Hollywood's biggest night tries to navigate a whole new normal

Over the last 12 months, viewers have seen award shows go online, with winners accepting statues virtually and giving speeches via Zoom.

The 93rd Academy Awards, however, promise to be unlike anything mounted within this past year.

While details are being kept top secret, we do know that producers of the 2021 Oscars seem to have arrived at some uniquely ingenious solutions for hosting a traditional non-virtual award show in the midst of a global pandemic.

Like last year’s ceremony, this one will also apparently be hostless. And while some parts of the gala will be set at its traditional home at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, the bulk of the festivities will take place at “an intimate, in-person event” at Los Angeles’ historic Union Station.

Understandably, safety is at the forefront, and the same protocols that have been put in place for filming movies and TV series will apparently be used for the Oscars as well.

“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,” producers Steven Soderbergh, Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins stated in a letter sent to nominees.

“There will not be an option to Zoom in for the show,” the letter 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.”

Other notes for nominees included the recommended dress code (“formal is totally cool if you want to go there, but casual is really not”) and instructions for speeches, with nominees advised to “tell a story,” “read the room” and “make it personal.”

The 93rd Annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, April 25th at 5 p.m. on CTV and ABC