The new rules that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences‘ Board of Governors approved for the 87th Oscars are minor tweaks to existing rules and won’t greatly affect this year’s race. The most significant change allows producer duos who meet certain criteria to compete as a single producer, which creates the possibility of more producing nominees for Best Picture. Also, if a music group opts to submit a song for Oscar consideration under the group’s name, its members will receive only one statuette rather than one for everyone in the band. And in what sounds like a no-brainer, studios and production companies now have a cap on the number of actors and actresses they can nominate from a single film. This will curb the common practice of simply submitting an alphabetical list of a pic’s entire cast. Here is today’s AMPAS release:
In the Acting categories, studios and production companies must now limit eligibility to a maximum of 10 actors and 10 actresses for each film, and must submit those names on the Official Screen Credits (OSC) form. The Academy’s annual Reminder List of Eligible Releases will now list actors and actresses separately for each film. Actors Branch voters would still make their own determinations about whether a performance should be considered under the Leading Role or Supporting Role category on their nominations ballots.
In the Animated Feature Film category, DVD screeners are now required as part of a film’s submission.
In the Documentary Feature category, films must now screen a minimum of four times daily during their qualifying theatrical releases in both New York and Los Angeles. The screenings must begin between noon and 10 p.m., and at least one screening daily must begin between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
In the Music (Original Song) category, songwriters from established musical groups may now have the option to request that their song submission be considered under their group name. If the request is approved and the song wins the Original Song award, the group would receive a single statuette.
In the Best Picture category, in determining the number of producers on a motion picture who are eligible for nomination, a two-person producing team shall be considered a single “producer” if the individuals have had an established producing partnership for at least the previous five years and have produced as a team at least two previous theatrically released feature films, instead of a minimum five theatrically released feature films.
A rule change in the Production Design category will allow the branch greater flexibility in recognizing the achievements of the principal artists responsible in creating the environment for the story. When the environment of a film is substantially composed of animation and digital artistry, a digital artist who is primarily responsible for the achievement may now be considered for the Production Design award. Previously, only “production designers,” “art directors” and “set decorators” were named as eligible for Awards recognition.
In the Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories, films that have received prior nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution may now qualify for Academy Awards consideration by winning a festival award on the Short Films Qualifying Festival List. Without a festival win, the nontheatrical distribution prior to a theatrical release would still disqualify a short film’s eligibility.
For the first time, the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal award-winning films in the Alternative, Animation, Narrative and Foreign Film categories at the 2014 Student Academy Awards will all be eligible for Oscar® consideration in the Short Film categories. Similarly, the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in the Documentary category at the 2014 Student Academy Awards will be eligible for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category.
Other adjustments to the rules include standard date changes and other “housekeeping” adjustments.
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 Academy also has launched its new Awards Submissions platform for entering information required for Academy Awards consideration. This replaces the Academy’s previous submissions site for feature films, and now includes the ability to submit online for the Animated Feature Film category. Submitting individuals are encouraged to register now at submissions.oscars.org. The deadline for submitting OSC forms for the 87th Academy Awards is 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday, December 3, 2014.
The 87th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
Awards Columnist Pete Hammond - tip him here.