Inside the Scramble to Make the Oscars Shorter


Gigliotti, who won an Oscar for producing “Shakespeare in Love” and has been nominated three other times (“Hidden Figures,” “The Reader” “Silver Linings Playbook”), said that there were no plans to incorporate regular people into the show, as Kimmel did in recent years. “I love everyday people,” said Gigliotti, who lives in Manhattan. “I ride the subway with them every day in New York. Everyday people don’t get me ratings.”

Stars like Angela Bassett, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Momoa, Chris Evans, Awkwafina, Charlize Theron, Chadwick Boseman and Daniel Craig have been lined up as presenters. Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Bette Midler, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings will perform nominated songs.

Oscar viewers will also notice a very different stage design. Instead of the over-the-top jewel box look of recent years, the proscenium is one color — gold — and curves and swoops like a Frank Gehry building, extending out into the theater. It was designed by David Korins, who is best known for his work on Broadway (“Hamilton,” “Dear Evan Hansen”).

“We wanted it to feel different,” Weiss said from Row C in the theater, gazing upward.

“It almost comes out and hugs you,” Gigliotti said.

Work to revamp the telecast so that all of the 24 Oscars are presented live started immediately on Friday afternoon, Gigliotti said. A couple staffers were “running around with their heads spinning around,” she said. “But mostly we just got to work. It’s just about rebalancing the flow.” The four categories were cinematography, live-action short film, editing and makeup and hairstyling.

Gigliotti and Weiss returned to the theater at 9 a.m. on Saturday. He headed to the stage to work on camera angles. She holed herself up in the bowels of the theater to keep tinkering with the telecast master plan, which was laid out on a colossal whiteboard, every minute mapped out using color-coded magnets. “Right now, I’m feeling pretty good,” she said.

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