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Oscars too long? YOU try producing a 3-hour show

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  • That Don Guy
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    #180997

    A number of people complain that the Oscars are too long, but I don’t see very many people offering up any solutions.  If you were told to squeeze the Oscars into three hours (the way the Emmys manage to do it), what would you do?

    Assume that you are allowed to move some categories into a “pre-show” that runs while the stars are still entering the theater, as long as they are aired somewhere (even if it’s cable – for example, ABC Family, which is the only Disney-owned non-ESPN cable network I can think of off the top of my head – it can’t air on LiveWell as a number of providers, like DirecTV and U-Verse, don’t carry the “digital subchannels” that carry it in most cities).

    There is only one rule that I am “imposing”; out of tradition, you cannot get rid of the performances of the Original Song nominees.

    What I would do:

    Move these categories to the “pre-show”: Live-Action and Animated Short; Visual Effects; Sound Editing; Sound Mixing; and Foreign Language Film.  (The Documentary categories stay on the main program, as I have a feeling a considerable number of “A-listers” want to be able to have the winners “get their message out.”)

    Don’t have a separate song for the In Memoriam performed after the names; if you need a song, perform it while the names are being read.  No, we don’t need to see the person doing the singing for the entire song.

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    Eddy Q
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    #180999

    I mostly agree with everything except Foreign Language Film – that stays on the main show! Whatever happens.

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    patmcb
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    #181000

    I don’t think any of the categories should be moved from the ceremony, keeping with tradition. I do think the ridiculous amount of singing and songs needs to go, despite you saying they shouldn’t. I disagree. It’s not the grammys. I’m watching for film’s sake, not for music’s.

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    Guest2014
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    #181001

    Get rid of all the production numbers.  Every last one of them.  It’s the Academy Awards, not the Academy Production Numbers and Awards. That’s almost an hour right there.  

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    AMG
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    #181002

    I have only watched the Oscars live this year and last, because I live in the UK and it starts at 1:30am going on until 5:15am this year, and about 4:30am-ish last year, and these have been the only years I could realistically watch the ceremony.

    But both years I haven’t felt the ceremony dragged at all. Maybe it’s because I look forward to it all year, and love all the build up and enjoy watching the films and agreeing or disagreeing with who wins and loses. 

    I don’t think any categories should be moved to a pre-ceremony. It just belittles those categories then, as if they aren’t good enough to be in the main show. If they aren’t good enough for that, then are the films nominated good enough to win an Oscar. It’s not as if it is like the Emmys or Grammys, and have countless categories. The Oscars can fit them into a 3/4 hour ceremony. 

    The ceremony needs the performances of the Best Song nominees, it breaks it up a bit. And so do the other musical numbers. If you didn’t have certain categories presented, the performances from the Song nominees, the special performances, the presenters trying their hardest to have great ‘banter’ before they present an award, and all the other stuff that people moan about, then it wouldn’t be the Oscars.

    They are perfect the way that they are. Don’t try and change it.

     

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    keithw
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    #181003

    I never really mind how long the show runs because it is just once a year and it is the “granddaddy” of all award shows!  I think having a pair of presenters present two  (or even three) awards (except the acting, directing, best pic Oscars) is effective.   One pair could present Editing & Set Decoration, the next could present Cinematography & Costume Design, the next Original Song & Score, etc…. This would result in less presenters but that is fine.  Also, a clip of each Best Picture nominee could be shown at the end when the category comes up.   The show might run more smoothly.  

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    Noe
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    #181004

    I don’t think any of the categories should be moved from the ceremony, keeping with tradition. I do think the ridiculous amount of singing and songs needs to go, despite you saying they shouldn’t. I disagree. It’s not the grammys. I’m watching for film’s sake, not for music’s.

    Yes! Don’t touch ANY of the categories. Get rid of musical tributes, maybe present all the nominee songs in one block, extra limited host time, play the song while the in memoriam segment and not before or after, no running gags that waste time.

    All the nominees deserves the spotlight while announced, all the winners deserves time to have their moment and give their words. It’s a film celebration.

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    patmcb
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    #181005

    Yeah I was wondering why Jennifer Hudson sang the tribute song AFTER the very long In Memoriam tribute. Definitely could’ve been during. Also, the In Memoriam is not a place to skimp because of time. Despite disliking her, Rivers should’ve been included.

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    That Don Guy
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    #181006

    Keep in mind that the premise is to keep it a 3-hour show.  Personally, I also like that they show all of the categories live, although there will always be some that are classified what I like to call “Who Cares” categories.  (Case in point: pretty much any response to the statement, “The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman tied for the most Oscars with four.”)  If I had my actual preferences without the time constraint, what I would do is:

    1. Start the ceremony at 7:30 Eastern.  I can understand an 8:30 start if it was still on Monday, or when there was an hour-long Barbara Walters special, but it’s Sunday now.   Nobody in California is going to be in a traffic jam on 405 or 580 when the show starts.  You can have a 30-minute ABC Red Carpet show at 7:00.

    2. Allocate 4 hours to the ceremony.  Please don’t tell me that the eastern ABC stations want it to end “around 11” so they can run their local news.  If it doesn’t run quite four hours, have somebody (Jimmy Kimmel?) show highlights.  If it becomes a recurring problem, then have one of the honorary awards each year given out live (that’s something else I miss).  Imagine if the honorary award given to Charlie Chaplin had been reduced to a 30-second clip.

    If #2 is really a problem, then make it 3 1/2 hours, but seriously enforce the speech time limits – drop the microphone into the floor, or turn off the light at the podium, if you have to.  Do it once, and everybody will get the message.

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    tennisfreak
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    #181007

    I would give up the ghost this is somehow a 3 hour show. It’s just not and hasn’t been since they added makeup and made visual effects and the sound awards permanent. Make it 3 1/2 hours, start at 8 eastern (THAT will help ratings!), and put the honorary awards back in the main show. But go back to the old rules where it wasn’t a must that three or four people got them every year. We used to go YEARS without anyone winning the Thalberg or Hersholt and now it seems to always happen. Have all 3 short film categories presented by the same person or duo (thus cutting out intros), the sound awards done the same, as well as the writing awards and the music awards. No tributes for the 50th anniversary of whatever because I’m sorry but it’s not germane to the business at hand. Also, (and I’m glad it was gone this year) NO MONTAGES!

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    melobruce
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    #181008

    The easiest way to accomodate the time requirements is to alter the time requirements, and deal with the Oscars as if it were the broadcast of a sporting event…it ends when it is over, and if it takes more than 3 hours, good.  I am not one of those anal timekeepers who have to keep to their rigid schedule.
    The Oscars have never been too long, they have always been too short. 
    I would love it if every winner got up to 5 minutes to thank everyone in their life and rant on about anything they would like.  This is a once in a lifetime event for most people, so just give them a few minutes to make a point.  If the show goes overtime, so what?  I would stay glued to my set, as would most people.  The complainers can just go to bed and find out the results the next day.
    Include more, not less.

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