The Winning Film Editor Would Never Smack the Victorious Hairstylist
Attention, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Maybe it’s time to give all those Oscar-nominated movie stars a time out. Or at least cede the stage to the folks who make them look and sound so good, but whose talents always seem to get washed away in an ocean of six-figure jewelry, an inability to correctly read an envelope’s contents or, in the case of last week’s ceremony, physical violence.
Even before the Will Smith “slap heard ’round the world,” the 2022 Oscars were a hot mess. The academy elected to hand out eight awards prior to the ceremony, when stars like Smith were most likely still in their mansions, getting fawned over by an army of aides. After all, Mr. Smith must look amazing as he sits calmly in his seat, hoping his name … wait, never mind.
In the meantime, winners of categories including film editing, makeup and hairstyling, production design, original score, and sound were accepting their awards in the Dolby theatre. There was no anticipation of who might win, because the winners had already been announced … on Twitter. Congratulations Joe Walker, winner of best film editing for “Dune.” I’m not sure how many weekends and late nights you spent, or how much family time you missed, editing the two-and-a-half-hour sci-fi drama, but now you have an Oscar. And a hashtag.
Perhaps it’s time we turn the tables.
Supporting Actors Should Remain Silent (for their own good)
How about next year, the four awards that get all the hype — best actor and actress and best supporting actor and actress — are handed out ahead of time? Jessica Chastain doesn’t need any more publicity, and everybody knows winning a best supporting Oscar is the kiss of death when it comes to a lasting career. Just ask Cuba Gooding Jr. Why thank an audience of your peers when what you really want to say is, “Thank you for honoring me for my work in what will certainly be my last job before I start auditioning for What-a-Burger commercials.”
Instead, let the ignored categories move front and center and command the ceremony. I know, I know, who would host? Don’t we need a comedian like Billy Crystal or Amy Schumer or Ricky Gervais or Chris Rock to make fun of the nominees and their … wait, never mind.
Let’s draft a host from within. I haven’t been on a lot of movie or TV sets, but I’ve met enough personnel who work behind the scenes on these sets to know there are some hilarious personalities among the bunch. Once, while dabbing powder on me for an industrial film shoot, a makeup artist had me in tears with a story of a professional football player whose nose was especially ticklish.
Then there was the graphics editor who had a knack for quoting just the right movie line to ease the tension during a long day of rehearsal for a corporate awards ceremony. As the show’s director and the teleprompter operator argued over phonetic spellings of award winners, the editor snuck up behind both and, doing his best “Will Ferrell in Anchorman” impression said, “Ron Burgundy will read anything that is put on that teleprompter. And when I say anything, I mean an-y-thing.”
The trio cracked up and went back to work.
Do Not Exceed Your Time
Three-hour-plus ceremonies would no longer be the norm. Hosts from within would keep the Oscars moving, because they know the pitfalls of tardiness. How many costume designers have been screamed at for taking too long to produce a hem stitch, or find a suitable jacket color that will compliment an actor’s dreamy blue eyes? Throw a tantrum? Not a good idea, particularly if they want to keep their jobs, collect paychecks, and hopefully continue making enough money to afford health insurance.
Acceptance speeches would be short, heartfelt and educational, as viewers would learn so much about what it takes to create a blockbuster. Can we try that for just one year? The ceremony could still end with the Best Picture category, a love fest because it features so many of the winning film’s participants on stage, offering each other congratulations, hugs and kisses.
Not hands to the face.
Greg Schwem is a business humorist, motivational corporate comedian, corporate emcee, nationally syndicated humor columnist for Tribune Content Agency and creator/host of the streaming TV series, “A Comedian Crashes Your Pad.