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October 4, 2015

Adam Shankman, the dancing Oscar producer

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 21st 2009 11:29AM
Oscar_statuetteMaybe they'll change the name of this year's Academy Awards to So You Think You Can Win An Oscar? Or maybe it'll be Oscar, You Should Be Dancing. What else can we expect now that Adam Shankman has been assigned to produce the Oscar broadcast... with Bill Mechanic. The Bill Mechanic part is almost like fine print. (Or that cute kid Brick on The Middle who whispers under his breathe in a funny, creepy way. "Mechanic...")

The story here is Adam Shankman. He's a director/choreographer and dancer. He's a judge on the current season of So You Think You Can Dance. His biggest credit is Hairspray, one of the few movie musicals that has made it to the big screen and was a bit hit in the last decade. Shankman should bring movement, energy and -- perhaps -- dance to the Academy Awards?

As long as it's not mindless moving around the stage and nobody is dressed up like Snow White, that might be a good thing. One of the highlights last year was Hugh Jackman pulling Anne Hathaway from the audience for an impromptu dance, remember? (However, the re-creation of the Oscar-winning song "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire, wasn't as good as the clips for the movie.)

One thing in Shankman's favor is that this year there will be ten -- count 'em ten -- Best Picture nominees. Presumably that will open the Oscars for more box office successful films to snag a nomination. With more popular titles in the nominees, perhaps more TV viewers will tune in, which is a big part of the whole broadcast. If it was really all about the prizes, they could do the presentations without television cameras.

Shankman, therefore, is tasked with making the show entertaining and fun. Mechanic, who is the former chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, will be doing the nuts and bolts behind the scenes, like lining up big names to present and appear. Shankman has already said that he's up for a fun Academy Awards. "[We will] celebrate the world's collective love of movies and provide a fun escape from the difficult times were living in."
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Just because there are 10 nominees in the best picture category, doesn't mean that they will be films that are popular titles. In fact, the buzz that is going around for the 10 that it is believed will end up snagging the noms, the majority of them are small independent films (Precious) or less popular films that only have big stars (Up In The Air, The Informant!). I don't agree or disagree with the choice to broaden the category, but I don't believe that the Oscars made this decision to bring in films with bigger names, thus bringing in ratings. Yes, the show is quite commerical nowadays, but at it's core it is still about recognizing the best of the best. And if the Oscars did only do it to get more rating and nominate films only because of their name and blockbuster appeal and not because of their quality, I would be sickened.

October 21 2009 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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