The ceremony, which has been heavily restructured so nominees can gather at various locations under COVID-19 protocols, is “being treated as a TV production,” according to the report. That means masks will not be required for people appearing on camera in accordance with state guidelines. However, guests will be asked to wear them during commercial breaks and other times when they are not on camera.
The 93rd annual event will look very differently than it has in years past, with producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh teasing that the ceremony will “feel like a film” as opposed to a traditional awards show.
When asked last week about how masks will be incorporated into the event, Soderbergh cryptically responded, “Masks are going to play a very important role in the story. ... That topic is very central to the narrative.”
“We are hoping to combine safety with a show that feels like a glimpse of what is going to be possible when most people are vaccinated and rapid testing is the norm,” he added. “Covid is going to be there, because it is everywhere. But we want to put it in its place and then sort of move forward.”
The 2021 Oscars will take place at both Union Station and the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, as well as a London-based venue via satellite. Without a traditional audience or host, the capacity for the event will top out at 170, Variety reports, as nominees are allowed only one guest and will rotate in and out of the ceremony throughout the night.
California began offering vaccinations to everyone 16 and over on Sunday, and infection rates are on a sharp decline across the state following surges in the winter and fall.
Presenters at the ceremony will include Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Bong Joon Ho, Laura Dern, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon and Zendaya, according to a blockbuster-style trailer the Academy released last week. Check it out below.