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The Academy creates branch for costume designers

Two New Governor Positions Added to Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the creation of the Costume Designers Branch. Costume designers had previously been a part of the Designers Branch, which also includes production designers, art directors and set decorators. Academy Governor Jeffrey Kurland will transfer to the newly created branch and eventually be joined by two additional governors.

“History was made at the Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday night with the formation of a Costume Designers Branch,” said Kurland. “Costume designers have waited a long time for recognition with branch status. As a governor representing these designers, I’m thrilled and grateful for the Academy’s support.”

At the same meeting, the governors voted to increase the representation of the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch from one to three governors. Two new governors will be chosen by election later this year to join current governor Leonard Engelman. The Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch, the most recent branch to be created, was formed in 2006.

“I’m looking forward to sharing the task of representing the Academy’s makeup artists and hairstylists with two of my colleagues,” Engelman said. “New governors will bring new ideas, which will help to keep the Academy’s leadership strong and sharp.”

“Congratulations to our members from these essential craft areas. Movies are a visual medium and costume designers, makeup artists, and hairstylists help to create images that tell stories,” said Academy President Hawk Koch. “This recognition is richly deserved.”

These decisions were voted at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Wednesday, January 23, and will take effect in July after Board elections are held. The new Costume Designers Branch governors and the two new Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch governors will bring the size of the Academy’s Board to 48 members, with three governors representing each of the 16 branches

16 Comments on this Post

  1. What exactly are the ramifications of this?

  2. Wow. I had no idea that they DIDN’T have their own branch! Is that why there’s been so much overlap over the years in the Art Direction and Costume nominations?

  3. @Stephen

    As far as I know, the only ramification is that the Costume Design Award will have its own branch now instead of being hurdled within the Designers branch. The costume designers in the Designers branch were already in charge of the nominations, so there’s no big change.

    But now I’m curious how the supporters for a branch and award for stunt people will feel about with this new creation considering that they have been campaigning for over 20 years but have been always dismissed.

  4. Wishful thinking, but maybe now it won’t be such a period costume orgy fest each year with the Costume Design Oscar?

  5. Jennifer

    This is unnecessary – Oscar already has an award for Best Achievement in Costume Design.

  6. How is this unnecessary? If separate branches are unnecessary, why not lump all the branches together into one big branch. Surely this only strengthens the voice of costume designers within the Academy and affords them the individual recognition they deserve?

    A catch-all designers branch never made sense to me.

  7. I did not even realize that they didn’t have their own branch.

    Good for them. Cinematography, production design, and costumes are my favorite aspects of watching any movie (other than performances). Costumes deserves their branch, for sure.

  8. Fully agree that a branch and award for stuntpeople is overdue. This has been a key component to successful movies since the silent days (which makes its contribution longer than sound, score, song, FX, etc).

    If it is currently covered by SAG now (and I don’t know that for a fact) it shouldn’t be – getting jettisoned from a rolling car does not require the same skillset as delivering a second inauguaral address.

  9. Danemychal

    Hear hear! A stunt team Oscar would be fantastic. And I usually balk at adding categories.

  10. Bob and Harvey Weinstein are being honoured at the Producers Guild Awards in the Beverly Hilton. Silver Linings Playbook could therefore surprise though the PGA race seems to be between Argo and Lincoln.

  11. @Peter
    I don’t think the creation of a branch will change anything in what is nominated. The costume designers were already the only ones who voted during the nomination process and their choices were always for period pieces and fantasy. In the last ten years there were only two movies that I’d consider contemporary who were nominated in the category: I Am Love and The Devil Wears Prada.

    @Jennifer
    I agree with Paddy. If the Board of Governors considered Costume Design a different enough discipline from Production Design to warrant a separated award in 1948 then I don’t see why they wouldn’t have the right for full representation on the Board. Specially because it’s the Board that decides who gets an invitation to join and who doesn’t.

  12. Danemychal

    Ashwin – Why is there any added motivation for them to award SLP? Bob & Harvey are exec producers only, so the PGA award isn’t theirs if it wins. Plus the films they backed won the last two anyway. Scorsese was the subject of numerous tributes last year from various groups and none of that translated into him winning anything for Hugo.

  13. filmboymichael

    This is great, if overdue, news! I agree with the need for a stunt branch and, as a casting director myself, can’t believe there isn’t a casting branch or a casting oscar!

  14. I think the newly created Branch is simply an internal political move, giving the costume designers more clout when it comes to voting on the Board of Governors regarding their rules and regulations.

    It’s a good move. This branch has proven itself to be one of the most reliable for rewarding excellence in its own field. They are unswayed by popularity or what is politically correct (hence, the well-deserved nominations this year for “Mirror, Mirror” and “Snow White and the Huntsman” this year in the category).

    As an avid film critic for many years, watching how films are constructed, including the costumes, is one of the many delights about watching movies.

  15. I’m not for necessarily adding any more categories to the Awards.

    That is, except a category that they used to have in the old days.

    I wish they’d bring back the award for “Best Juvenile Performance”, like they did in the old days. It was their way of rewarding Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” and Hailey Mills in “Polyanna”, for instance.

    Perhaps the re-institution of that category would eliminate all this controversy over the little girl’s performance in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”.

    If they had this category, Wallis would have won it.

    Having brought it up, I would feel that the Actors Branch, obviously, should do the nominating and be responsible for the final decision (not the Board of Governors).

  16. Munro202

    This is very off topic but all the other posts lately have a ton of comments on them and didn’t know where to share this… I’m not sure how new this is or if its been shared before, but if anyone wants a break from all the Awards coverage I just saw this wonderful trailer for Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ESs9sE6yuxI

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