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Oscars: Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner Announced as 95th Academy Awards Producers at All-Member Meeting

Glen Weiss Y ricky kirshner will produce the 95th Academy Awards, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bill kramer announced Saturday morning during an all-member meeting that took place in person at the Motion Picture Academy Museum and simultaneously via a live stream on the members-only website. The hiring of Weiss and Kirshner, who are veterans of many award shows, is a reflection of the Academy’s understanding that it must return to broadcast producers with “live television experience” after several disappointing Oscar broadcasts. Kramer said.

Kramer, who has been in his position for the past two and a half months, and president of the Academy Janet Yangwho has been at his for the last and a half months, introduced the meeting, only the third of its kind (the others took place on May 4, 2013 and September 28, 2017), authorized by the board of governors in October 2021, speaking for 39 minutes before answering questions from members, some pre-submitted, some not.

Other noteworthy announcements to come out of the meeting: All 10,669 current Academy members (34 percent women, 19 percent racial minorities, and 23 percent outside the U.S.) will now receive summaries after each meeting of the Academy’s board of directors, part of what Kramer described as a commitment to “more transparency with our members”; the ticket lottery through which members have been able to attend the Academy Governors Awards and the Oscars, which was halted during the pandemic, is picking up; and the Academy said it is firmly committed, in its discussions with ABC, to “honoring all trades and disciplines on the air” during the Oscars telecast, to huge applause in the room.

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“From our recent member survey, we learned from members of our Academy that they did not love the 94th Academy Awards,” Kramer acknowledged, prompting audible laughter as he recalled a ceremony where, of controversially, eight categories were pre-recorded and later incorporated into the live broadcast, and in which the eventual winner of the best actor award, Will Smithslapped a presenter, chris rock. “He had a positivity rating of 20 percent of Academy members, compared to 61 percent of 92; only 2 percent liked the fan favorite; only 17 percent approved of prerecorded awards; and fewer Academy members are watching the full show: 67 percent for ’92, 59 percent for ’94.”

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Kramer continued: “We need to return the Oscars to a position of power and importance by hiring production teams with live television experience who are accountable to the Academy; determine how best to honor all categories; focusing on the love and reverence for cinema; create an emotional investment in the nominees; explore extensions of the program in streaming; solidify the ongoing theatrical requirement for eligibility; make the red carpet an event on the scale of the Met Gala and Cannes; and continue to prioritize sustainability, access, inclusion and representation.”

Kramer summed up “our vision for the Academy” with the following priorities: “Diversify revenue and create a sustainable long-term budget; better engage our members; reinvigorate the Oscars; advance the understanding and preservation of cinema; advancing in inclusion and sustainability initiatives; develop a new generation of diverse film talent; create clarity and efficiency in the organizational structure of the Academy; and make our brand evolve”.

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The former executive director of the Academy Museum noted that before the opening of that popular tourist destination in September 2021, 90 percent of the Academy’s operating income came from the Oscars, but now the Oscars account for 75 percent. percent, with the Museum contributing 22 percent and membership dues and other income the remaining 3 percent. “We are absolutely moving in the right direction,” he concluded. The Academy also has $650 million in reserves and endowments, he volunteered, but acknowledged he still has to pay off the bonds used to finance the Museum. And, he said, increasing the organization’s financial diversification is critical, given that “the Academy Awards still generate a very large percentage of our revenue,” and that the current international distribution deal for the show with Disney International ends in 2024 and the current national contract for the show with Disney-ABC ends in 2028.

Yang pointed out that a recent poll of Academy members showed that 90 percent of Oscar voters use the Academy Screening Room, the members-only streaming service, up from 46 percent in the last poll, and that the images of the questions and answers that often follow members in person From now on, screenings will also be added to the platform. Kramer floated a possible “expansion” of the service, which some interpreted as charging studios for the right to publish additional content related to his Oscar hopefuls.

Yang also promised that in addition to an annual meeting of all members, there will be meetings of all branches; that the Academy intends to increase in-person member screenings in Los Angeles, New York, the Bay Area, and London, which have been closed due to the pandemic; to improve the Academy Members app; to add closed captioning and Dolby Atmos audio capabilities to the academy’s screening room; launch an Android-compatible version of Academy Screening Room in the fall; appoint regional ambassadors of the Academy; raise membership affinity groups; and continuing to grow the Academy’s presence at film festivals around the world (she and Kramer just returned from the Venice, Telluride, and Toronto film festivals, and will soon be traveling to the London, New York, and Copenhagen festivals). .

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Kramer revealed that the Academy member kenny gravellis, which has a design agency, is now working with the Academy to literally rebrand itself, and that the organization is also actively working to improve its social media strategies and content; encourage better relations with the press; to take advantage of the next editions 95 and 100 of the Oscars; and to elevate and support first-run theatrical films.

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A member of the Academy’s marketing/public relations branch, who has often criticized the organization, texted THR late in performance: “So far saying all the right things. Substantial improvement over the hagiography of the only other two general assemblies held in the last 35 years. I’m drinking Kramer Kool-Aid.

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