Oscar nominees have been warned that connecting to the Academy Awards via video link is "not an option".
The ceremony will take place next month as an in-person event, with organisers opting to treat it as an "active movie set", with various coronavirus measures in place, and in a letter sent out to those on the shortlists on Thursday (Mar 18), producers detailed the "great lengths" they were going to to stage a "safe and enjoyable" evening.
In the note sent to over 200 nominees, producers Steven Soderbergh, Jesse Collins and Stacey Sher acknowledged some may be uneasy about it being an in-person event at Los Angeles' Union Station — albeit with "additional show elements live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood" — but sought to offer reassurance.
They wrote: "Of course, your first thought is CAN THAT BE DONE SAFELY? The answer is YES, IT CAN,' they assured. 'We are treating the event as an active movie set, with specially designed testing cadences to ensure up-to-the-minute results, including an on-site COVID safety team with PCR testing capability."
Guests attending from outside of Los Angeles will receive further "specific instructions", which will vary from those already living in the city but those who are "unable to attend because of scheduling or continued uneasiness about travelling" were told "there will not be an option to Zoom in for the show."
They added: "We are going to great lengths to provide a safe and ENJOYABLE evening for all of you in person, as well as for all the millions of film fans around the world, and we feel the virtual thing will diminish those efforts."
The producers encouraged winners to make speeches "personal" but keep them short and expressed their hope the ceremony, which takes place on Apr 25, will have a "feeling of casual exchange and good humour."
And they want to set the tone with a "pre-show gathering" immediately before the ceremony.
They wrote: "The good news is you should be pretty relaxed by show time because you will have been at a pre-show gathering in the Union Station courtyard for the previous 90 minutes with your fellow nominees and their guests (ONLY nominees and their guests will be attending the show, by the way. Oh, and the presenters!).
The letter also touched on the night's dress code, stressing casual attire would not be welcomed.
The note read: "You’re wondering about the Dress Code (as well you should). We’re aiming for a fusion of Inspirational and Aspirational, which in actual words means formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not."
In addition to having a smaller guest list this year, it was previously announced both the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon, which takes place in the lead up to the ceremony, and the post-event Governor's Ball have been cancelled for this year. — BANG
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos