The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently awarded Whitman Shorts with an Oscar Nomination this weekend. The nomination was for the category of “Best Film Segment in a Short Film Series,” often awarded to one episode of a critically acclaimed TV series per year.
The nomination was awarded to a Whitman Shorts clip labeled “Earsplitting shouting into a microphone,” which was tagged as a sports segment and aired in the Fall of 2023. The nomination document sent to Whitman Shorts noted the production team’s impressive ability to make Whitman Shorts only a few minutes long, while also making it feel like it goes on forever. The Academy also highlighted how much skill it must have taken the 16 year old producers of the segment to make absolutely none of their script audible to the viewer, and simultaneously making the loudest noises the panel had ever heard.
“The painful ear abuse that the nominating panel endured while screening this film was so inspiring, and we were also so moved by the stylistically shaky camera work and the frequent bleeped out curse words, clearly a symbolic reference to the carefree nature of high school sports,” the panel wrote in the document. “We also really admire Whitman Shorts production for the incredible brevity of their clips, sometimes only reaching a few minutes long.”
A Whitman freshman who appeared in the segment for a 6-second interview to say “I come to football games because uhh [sic] I like that we usually sometimes kinda win and that’s super fun,” said she wasn’t aware that her interview was going to appear in the segment.
“I thought they were just filming me for a class or something,” the freshman girl said. “I just said I’d do it because that guy who interviewed me is hot.”
Although there were almost no comprehensible words spoken in the film segment, some members of The Academy are concerned that some kind of controversy will emerge. This likely as a result of Whitman Shorts staff members’ history of being cancelled and kicked off of the show, The Academy was apprehensive about elevating Whitman Shorts into the spotlight, but decided that the incredible sound editing and cinematography was worth the honor of the nomination.
In the past, The Academy has also had their eye on the “SAT word of the day” segment as well as the “GIF of flag waving while anchors recite monotone Pledge of Allegiance” segment for a nomination, so hopefully this won’t be Whitman Shorts’ last invite to the prestigious awards.