8 categories cut from Oscars telecast, nominees disappointed

LOS ANGELES — Myron Kerstein is a film editor who worked on the ending scene of the Oscar nominated film “tick tick… BOOM!”

What You Need To Know

  • The Motion Picture Academy recently announced it will present eight “below the line” categories the hour before the actual ABC Oscar telecast
  • They will edit part of those acceptance speeches into the prime show that viewers will see on television
  • Those categories include makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, sound, documentary short subject, animated short, live-action short and film editing
  • The Oscars are Sunday, March 27 at 5 p.m. on ABC

Kerstein worked on the scene for months at the home of Lin Manuel Miranda, who is the film’s director. In total, Kerstein and co-editor Andrew Weisblum worked on the film for over a year.

The film earned Kerstein his first Academy Award nomination.

“Getting called by Lin to work at his home on a musical, that’s a call of a lifetime,” he said.

Then the Academy made a devastating announcement. It would present eight categories an hour before the Oscars telecast, and the accepting speeches to those categories would be edited into the prime show.

Those categories include makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, sound, documentary short subject, animated short, live-action short, and film editing.

“I won’t lie. It felt a bit disrespectful at first,” Kerstein said.

In an age of waning award show viewership, Kerstein said he understands the decision. Even so, he thinks there are other, more fair and respectful solutions.

Other Hollywood powerhouses have been outspoken about the change as well. 

“We do it streaming and we don’t have to worry about ratings…or it’s all pre-taped,” he said.

At the end of it all, he will be at the Oscars with his wife, mom and son — nominated for Hollywood’s biggest honor.

That is a win in itself.

The only silver lining he said of the controversy — is that people are talking about it — bringing more awareness to his craft of editing.

“Editing is cinema. There is no cinema without editing,” he said.

So even though he is being partially edited out of the big show, he knows he has already won.