×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Editors Guild President Blasts Oscars Plan: ‘It Just Isn’t a Good Idea’

Editors Guild President Alan Heim has joined the chorus of dissent to the Academy’s plans to present four Oscar categories during commercial breaks and air the moments in condensed form later in the telecast.

In an email sent Thursday night to the 8,100 members of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, Heim voiced his union’s opposition to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ decision, which will affect the awards for best film editing, cinematography, live-action short, and makeup and hairstyling when those are presented on Feb. 24. He asked AMPAS to reverse its decision, which was announced on Feb. 11.

“It doesn’t matter which categories are affected this year or next; none of them should be,” he said. “The very idea is anathema to the collaborative nature of filmmaking. The Academy has historically honored ALL of the crafts involved in filmmaking and the search for better TV ratings shouldn’t affect that. We have always been told that the Academy honors the very best in filmmaking, but removing some categories from equal acknowledgement on the air seems to contradict that narrative.”

Heim won the Academy Award for best film editing in 1980 for “All That Jazz” and was nominated in the category in 1977 for “Network.”

“I have tremendous respect for the Academy’s Board of Governors,” he added. “I know they never intended any disrespect to the ‘below the line’ crafts. And as editors we understand the value of effective, concise storytelling. But, when a change is so difficult to explain to the audience, perhaps it just isn’t a good idea.”

The Intl. Cinematographers Guild, the American Society of Cinematographers and the American Cinema Editors have also voiced opposition to the plan, along with numerous directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan and Spike Lee and actors including Brad Pitt, Emma Stone and George Clooney.

The full text of Heim’s letter to Editors Guild members appears below:

Dear members,

In its mandate to shorten the Academy Awards’ telecast, the Academy has insulted all of us who work “below the line.” Many of our members and those of other IATSE Locals are understandably upset.

The people who watch the Awards across the nation and the world should be fully exposed to ALL of the crafts that go into the creation of a film.  The Awards should be entertaining but they are also an opportunity to enrich the film-going experience of the audience by informing them of the creativity our crafts bring to every project. How many people over the years have been motivated to pursue careers in film after watching the Awards? The educational value may be even more important than the entertainment.

It doesn’t matter which categories are affected this year or next; none of them should be. The very idea is anathema to the collaborative nature of filmmaking. The Academy has historically honored ALL of the crafts involved in filmmaking and the search for better TV ratings shouldn’t affect that. We have always been told that the Academy honors the very best in filmmaking, but removing some categories from equal acknowledgement on the air seems to contradict that narrative.

There is much outcry for the Academy to reverse its decision, and the Motion Picture Editors Guild joins those voices. If it does not reverse its decision, let us all do everything we can to see that this demeaning experiment will not be repeated.

Yours in solidarity,

Alan Heim, ACE
President, Motion Picture Editors Guild IATSE Local 700

More Film

  • Unicorn Store Trailer

    Watch the First Trailer for Brie Larson's Directorial Debut, 'Unicorn Store'

    Brie Larson is seeking salvation from Samuel L. Jackson in Neflix’s first trailer for her directorial debut, the offbeat comedy-drama “Unicorn Store.” Larson is portraying a lonely 20-something dreamer who’s been kicked out of art school. She’s forced to move back home with her parents and take a temp job at a PR agency. But [...]

  • Patti Rockenwagner

    Chief Brand Officer Patti Röckenwagner Leaves STX Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Patti Röckenwagner is leaving STX Entertainment where she has served as the company’s chief brand officer. She announced her departure in a memo to staff, in which she said she was departing for “another opportunity.” The exit is an amicable one. Röckenwagner joined STX in 2016 as its chief communications officer before being promoted to [...]

  • Gabrielle Union

    10 Things We Learned at Variety’s 2019 Entertainment Marketing Summit

    Variety’s 2019 Entertainment Marketing Summit, which brought top execs to Hollywood’s NeueHouse on Thursday, covered considerable ground. From cutting through the noise in an oversaturated media landscape to welcoming exciting technology like virtual reality, industry veterans offered insight into what to expect from the marketing world in coming years. Here are 10 things we learned [...]

  • Orange Studio, OCS Join Forces On

    Orange Studio, OCS Join Forces on Flurry of High-Profile Series

    Following “The Name of the Rose”(pictured) and “Devils,” France’s Orange has unveiled four internationally-driven series projects as part of its commitment to step into premium original shows with its film/TV division Orange Studio and pay TV group OCS both of board. Currently in development, the social western “Cheyenne & Lola,” the dance-filled workplace drama “The [...]

  • 'This Isn’t Spinal Tap': Dishing the

    'This Isn't Spinal Tap': Dishing the Dirt on Motley Crue's Surprisingly Dark Biopic

    The new, eagerly awaited Motley Crue biopic, based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling 2001 book, “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band,” premieres today on Netflix after a seemingly endless 13 years in development hell. Those anticipating “a fun ‘80s music movie,” as Crue bassist Nikki Sixx puts it, will inevitably be stunned [...]

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' Nabs $7.4 Million on Thursday Night

    Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller “Us” opened huge with $7.4 million on Thursday night in North America. The figure easily topped Thursday preview numbers for “The Nun” at $5.4 million and “A Quiet Place” at $4.3 million and nearly matched “Halloween” at $7.7 million. Projections for Universal’s “Us,” Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to 2017’s “Get Out,” have been in [...]

  • Beatriz Bodegas on Netflix Original: ‘Who

    ‘Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?’ Producer on New Spanish Netflix Original

    BARCELONA – “Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?” is the second directorial outing from Spain’s Jota Linares (“Animales sin collar”) a Netflix Original premiering on Friday, March 22 in competition at the Malaga Spanish Language Film Festival. Starring María Pedraza, Jaime Lorente, Pol Monen and Andrea Ros, the film is the movie adaptation [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content