By Paul René Roestad FNF – IMAGO President.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has recently announced that the presentation of Oscar nominees and winners for Cinematography and several other central film production artists will no longer be broadcast live, but will from now on be presented later, in an edited and shortened version.
AMPAS says the need to shorten the broadcast is the reason for their decision.
IMAGO, the European Federation of Cinematographers, strongly hope AMPAS will reconsider this decision sooner than later. IMAGO and our more than 4300 professional cinematographer members fear this will result in a future where only the section of the Oscar Gala with the greatest number of celebrities will be presented to the world-wide film loving audience. This will undermine AMPAS´s and all filmmaker´s responsibility to broadcast the fact that a broad number of collaborative artistic creators is needed to achieve memorable visual storytelling.
One can have as many stars in front of the camera as one wishes, but without a highly competent Cinematographer behind the camera, there will be no film.
AMPAS has for several decades played a pivotal and respected role as a guardian and promotor of the art of motion pictures, comprised of “more than 8 000 accomplished women and men working in cinema”. It is therefore important that AMPAS take their historic responsibility seriously, as representative of all these great women and men working in film production, to emphasize and bring correct information to the film-loving public about the facts which lies behind the art and science of filmmaking.
Cinematographers have a key visual responsibility in filmmaking.
Without images, there will be no films.
By allowing further increased focus on celebrity, our fear is that the result of minimizing focus on cinematographers and other important co-creators of films, will result in increasing the division between the creative crafts in the filmmaking business. What we need is a course of action to bring these great women and men closer together. No other creative effort is so dependent on us all collaborating to create unforgettable visual experiences.
IMAGO will strongly request that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reconsider this decision which will only contribute to the faulty impression many already have; “film is the business of stars”.
Decisions which contribute to cement this view, is a step in the wrong direction.