While watching the Oscars in past years, you’ve likely grown impatient as winners spent several minutes thanking a litany of loved ones and colleagues. (Or, in the case of Matthew McConaughey's 549-word discourse following his 2014 Best Actor win, his future self.) This year, Academy Awards producers are attempting to curb lengthy acceptance speeches by taking a cue from cable news tickers: They’re asking nominees to submit a list of people they wish to thank prior to the ceremony. If the nominee wins, his or her submitted names will scroll along the bottom of the screen during ABC’s live February 28 broadcast.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new practice was announced on Monday at the Nominees Luncheon. David Hill, who’s co-producing the 88th Academy Awards with Reginald Hudlin, discussed the impetus for the change: “Acceptance speeches have become a list of names and more often than not, time ran out before something could be spoken from the heart about the art, about the vision, about the experience, about the meaning of the moment ... We needed to rethink how this could be a better experience for everyone.”
To support his reasoning, Hill played a clip from last year’s show of producer Dana Heinz Perry, who won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short for Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1. After thanking numerous people, she was played off by the orchestra just as she began to talk about her son's suicide. Producers modeled what this year’s new-and-hopefully-improved speeches might look like by editing a clip of Kate Winslet winning the Best Actress Oscar for The Reader in 2009, adding scrolling names to the bottom of the screen as she walked to the stage.
Since winners only have 45 seconds to accept their awards, ceremony officials hope that the ticker will free this year's recipients up to express more personal sentiments. Meanwhile, the scroll will serve as “a permanent record of ... gratitude”—and a handy way to make sure the winners don’t forget anyone who matters.
[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]