The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is comprised of a litany of different branches, the largest of which is the actors’ branch, the group whose vote, due to sheer numbers, tends to carry the most weight in the Oscar voting process. At least, that’s always been the prevailing wisdom. But this is not to say that the tech branches don’t have their own power, particularly now that the Board of Governors of the Academy has announced the creation of a new branch for Costume Designers.
Costume designers had originally been a part of the Designers Branch, a wing that also includes art directors, production designers and set decorators. The branch will be headed by Academy Governor Jeffrey Kurland, who will ultimately 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.”
In addition, the Board of Governors voted to increase representation for the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch, from one governor to three. An election will be held later this year to decide the vacant governors’ seats, with two to join Kurland in the Costume Designers Branch, and two to join current governor Leonard Engelman in the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch, 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 will go into 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.
Full story: Awards Daily