Here at Gold Derby, we absolutely love the Oscars. It’s the Super Bowl of awards shows, after all (only without the funny commercials). However, even we’ll admit that the Oscars are far from perfect. There are various aspects of the ceremony that could be reformed in order to create a better viewing experience for those at home.
In other words, the Oscars are flawed. But they don’t have to remain that way. Below, see our 5 ways to fix the Oscars.
1. Combine the sound categories.
Every year, anonymous Academy members come forward with their tails between their legs, admitting they have no idea what the difference is between Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. If voters don’t care about these two races, why should the rest of us? The Oscars need to combine both sound categories ASAP, just like at the BAFTAs and the Gold Derby Film Awards. Hey, combining these races would even make room on the live ceremony for a brand new category, like …
2. Add a category for casting directors.
It’s crazy to me that the Emmys reward three casting directors each season (drama, comedy and movie/mini), while the Oscars honor none. That’s ridiculous considering the Academy created a new branch for casting directors a year and a half ago, but still haven’t recognized these members with their own award. If the Academy worries that the title of Best Casting Director is too boring for audiences to accept, why not spice it up and call it Best Film Ensemble? Only, instead of the entire cast getting trophies like at the SAG Awards, this long-needed Oscar race would be to recognize the hard-working and under-appreciated casting directors.
3. Stop ignoring voice-over performers.
It’s crazy to me that the Emmys have two races strictly for voice-over performances, while the Oscars only recognize four performances total each year. Let’s face it, the viewing audience wants to see celebs up on that stage, so creating this category would be a step in the right direction. If this race had existed in the past, memorable performances like Robin Williams (“Aladdin”), Ed Asner (“Up”), Scarlett Johansson (“Her”) and Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Hobbit” franchise) could have cleaned up thanks to their impressive vocal chops.
4. Announce the three shorts during the live pre-show.
The three Oscar shorts have been around forever, so eliminating them isn’t an option. But keeping them on the main telecast doesn’t make sense either, since 99% of the audience has no interest in finding out the winners of Best Live Action Short, Best Animated Short or Best Documentary Short. Why not compromise? Still hand out the trophies on Oscar night — during the live red carpet pre-show — instead of rewarding them on live TV in front of billions of people. The Grammys have no problem handing out trophies before the main ceremony, so why do the Oscars? Or maybe do with the Tonys do: dole them out during TV commercial breaks.
5. Be consistent, academy.
If only peer groups can choose nominees, why does everybody get to vote on the winners? If it’s unacceptable to have hair stylists deciding who’ll be nominated for Best Screenplay, why is it OK to let them choose who gets the gold? If there can be five to 10 nominees for Best Picture, why not director, screenplay and other races, too? What’s the logic of that? And speaking of illogical, look at what happened in those categories this year with Bennett Miller being nommed for Best Director but “Foxcatcher” getting snubbed for Best Picture. Huh?
Those are my 5 ways to fix the Oscars. What are yours? Sound off in the comments section below.