we were guided by Norma Desmond. Maybe this year they should tone down the office instead of a black tie. Like the red carpet when the best supporting actress says she’s wearing Converse All Stars and LL Bean, audiences may be more open to cleaning up the plastic gyres in the ocean. And do we really need a red carpet? Can’t these people be standing on a sidewalk now? To tell the truth, the first thing you should do is not invite any of the incumbent candidates to attend. Put live remote controls in their homes, perhaps in a room that doesn’t have a view of the indoor and outdoor tide pool, or they aren’t backed up by an original Warhol screen print by Chairman Mao. Don’t you think that accepting an Oscar on a couch with dogs and kids could just humanize these people?
The award-winning comedian, writer and five-time host of the Golden Globes.
I like to see recognition and I like when people are rewarded and when it means something to them, that’s nice. But I also want to see a bit of humility and fun. The audience knows it already has tens of millions [of dollars] This year, and now, we should care about this award as much as she does. Well, that’s a tough question.
Hollywood has taken a hit in the past few years. People were fed up with being taught by millionaires. They have as much right as anyone to say what they want. But it makes me laugh when people are very, very brave until the studio says, “Can you apologize for that tweet?” And they apologize – but they don’t mean it. They are worried about their film. All of these things make the audience step back and say, “Do I believe these people? They pretend to be making a living. “
I think they have to mix it up and laugh a little at themselves. “Thank you, what a wonderful occasion, this is dedicated to my grandmother” – everything is fine. It is when someone takes the stage like everyone in the world has asked for their help in transforming humanity. And they take out their glasses and go, “There are a few things that need to be said and I am the person saying them. Thank god i’m here. “
A BAFTA winner whose credits include “La La Land”. (He’s the one letting viewers know that Moonlight – and not his film, as falsely advertised – actually won the Oscar for Best Picture.)
The experience of being in the room during the Oscars is very different from the experience of seeing them on TV. There’s an intimacy that comes from everyone in the room who has been with everyone over the course of the season. There is this camaraderie that is palpable.
But something about the energy doesn’t quite communicate through the way it’s broadcast on television. You see Oscar shows from the 60s and 70s and they were really small rooms and the way the show was presented seemed to have a more collective sensibility.
Part of my heart wants to come back to the fact that it’s just a dinner with the nominees and the moderators. [Or] a zoom broadcast. [With the Emmys this year] It was an intimacy to see people for who they really are in their homes and who they were with and how they were with them. That was really exciting.
I always wonder why the academy isn’t making more money in the Governors Awards honoring a full career, as opposed to what we raised in a given season. Maybe there is a way to reorganize our priorities as an industry and tell the culture as a whole, “Here are actually the things that matter. It’s not the one who spent the most money on the right ad and put up the best billboards with the best deals. “