New Academy Rules

For the films of 2011
Okri
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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby Okri » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:22 am

The link to the board is on that page, I thought. That's how I found the new board (I never keep my email address up to date)

I agree with BJ - even in years I adore (2002) there just doesn't seem to be a need for more than five nominations. Having a strict number seems tidier for posterity. Though frankly, it's not like I pay much attention to tidiness in my own awards anyway.

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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:51 am

OscarGuy wrote:Damien's issue is he won't change the web address to the board, so he keeps trying to log into the old board.


That doesn't make any sense.

Can you put a link to this board onto the "Board Offline" page at UAADB?
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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:38 am

Damien's issue is he won't change the web address to the board, so he keeps trying to log into the old board. I've e-mailed several others about coming over with seemingly no luck. I'm at a loss for how to fix it because the old site will not be back and I can't perma-forward that site without locking myself out of the old database (for retrieving old private messages for people if they need them).
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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:35 am

How do I track such prognostications? Do I go with ten and not count those I didn't predict? Do I try to predict exactly how many and how many will fit into each? Do I make separate lists for 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 nominees? How do I track that statistically? How do I figure that into prior year's predictions? Do I predict ten, rank them and then predict that X number will get 5%? It's a colossal pain to try to figure out how to even approach this. For some of you, I'm sure this won't be that big of an issue, but it's just a pain.

And don't you bet that films like Blind Side won't get nominated. If anything, I think Blind Side is the kind of film that would end up with 5% of the vote (Chocolat anyone or Awakenings anyone?). What it's going to do is hurt independents. Unless there's a huge consensus for one, none will get nominated. You can bet that A Serious Man and Winter's Bone would have had problems getting nominated last year with this scheme. I also think more interesting picks like District 9, An Education, 127 Hours and The Kids Are All Right would have hard times getting nominated. And what about Pixar. Sure it's a popular film company, but I think this might actually hurt them and possibly even the likes of The Dark Knight for which this rule was conjecturally created.

And those who were hoping Super 8 and Tintin would get nominations this year, you're probably out of luck. This rule change will pretty much doom Super 8.
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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:33 am

There's a flailing aspect to this -- like, they see expanding to 10 diluted the brand, and they want to fix it somehow. We can't know if this'll really do the job till we see the plan in action. At least it'll help resolve a debate that's sprung up in the Tree of Life thread -- is it little art films with passionate bases that are helped by the expansion, or stuff like Blind Side? It's hard to believe you couldn't get roughly 300 votes for something like Tree of Life (or Black Swan last year).

Strategy will now become more important, though. As someone said at another site, if your number one choice is something you know has no shot -- like, I might have picked The Butcher Boy in 1998 -- under the old system, you can indulge that choice, knowing your number 2-3 choice, if closer to mainstream opinion, will still factor in. Now your top choice becomes considerably more vital.

I'd say, for the Academy, the fact that this will make life more difficult for professional prognosticators is a feature, not a bug. My guess is they'd be happy to wipe the whole precursor/prognosticator universe off the board.

We do seem to have lost veteran posters with this re-boot. I have no idea why some appear to be staying away.

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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby The Original BJ » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:22 am

Well, my first instinct is honestly just to laugh. Obviously, this organization has serious concerns about the movies it's selecting, and seems desperate to try anything to change up the rules to get a more "ideal" list.

What's interesting is that this change occurred after last year's batch of nominees, which featured no widely-carped about-exclusions (as in '08) or inclusions (as in '09). All told, last year's ten were a respectable lot, and I'd have to imagine that it gave more people faith that the ten-nominee system could "work" rather than gave people in the industry more cause for alarm. But, apparently not.

OscarGuy, you DON'T like that this change injects more suspense into the nomination process? That, to me, is the best part of this move. Not even knowing how many nominees we might get in a year seems more exciting than "will it be 127 Hours or The Town?" How is making things more difficult for predictors a bad thing?

Also, I do sort of like that this change acknowledges that not all years are created equal. Some years ARE more bountiful than others, and there's something nice in theory about allowing for more Best Picture nominees in better years. (For instance, I think there were definitely more than five Best Picture nomination-level films in '01 and '07, but would have hated to have to fill out ten in '03 or '05.)

Of course, there is also something nice about having the same number of nominees, year in and year out -- the annointed five. And given the very narrow field of films from which the Academy chooses, I still don't see any real need for there to be more than 5 nominees. But if the past three years have taught us anything, there's no use in assuming this will definitely be the system for all eternity -- for all we know, this could just be a way to transition back to five nominees within a couple years. Maybe Oscar geeks in decades to come will look back on these handful of years as a fluky period of change before things returned to something constant.

It's also interesting to learn that Price Waterhouse maintains all of its Oscar records from years past. I guess they would have to, but I hadn't really thought about it before.

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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby Sonic Youth » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:13 am

OscarGuy wrote:I think it's fairly moronic. They're trying to add suspense into the nominations process while fucking over prognosticators. And making things more convoluted in the process.


Really? I think it's ingenious. Maybe not as an idea (if they went from the 5-slot Best Picture slate straight to this, I wouldn't like it). But as a compromise, definitely. This could provide further, very intriguing hints as to the Academy's mindset. I understand it will wreak havoc on Oscar prognosticator's prediction formulas, but so what? That's none of AMPAS's concern. If anything, I think it will make predicting a lot more fun.

And above all, the end result of this change will probably be the reverting back to the 5-slot Best Picture category. Until then, we can enjoy ourselves with this new rule.

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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby anonymous1980 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:40 am

It will certainly put the kibosh on things like The Blind Side from getting in. I can't imagine a film like that getting 5% #1 votes even with this group.

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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:58 am

I like the change. I think it's their way of saying the expansion to ten didn't work without actually saying it.

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Re: New Academy Rules

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:11 am

I think it's fairly moronic. They're trying to add suspense into the nominations process while fucking over prognosticators. And making things more convoluted in the process.
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New Academy Rules

Postby anonymous1980 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:53 am

Academy Builds Surprise Into Best Picture Rules

Beverly Hills, CA (June 14, 2011) - The governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted on Tuesday (6/14) to add a new twist to the 2011 Best Picture competition, and a new element of surprise to its annual nominations announcement. The Board voted to institute a system that will now produce anywhere between five and 10 nominees in the category. That number won’t be announced until the Best Picture nominees themselves are revealed at the January nominations announcement.

“With the help of PricewaterhouseCoopers, we’ve been looking not just at what happened over the past two years, but at what would have happened if we had been selecting 10 nominees for the past 10 years,” explained Academy President Tom Sherak, who noted that it was retiring Academy executive director Bruce Davis who recommended the change first to Sherak and incoming CEO Dawn Hudson and then to the governors.

During the period studied, the average percentage of first place votes received by the top vote-getting movie was 20.5. After much analysis by Academy officials, it was determined that 5% of first place votes should be the minimum in order to receive a nomination, resulting in a slate of anywhere from five to 10 movies.

“In studying the data, what stood out was that Academy members had regularly shown a strong admiration for more than five movies,” said Davis. “A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to round out the number.”

If this system had been in effect from 2001 to 2008 (before the expansion to a slate of 10), there would have been years that yielded 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 nominees.

The final round of voting for Best Picture will continue to employ the preferential system, regardless of the number of nominees, to ensure that the winning picture has the endorsement of more than half of the voters.

Other rules changes approved by the Board include:

In the animated feature film category, the need for the Board to vote to “activate” the category each year was eliminated, though a minimum number of eligible releases – eight – is still required for a competitive category. Additionally, the short films and feature animation branch recommended, and the Board approved, refinements to the number of possible nominees in the Animated Feature category. In any year in which eight to 12 animated features are released, either two or three of them may be nominated. When 13 to 15 films are released, a maximum of four may be nominated, and when 16 or more animated features are released, a maximum of five may be nominated.

In the visual effects category, the “bakeoff” at which the nominees are determined will expand from seven to 10 contenders. The increase in the number of participants is related to a change made last year in which the number of films nominated in the visual effects category was increased from three to five.

Previously, the Board approved changes to the documentary feature and documentary short category rules that now put those categories’ eligibility periods in line with the calendar year and thus with most other awards categories. The change means that for the 84th Awards cycle only, the eligibility period is more than 12 months; it is from September 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011.

Other modifications of the 84th Academy Awards rules include normal date changes and minor “housekeeping” changes.

Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees. The Awards Rules Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors for approval.

The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.


Personally, I think this is the fairest compromise in the 10 nominees vs. 5 nominees Best Picture slots.


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