As the announcement indicates, the PGA is following status quo, not Oscar, which is a bit of a surprise. Despite its close relationship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Producers Guild of America today confirmed it will not be following Oscar’s lead this time and is sticking to nominating a full slate of 10 films for it Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures category. Like the Academy , this is the model the Guild followed for the past two awards cycles and it has decided ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. It’s significant because the Guild , which vets all eligible producer nominees not only for their own awards but also for the Academy, immediately fell in line when Oscar moved from five to ten nominees in 2009 doing the exact same thing. At the time a high ranking person in the PGA told me their professional relationship with the Academy really necessitated falling in line with Oscar for the PGA awards too. Not this time though.
The Academy announced a new Best Picture change on June 14 where in an effort to inject some added suspense and surprise into the process they instituted a new system that could produce five to ten nominees based on a method that requires at 5% of first place votes. Considering past history I suspected the PGA would adopt this change too in order to keep the symmetry between the two orgs but they have decided to go their own way this time. Word within the PGA is they like things just the way they are and are not inclined to follow every one of Oscar’s voting whims.
The PGA awards , first of the major guilds awards presented each year, sent shock waves through the Oscar race the last two years in a row when surprise choices The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech upset respective favorites Avatar and The Social Network. Both ’Hurt’ and ‘King’s' went on to win the Best Picture Oscar. The momentum boost from PGA certainly didn’t hurt their chances.
Nominations for the 23rd annual PGA awards will be announced on January 3rd and the awards show will take place on Saturday January 21, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton.
Awards Columnist Pete Hammond - tip him here.