Have you ever been watching the Oscars, clapped for someone who just won an Award and then been bored by their overly long and drawn out acceptance speech where they thank everyone from the director and cast to their pet gold fish? Well, those days may very well be behind you with this latest change to the Academy Awards.
Reuters is reporting that all nominees were asked by Academy Awards producers – Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic – to prepare two speeches to give if they should win: one speech for when they receive their award on stage, explaining to the audience what winning an Oscar means to them, and a second speech where winners can thank any and everyone they want in front of a special “Thank You cam” backstage.
Suddenly sitting through the Oscars sounds a lot more appealing, no?…
Contenders for the top honors – including George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges – gathered on Monday for the annual Oscar Nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills and in traditional style they were given tips on what their acceptance speech should be like. Mechanic called long thank you-filled speeches, “the single most-hated thing on the show.”
I’d make a case for those annoying montages, but I digress…
The backstage thank you videos will be posted on the Internet and the winners will be able to do what they like with them, from showing friends and family to posting them on their Facebook pages. This isn’t a mandatory thing but rather a strong suggestion (read: if most people follow instructions but a couple don’t, then the latter are going to stick out), and to persuade the nominees, they were shown past acceptance speeches from people like Renee Zellwegger, who gave the type of speech the producers are looking for.
This isn’t the first change the Academy has made to the proceedings this year: First there was the expansion of the Best Picture category from five to ten nominees, and more recently came the news that the Oscar statuettes will have the winners’ names engraved at the Governors Ball immediately following the ceremony, as opposed to having the engravings done weeks later. 197 nameplates (to factor in all winners) – featuring the name, category, film title and the year – will be made in advance and then put onto the statuettes immediately after the awards show.
Needless to say, the Academy is going all-out to try and jazz things up and bring in more viewers for this year’s awards ceremony. The fact that ten movies are nominated for Best Picture as opposed to the usual five means that more audience-friendly (read: popular) movies were nominated (like The Blind Side and Up) that arguably may not have been included on the list if it were only five.
Are you someone who gets sick of acceptance speeches that go on and on with a million thank yous? What do you make of the strong possibility that we won’t be seeing much of that anymore in the winners’ stage speeches? Will you go out of your way to watch the “thank you speech” online?
The Oscars air this year on Sunday, March 7th.