- The Oscar films are more polarizing than ever after suffering their worst ratings in the recorded story last year and beating opposites ranging from #OscarsSoWhite to the popular Oscar category, to drama around Kevin Hart. 1
- Business Insider spoke with former Oscar show producers, academic voters and producers of other live TV programs to investigate what went wrong.
- The 91st Academy Awards fly February 24 on ABC.
Since 1929, the Oscar ceremony has been the biggest night in Hollywood. But you really care
It feels like the Oscar's are in an uneven crossing, from the telecast's winding grades to its lack of diversity – which was pushed forward and in the center of #OscarsSoWhite in 2015 – to this year's host frames and removal of categories from the live broadcast.
But some in Hollywood believe their big night has been on life support for some time.
Business Insider spoke with former Oscar show producers, Academic voters and awards show that they have learned about the many attempts over the past two decades to make the Oscar exhibition more modern. Despite these attempts, the show always seems to return to its more traditional form, and many in the industry find it a horrible trend.
"The exhibition must change," Bill Mechanic, an Oscar-nominated producer who resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board last year, told Business Insider. "But not in a way that it is watered down in the form of its artistic measurement, it should actually be preserved."
Here we investigate what has gone wrong with the Academy prizes and what needs to be resolved.
Where new ideas will die
The last time the Oscar did not host was in 1989, and that year will forever be known for having the worst opening in the show's history: an 11 minute musical number that followed Snow White as she navigated through various eras of Hollywood and all her glamor. She ended up doing a duet with – wait for it – Rob Lowe.
The setback was immediate, including Disney, who accused the Academy of using the likeness of Snow White, and changed the Oscar show's time forever. An audit committee was set up to review the show from top to bottom, leading former DGA President Gil Cates to produce the show the following year. He joined Billy Crystal as host, leading to Oscar's golden years. Gates, who died in 2011, produced the show a record 14 times, including the 1970s academic award in 1998 when the "Titanic" won the best picture, and the show was seen by over 57 million viewers, the most seen in history.
Everything that surrounds 2019 Oscar makes it feel like the show is facing another moment when change is needed.
After record low scores of last year's show, the Academy's attempts to recover have been alleviated by poor publicity.
When the word met in August that a popular movie category on the Oscar was considered, the outbreak came from both the public and the industry. Then in early December Kevin Hart left the host of the year's show after a rebellion over his previous homophobic comments and left the evening without a host. It was followed by a brief attempt to steer the show's driving time by cutting out some of the shows from the best nominated songs and a new plan, announced Monday to release some technical awards during commercial breaks.
The closure of some awards to commercial breaks has regretted many in Hollywood.
"To be on the show and your prize not to be worthy, I think it's a little insulting," Lili Fini Zanuck, who produced 72nd Oscar 2000 with her husband Richard D. Zanuck (the two produced the best winner "Driving Miss Daisy "), told Business Insider about the decision not to televise all 24 price categories.
This type of uneven operation of the academy is exactly the reason Bill Mechanic resigned from his board last year.
In a strongly formulated farewell letter that Variety got his hands on, Mechanic – a former Fox executive producer of the 82nd Oscars 2010 and producer of Best Picture nominee "Hacksaw Ridge" – said they had "failed to move the Oscar in modern times . "He said the show was" long and boring "and that in the last decade," so many less independent films had been nominated that the Oscar felt that they would be handed out in a tent. "
"All my criticism when I finished the board is still valid," said Mechanic recently to Ins Insider. "The easiest thing about the Academy, which is what led me to teach up, is that you have the best artists working, period and that membership is not used to the extent it should be is wrong for me … Every idea should be considered. "
And ideas to make the ceremony more appealing to look at are busy every year, they usually just don't stay.
Several former Oscar show producers told Business Insider that suggestions for something like a popular Oscar category, or limits the number of awards presented during the live broadcast, are not new. They have been kicked around in the academy for over a decade. But the fact that these ideas are now in the way of serious consideration shows how serious the situation is for the exhibition.
Zanuck recalled the efforts to make the show look modern in the year when she and her husband were in control in 2000.
"I felt it was a television show and the live audience was somewhat irrelevant because they was mostly there as nominated, "she said. "What I wanted to do was make it a broadcast. And to do that, you had to watch the other programs that worked at the time, like the MTV Movie Awards and the Video Awards. They were not only interesting but had a speed and a pacing to them. "
So the zanucks drew the old Hollywood sets of former Oscar and dressed the scene with 35-foot columns consisting of HD monitors stacked on top of each other . Throughout the night, the screens would show clips from previous Oscar shows that the presenters took the stage. And instead of a live orchestra playing music through the show, Zanucks had a pop music score. They also gave viewers at home a deeper look in the exhibition by cutting to the shots of what was on the back.
It seemed to work.
Visan, hosted by Crystal, took in nearly 47 million viewers, a bump from the 46 million who watched it the year before when "Shakespeare in Love" shocked the world and won the best picture of "Saving Private Ryan." It was actually the highest ranked show of this millennium. Zanucks seemed to have updated the show in a way that still celebrated its history but was more engaging for the viewers to watch at home.
But outside the short pictures on the back, many of the things that were done at the 72nd Oscar were not used again.
"They needed to continue building on this idea, I had it so it's a TV show," Zanuck said. "After we made our year, they went back to old sets, something from the 1920s that just took you somewhere, you had already been. That it was old-fashioned again did not help. There was no freshness."
Mechanic said he had his own popular Oscar idea the year he and the producer director Adam Shankman ("What Men Want") did the Oscar in 2010. He wanted a selection of films nominated for the viewers' election Oscar. People at home would vote during the show. But he said it fell on deaf ears.
"Many people in the academy do not want to change anything and I think they are wrong, not from a purist point of view, but from an entertainment point of view," says Mechanic.
No host is the best that could have happened
Because the Academy is so resilient to change, the Oscar cannot have a host, which may be good for this year's telecast, as it forces everyone involved to get out of their comfort zone.
"If you book presenters properly and they are big enough stars, you don't need a host," said Jeff Margolis , who led the Oscars exhibition eight times, many of them on the show's celebration days next to Cates.  And Margolis knows little about doing the show without hosting. The first Oscar he directed was in 1989, last time Although the show did not have one, although that show was notorious because of the Snow White opening, Margolis believes what Allan Carr, this year's producer, was right to book interesting presenters.
"Allan called it," couples, companions and friends, "Margolis said about how they put together the presenters. "And it really worked."
The exhibition featured presenters ranging from hot "the" couple of time (Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) to the legendary duo of the films ("Vertigo" stars Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak).
Shankman, who produced 82th Oscar with Mechanic, pulled off the rare two-person host file with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin (the show was one of the highest ranked in the last decade). But his favorite moments didn't mean the hosts.
"My year we had Robert Downey Jr. and Tina Fey presented original script, and I could have seen them all night, they weren't the hosts," he said. ” onerror=”this.style.display=’none;'” class=”lazy” src=”https://www.businessinsider.in/thumb/msid-60085318,width-640,resizemode-4/default-businessinsider-india.jpg” data-original=”https://static-ssl.businessinsider.com/image/5c5c8ea45a148f3c90200b06-1793/rob lowe snow white ap.jpg” title=”” width=”” height=””/>
Producers who have made larger live television programs than the Oscar agree that the lack of hosting is not a big deal.
"People don't like a host that does shtick anymore," Ron Basile, a producer at AEG Ehrlich, the production company for veteran Grammy's producer Kenneth Ehrlich, told Business Insider.
And Ian Stewart – who has worked at everything from the 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies to Victoria's Secret Fashion Show – believes in today's world, it's less about finding the right host and more about creating virus content that can spread on Social Media.
"I really have a checklist of my productions of what are the 10 viruses we hope to facilitate," he says. "I think it is up to us to create the viral moments."
disrupt the inflated price period?
With some changes coming to this year's Oscars, and some of this year's largest block busters are nominated for best picture ("Black Panther", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "A Star Is Born"), the telecast can be led to a recurring year.
But even though 91st Oscar is produced in a way that keeps viewers engaged, it's still a question of the season's ceremony taking place, which many believe is hurt for the show.
Since the beginning of Oscar for almost one centuries ago, many other price exhibitions have sprung up around
 Read more : The 21 greatest Oscar upsets of all time, ranked
There are about 14 award ceremonies before Oscar, from the s About are television sets (Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, Critics Choice Awards, Independent Spirit Awards) to the many more who are not (Gotham Awards, the National Society of LM Critics Awards, Producer Guild, Directors Guild, Screenwriters Guild). And because of social media and the horse leaders' coverage of the Oscars leadership, many are burned out when the big night comes.
"I love movies and I'm in the business, and I'm even tired of seeing Hollywood pat the back so many times, says one academic voter.
Many in the Academy believe that the Oscar must happen before.
"Cannibalization of tonight's specialty is probably, in my opinion, the only worst for Oscar," Shankman said.
And this is not just a new issue, but Shankman reminded how obsessed everyone on the team was about every aspect of all the price exhibitions that led to their Oscar 2010, so they "We had a giant board with all the show that happened before the Oscar," he said. "We just stared at it and it looked like we were in a book office. It had flow charts that went out and presented what." We tracked who showed up at each prize giving. I looked at Bill and was like, "How are we doing this specifically?" "
In the dog-hound world that is Hollywood, many find that the biggest dog needs to own the grass better, and it seems that the Academy has finally hit on. By 2020, the Oscar will fly on February 9, with the earliest as the show But some think it should be in January.
"The problem with doing so is that voters have not had enough chance to watch the movies, and that would be essentially a war on all these other shows" , The Hollywood Reporter
Read more : Here is the full list of 2019 Oscar nominations
"They're going to make everyone else fit into a smaller window," says Chris Beachum, Gold Derby Chief Editor. "These events that are not televisions, they all depend on this evening being a great moneymaker for themselves – selling programs, ads, tables. They can't afford to give up that night. So now you will cause all these awards turn out to fit into a much smaller window. "
Some are not as compassionate about this potential dilemma to the price season.
"The Academy is going to push everyone into life in terms of awards," Mechanic said. "There is an award that plays a role and that is the only thing to protect. There is nothing else that matters."
ABC has more control over the show than ever before
As for Oscar, there is no way to satisfy everyone
As Margolis put it: "From the bleaching from black to fade at the end, everybody is looking for something to hate during that show. "
But despite the fact that all negative reviews were published the following day, and complaints that go viral showing is still a huge moneymaker for ABC.
The network, which in 2016 extended its contract to fly the Oscar's until 2028, has consistently increased the cost of the ad slots running under the telecast. In 2017, it was $ 1.91 million per 30 second spot; last year it was $ 2 million; and this year, $ 3 million.
It's a phenomenon that happens to all living "must-see" TVs: ratings slip, but brands still believe it's worth being there.
"If you are a sponsor and you are trying to reach some kind of mass appeal, you sort of grab on platforms that can still do that," says CNN media critic Brian Lowry. "The Oscar is the same as the sport has an advantage, if you really participating in Oscar, you do not want the DVR and watch the next day. I would not be surprised to see Netflix, Amazon or HBO piling up for some ads during the Oscars to start your new spring showing that it will be one of the last major platforms to reach many people. "
But ABC now does more than just sell ads.
The network goes by standing back and letting the academy have full control Over the show, which was how it had been for decades, one of the requirements of the 2016 contract extension was that ABC now has more to say in important creative aspects of the show. The choice of host and producer is now a discussion between ABC and the Academy (also if the Academy has final words) That's why over the past two years you have seen much more ABC / Disney elements on the show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and using Disney titles in his stunts.
Sources told Business Insider ABC for years has wanted the show to be only three hours long, so that there will be one year that had the worst values ever, it is sure that the network has more leverage than ever when it comes to driving id.
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"There will come a time when ABC expects that the Academy will continue to deliver the product they thought they bought "Feinberg said. "So far since this contract was extended, I do not think they can be so happy with what they have."
"This has to be said, no one shows this to fail," said Shankman. "Everyone goes in for desperately doing the best job they can and honoring in the evening and to honor the people involved. Even the years that have been lowest in grades have been wonderful parts of the show. "
But it is difficult to balance all the forces at stake: ratings, artistic integrity, tradition, freshness. Often what you end up with is a show that
"The exhibition has stopped being what it should be, which is a way of acknowledging each other," Zanuck said. "That's why it started out as a dinner. No one was worried about what someone in Oklahoma was thinking. When it sounds like you need a little gimmick to get people to watch it is so desperate and I believe in many ways that the desperate feeling is what is Winning an Oscar must mean something. If it continues with these gasping for flight paths, I don't know where it can go. "
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not respond to Business Insiders' many requests to comment on this story.