Saturday, April 8, 2017

Academy Makes Rule Changes to Documentary and Animated Feature

First and foremost, the Academy has just knocked out Five Came Back, Netflix's excellent adaptation of Mark Harris' book by noting that limited series are not eligible for the Oscars, even with the qualifying run in theaters. This is most likely in response to O.J.: Made in America. I personally think it was excellent, whether you call it a television series or a film, but I also understand that as nonfiction filmmaking is blurring the lines between film and television (most end up hitting larger audiences on television, like Netflix and HBO docs), they want to tighten up their rules to try to distinguish, at least a little.

They also tweaked the producing rules for Best Picture, and now says that three or more composers in Best Original Song now count as a group with one statue if they win an Oscar. But the other major change is Animated Feature's nominating committee is now open to any Academy member, where it used to be restricted to those who really work in animation. If you listen the pundits, this means that the smaller films that sneak in due to the animator's personal tastes will be eliminated. But like with the shorts, when they opened up the whole Academy for voting, we discovered that if they don't know the category and don't see enough of the films they simply abstain from voting. My guess is that those who want to serve on this committee will probably be the same folks that currently do because they actually care about and are knowledgeable of the craft. Although I am weary of folks from the executive branch trying to get on the committee to push their company's films. As always, we'll have to wait and see...

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