Yesterday's Academy luncheon not only provided a sew of red carpet opportunities for this year's nominees, but a new dose of buzz for the upcoming Oscar show as well. Awards Campaign reported last month on some of the plans for Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman's inaugural run as telecast producers, but the duo let more out of the bag with select media and honorees in attendance during the get together. Here are some of the more intriguing or depressing (take your pick) revelations:
No Best Song performances
Reports indicate that the producers informed the nominees during the luncheon that none of the nominated songs would be performed live by the nominees (or guest stars for that matter). Instead, the songs will be interspersed with footage of the films throughout the show (no doubt under :30 each). While this has been tweaked a number of times over the years this deviates from a long standing tradition and it appears a few of the honorees are "outraged" they won't be able to get their moment on the big stage. However, considering that there is zero starpower in this year's pool, the producers are lucky they won't have much blowback to deal with (although previous winner Randy Newman will no doubt make his voice heard to the Academy's Executive Committee).
Keep those speeches short, duh
Both Mechanic and Shankman told the nominees to please keep their speeches as short as possible and to not rattle off a laundry list of people they'd like to thank. Those should be left for the thank you cam which will save those moments of appreciation for the internet. Additionally, Shankman volunteered, "If you need help preparing a speech, ask a writer you know or call us."
Are the five former winners returning or going?
In conflicting reports, its still unclear whether the five former winners innovation from last year's show will remain for the acting nods. Buzz indicated it was staying, but while talking to the LA Times Mechanic seemed to indicate it was...going, "[Last year's producers] did a lot of things well and moved the show forward in a lot of ways, but we're not going to do the same show." Status? TBD for now.
As previously noted, get ready for Young Hollywood
This year's Oscar telecast is going to go heavy on the younger side of the business. Besides Taylor Lautner, look for younger-set stars like Channing Tatum, Zac Efron and [insert tween favorite here]. Still, the producers know its a balancing act and have been trying to get more established stars to come on board as well. Of course, those stars have to get all dolled up for the big night and, well, let's just say the list of A-list names who have agreed to appear is much shorter than you'd expect.
The show will start with a taped "what the awards mean to me" piece
Mechanic revealed the show will begin with an edited short on "what the awards mean to me. Diablo Cody, Renee Zellweger and director Davis Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth") are just a few of the former winners who will be included. (Oh, and then get ready for a big musical number with hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin...but, shhh, don't tell!)
Your Oscar dancers may include contestants from "So You Think You Can Dance"
Rumors have been floating about this for awhile, but no one was really taking it seriously. That appears to be a mistake. Someone needs to let Adam Shankman know this is the Oscars and not the Emmys. Shoot, even MTV wouldn't take "SYTYCD" dancers. Classy.
Look for more Oscar revelations as we get closer to the big show on March 7.
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