In an exciting turn of events, the Academy Awards have re-granted the Makeup & Hairstyling, Cinematography, Editing and Live-Action Short categories their telecasted spots back. But why were they considered so deserving of the cinema king’s guillotine in the first place?
A Movie Isn’t a Movie Without Them
It seems these categories are constantly viewed as afterthoughts of what makes a great movie. Most movie-goers fall in love with the swagger and demeanor of the actors and actresses, the eye-catching adventure of the story, and the pulsating excitement of the music.
However, the attraction to these elements in the movie would not be possible without those four vital pieces of production.
The makeup and hair-styling that gave Elizabeth Taylor an irresistible exotic glow and sex appeal fueled her breakout role in Cleopatra.
That anxiousness of being an actual part of the Corleone mob family in the Godfather was only made possible by a visionary cinematographer’s strategic use of lighting to translate this vibe to viewers.
The dramatic perspective switch cuts that put you directly in the face of Jaws (and then had you swimming for your life)? That was courtesy of a savvy editor that timed and chopped each scene to suspenseful perfection.
And finally, who can resist a live-action short film? The 40 minute or shorter mini-movies that give you just enough satisfaction of keeping you on the edge of your seat, or in a mountain full of tissues, without committing your entire day to it.
“Open letters from A-list talent decrying the move as reductive and insulting — on top of heavy criticism and judgment from the unions representing those categories — proved too much to handle [for The Academy officials].” They argued that not giving public acknowledgement of these ‘already under-dogged’ game changers was ludicrous.
Is The Academy the only being at fault for viewing these production artists spotlight as dispensable? To be honest, we can all be guilty of saving our admiration for the front runners, the A-isters and headliners. We set the stage with our thirst for the glamorized and the beguiled. We get caught up in the stake out for eyeing starring cast names during the movie credits and the haunting automatic following of for every “celebrity” social media account.
But let’s take this opportunity to alter that perspective. Remember the factors that set the stage for those we view as stars and why our favorite movie is in fact our favorite. Let’s foster an environment where the categorization of any production role as secondary is intolerable.
Keep the Props Coming
Though they may rarely be acknowledged for their part in creating blockbusters, it’s clear movies wouldn’t have their epic appeal without the ingenious cuts, clever lighting and newfangled makeup treatments that give each production their insatiably unique mood.
So, while you’re enjoying the spread of accolades amongst this year’s batch of movie excellence, give an extra round of applause to these indispensable pieces of motion picture magic. Their time to shine is well overdue.
#oscars #production #filmmakers