Oscars 2021: Zoom speeches 'will not be an option' for in-person event, casual dress discouraged
Show producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh sent an email to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members Thursday detailing how the COVID-19 delayed event, primarily to be held at Los Angeles' historic Union Station (with additional events at the show's traditional home, Dolby Theatre) will be conducted.
To keep attendees – limited to nominees, their guests and presenters – safe, producers are treating the "event as an active movie set," including an on-site COVID safety team with PCR testing capability.
The Academy will give special instructions for those traveling in from outside of Los Angeles.
"We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and ENJOYABLE evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts," the email stated.
As far as dress code, think more gowns and less hoodies. The Oscar organizers are "aiming for a fusion of Inspirational and Aspirational." That means "formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not."
Glenn Weiss will also return to direct the live show, the Academy said Friday.
In an email written Monday to members, Academy president David Rubin discussed the restricted audience show attendance.
Those attending the awards in person will be capped at "nominees, their guest, and presenters," Rubin wrote in the e-mail obtained by USA TODAY.
In addition, Rubin wrote that annual celebratory events around the Oscars, such as the Governors Ball, will be cancelled.
"Though we’d hoped the pandemic would be more in our rearview mirror by the month of April, the health and safety of our members and Oscar nominees are our primary concern," Rubin wrote. "So we’ve had to make some necessary decisions."
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The canceled in-person events around the Oscars ceremony include nominations screenings, the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon and such "beloved Oscar-week occasions" as the International Feature Film nominee cocktail reception, and public programming for categories such as short, international, animated and documentary films.
Oscar Night watch parties in London and New York are also cancelled.
Despite the setback, Rubin expressed confidence in the Oscars' producers "to put together an Oscars show like none other, to honor the extraordinary movies, memorable performances and achievements in filmmaking of the past year."
The 93rd Oscars will air April 25 and air on ABC at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT.