John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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I can't believe

I forgot to mention one of my Oscar telecast pet peeves. Every year, the Academy holds a special awards ceremony for the Scientific and Technical Awards. There are three types of scientific and technical awards: Technical Achievement Awards, the winners of which receive certificates; Scientific and Engineering Awards, which are bronze plaques similar to those given to the early winners of the Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress awards; and Academy Awards of Merit, which are Oscar statuettes. The Gordon E. Sawyer Award, an honorary Oscar presented to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry," is also presented at the Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony.

I have no problem with the certificates and plaques being presented at a separate ceremony, but I think it's entirely inappropriate for an Oscar to be presented anywhere other than at the main Academy Awards ceremony. One of the great things about the Oscars is that they treat all the awards the same. The vast majority of the Grammys and Emmys are presented off-camera, but at the Academy Awards, the art directors and the actors get their awards at the same time and (theoretically) get the same amount of time to give their acceptance speeches. Why should the sound editors and mixers get their awards during the main ceremony, while Digidesign, the company that developed the most commonly-used tool with which those sound editors and mixers do their job?

You could argue, I suppose, that the Scientific and Technical Oscars are not competitive awards, and therefore needn't be presented during the main Oscar ceremony. Well, tell that to Blake Edwards. I'm willing to concede that Blake Edwards is better known than Peter D. Parks, the winner of this year's Gordon E. Sawyer Award, but were his contributions to the film industry more significant? Possibly, but that doesn't mean Peter Parks deserves to be treated like a Grammy winner or something.

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