Oscars will will be shot like a movie, feature bigger roles for presenters, producer says
20th April 2021

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The Oscars will look very different from past years when they air on Sunday night.

After dips in viewership of not only the Academy Awards but various high-profile entertainment award shows, this year’s ceremony has been reinvented by producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins.

During a recent press conference, Soderbergh, also a famed director, revealed some of the changes he’s made to the ceremony.

“It’s not going to be like anything that’s been done before,” he said, also explaining that the presenters will have larger roles than opening an envelope while at the Art Deco Union Station in downtown Los Angeles for the ceremony, Fox News can confirm. 

The “Erin Brockovich” director, 58, said that the show will be shot like a movie with presenters, including Brad Pitt, Halle Berry and more “playing themselves, or at least a version of themselves.”

Oscar winners will be given more ‘space’ in their acceptance speeches. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)

Additionally, the Academy is doing away with the 45-second acceptance speech, instead, they will give winners “space.”

“We’ve encouraged them to tell a story, and to say something personal,” Soderbergh explained.

As was expected, strict coronavirus safety protocols will be in place that have been used throughout the industry. Additionally, epidemiologists, who collaborated with Soderbergh on the film “Contagion,” were also consulted extensively.

“Masks are going to play a very important role in the story,” said the producer. “That topic is very central to the narrative.”

Soderbergh also previously noted that presenters will be “essentially the storytellers for each chapter” of the evening.

Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh will produce the Oscars and is part of the force reimagining the ceremony. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

“When you see cast members go up to give awards, you’ll see a connection,” Collins explained at the time. “It won’t be two people walking up that just met in the greenroom who are struggling to stick with the teleprompter.”

It was revealed weeks ago that nominees were required to be in attendance rather than participating remotely via a video call, but the Academy quickly walked back on that policy, though nominees calling in remotely will not do so over Zoom, but instead via satellite hookups from venues around the world.

Ahead of the ceremony itself will be an hour-and-a-half pre-show that will include the traditional performances of this year’s Oscar-nominated original songs that were recorded in advance on the roof of the new Academy Museum in Los Angeles, and in Iceland.

The songs total a run time of roughly 18 minutes – it is unclear what else will take place during the pre-show.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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