We are now 150 days out from the 88th Academy Awards. With less than five months until the big ceremony, preparations are already underway for Hollywood's big night. Here's what we know right now.
We are now 150 days out from the 88th Academy Awards.
With less than five months until the big ceremony, preparations are already underway for Hollywood's big night.
Here's what we know right now:
The Academy has tapped Emmy-winning producer David Hill and Oscar-nominated producer-director Reginald Hudlin to organize its annual telecast.
President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the hire Sept. 1.
The team of producers represent the best of both the television and film industries.
Hill served as an executive with the Fox group of companies for more than 25 years. He received an individual Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Special as an executive producer of the 2011 World Series broadcast. He also served as an executive producer on the past two seasons of “American Idol.” He recently left Fox to start his own production company, Hilly, focusing on live and reality television.
Hudlin received a 2012 Best Picture Oscar nomination as a producer of "Django Unchained." Award shows are also part of his experience. He has been the executive producer of the NAACP Image Awards since 2012. He also has worked with the Academy before, producing its 6th Governors Awards ceremony last year. For television, he has directed for “Modern Family,” “New Girl” and “The Office.” Hudlin was the first President of Entertainment for BET Networks from 2005 to 2009, where he oversaw programming and developed some of the network's highest rated shows during his tenure. Hudlin is a member of the Academy, Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild.
During interviews shortly after the announcement, producers hinted at the possibility of hiring co-hosts for the ceremony.
“There will be multiple hosts for sure – there will be two,” David Hill said to Entertainment Weekly.
Hudlin later told Variety that's only one option.
“We’re still very much looking at every possibility. At our first meeting, I mentioned a possible pairing and David flipped; since then I have thrown out another four or five names and David brought up ideas. … We have talked about people who might be exciting odd couples.”
When, Where and How
Continuing the recent tradition of presenting its golden statuettes at the end of February (except in Winter Olympic years), the Academy announced in April that the 88th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016.
Under a contract announced in 2012, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood will host the Academy Awards through 2033.
ABC extended its contract in 2011 to carry the Academy Awards through 2020.
A short ceremony
The producers described their plan for the big show to Entertainment Weekly in September.
The two said they want to start on time and end on time.
“I’m a big believer in all the shows I’ve done to have discipline and get the show done in a timely fashion,” Hudlin said. “But you have to look at each moment, each minute of the show. ‘Is this minute better than ending earlier?’ Because ending early is really good!”
Viewers won't see a vastly different show, though.
“You don’t take a television show, something as iconic as the Oscars, and pull it apart and try to put it back together again. Good television shows are always evolutionary and not revolutionary,” Hill said. “An evolutionary show is where there are a couple of tweaks and changes.”
Engaging audiences in the smaller categories is also a goal, Hudlin said.
“How do we make the audience more engaged in the incredible craftsmen and women who are writing these screenplays and creating these costumes and mixing these films and designing special effects? How do we make the audience engaged in the entire Oscar experience?” he said.
Slight tweak to the rules for the 88th Academy Awards were approved in June.
While nothing major was announced, the main categories effected were Best Picture, Visual Effects and the shorts categories.
Best Picture: To qualify as a producer nominee for a nominated picture, the producer must have been determined eligible for a Producers Guild of America (PGA) award for the picture.
Visual Effects: The number of eligible films that will be initially shortlisted for further consideration has increased to a maximum of 20 titles (formerly 10).
Documentary Short Subject: The number of films that will be shortlisted for nominations voting has increased from 8 to 10 titles. Instead of a possible three, four or five nominees, the number is now set at five (formerly three to five).
Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film: A film qualifying via a theatrical release must now have a theater run in Los Angeles County for at least seven consecutive days (formerly three) with at least one screening per day (formerly two). In both categories, the number of nominees is now set at five (formerly three to five).
See all rule changes.
The 88th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2015, will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.