Shankman and Mechanic on teamwork

Posted by · 8:13 am · February 25th, 2010

(from left) Adam Shankman and Bill MechanicIn last Friday’s edition of Oscar Talk, Anne Thompson alluded to something of an elephant in the room regarding the upcoming Oscar ceremony: that curiously matched co-producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic are “not getting along.”

As whispers to this effect continue to circulate around the industry, the pair have clearly aimed to dispel that notion in this interview with USA Today’s Anthony Breznican. Still, while they play up the “odd couple” angle with good humor — Shankman the highly-strung showman balancing out the more pragmatic (and aptly named) Mechanic — they don’t make you read between the lines to see the strain:

“It’s a meritocracy,” Mechanic says. “Whoever has the best idea wins. We haven’t had a blow-up. But we’ve definitely had disagreements, and definitely gotten heated a few times. He got me going one day, probably by mistake …”

“With an e-mail,” Shankman says. “As it always is these days.”

“At 5:45 in the morning, and I probably didn’t read it the way he intended it,” Mechanic says. “And I got (angry) and uppity.”

With that out of the way, they drop a few more hints about their plans for the show. There’s little that you didn’t already know or guess — hey, have you heard there’ll be dancers? — and they glide inadequately over their rationale for scrapping the Original Song performances. Still, color me morbidly fascinated by the suggestion of some awards being presented within a dance routine. (Will the winner have to step in time as they make their speech?)

More here.

→ 7 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

7 responses so far

  • 1 2-25-2010 at 8:42 am

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    Interesting article, I suppose, but it doesn’t do much to assuage my trepidation about the ceremony.

    For me, the biggest question this article raises is this: What makes “An Education” more arthouse than “Up in the Air”, “The Hurt Locker”, and “Precious”? If anything, I’d swap its categorization with that of “Precious”.

  • 2 2-25-2010 at 9:49 am

    red_wine said...

    Whatever I’ve heard so far makes me think that this show is gonna be even gayer than usual.

    Mind you gay is an adjective, not an insult, in case somebody wants to get uppity about it.

  • 3 2-25-2010 at 10:04 am

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    If you’re talking about the sexual orientation of Adam Shankman or about how happy someone is, then, yes ‘gay’ is an adjective. Otherwise, you’re just using the word in a derogatory way. And if someone takes you to task for using that word in that way (as I’m about to do), it’s not being “uppity”; it is objecting to a homophobic remark.

    Now, red_wine, I’m not calling you a homophobe; you might be pro-gay all the way and genuinely think you’re using this word in a harmless way. But there’s no getting around the fact that calling something you dislike or that you think is lame ‘gay’ is reinforcing the idea of homosexuality as being something bad, something lame, or something to be derided. So, unfortunately, whether you mean it in this way or not, you are promoting homophobia.

    Please use greater care and reason in choosing your words.

  • 4 2-25-2010 at 10:19 am

    Jessica said...

    Still, color me morbidly fascinated by the suggestion of some awards being presented within a dance routine. (Will the winner have to step in time as they make their speech?)

    Oh dear, this really is going to be worse than the Lowe/Snow White debacle.

  • 5 2-25-2010 at 10:47 am

    Anthony Breznican said...

    Fair enough, Nicolas. I went art-house on An Education because of its smaller audience, gauged by box office, which is about the same as Hurt Locker, except Hurt Locker is out on DVD now and being seen by a lot more people, etc … A Serious Man is out on DVD, but hasn’t caught on in quite the same way. So we can parse it, but I was using “art house” as shorthand for a movie that has only caught on so far with serious cinephiles.

  • 6 2-25-2010 at 10:54 am

    red_wine said...

    Let me apologize upfront for sounding remotely homophobic. I’m as pro-gay as can be and have even taken part in street protests for gay rights. But that’s besides the point.

    I know that some people use gay as a substitute for lame but I was very specifically referring to certain aspects of the show that have a rather gay tendency. I don’t know if the show’s gonna be good or bad, I never said the show can’t be excellent and gay at the same time, it just might be excellent. The show as it seems headed might be more appealing to homosexual people (by the admission of certain homosexual people I know), this is not a generalization but an opinion.

    But alas, my choice of words indeed seems unfortunate. I did think twice whether I should use the word and even added an explanation but it was entirely avoidable I agree.

  • 7 2-25-2010 at 10:58 pm

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    @Anthony – That makes perfect sense. I always think of arthouse as a stylistic or thematic qualifier, but your reasoning works too.

    @red_wine – Oops. Forgive me for overreacting. Of course, in the sense you use it, “gay” is an adjective, and an appropriate one at that. With so many people expressing doubts and fears about the ceremony, I assumed you were also talking about its potential lameness. And, clearly, I have a lot of frustration about the incorrect use of your choice of word. Sorry.