Outgoing Academy Prexy Hawk Koch Regains Top Producers Guild Post

By | Monday August 5, 2013 @ 9:14am PDT
Mike Fleming

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that Hawk Koch rejoins Mark Gordon as President of the PGA after a leave to serve a one-year term as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Gordon

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OSCARS: Academy’s First Foray Into Online Voting Had Rocky Start

By | Friday February 15, 2013 @ 9:00pm PST
Pete Hammond

This year the big question hasn’t been exactly who Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members are going to vote for, it has been instead whether they can figure out how to vote at all. With the advent of online voting for the first time in Academy history, the path during the nomination balloting hasn’t been a smooth one for many voters. Some found that the Academy’s security steps, necessary to avoid hackers, have also kept voters out, forcing them to make repeated attempts at getting their ballot completed.

Although all the guilds and other voting groups have moved full force into the world of online voting, the Academy went through a slow, methodical process before finally settling on Everyone Counts, a company known for working with the U.S. government in a similar capacity. Unlike most industry groups, the Academy is a prime target for infiltration by cyber terrorists who Read More »

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AMPAS Celebrates Gene Kelly’s Centennial

By | Tuesday May 1, 2012 @ 8:05pm PDT

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a two-night celebration of the life and career of legendary dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Film clips, personal remembrances and an exploration of the technology Kelly used to change the look of dance on film will be featured on consecutive evenings: Thursday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, and Friday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Both programs will be hosted by Kelly’s widow, film historian Patricia Ward Kelly.

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AMPAS Acquires 70,000 Photos From Bison Archives Of Early Movie Stills

By | Thursday March 29, 2012 @ 1:59pm PDT

The collection dates back to the earliest days of cinema, and the founding of the Bison Company, an early studio that made westerns with Native Americans in their casts. The photos join the 10 million-plus collection in the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library.

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has acquired more than 70,000 photographs from the Bison Archives, the private collection of renowned film historian Marc Wanamaker, Academy COO Ric Robertson announced today. The images document nearly every facet of film production between 1909 and the present day, focusing on the first half of the 20th century. Many of these images are the only known photographs of their subjects, including a group of eight behind-the-scenes color images of the filming of the opening sequence of Orson Welles’s 1958 noir classic, “Touch of Evil.”

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Film Academy Starts To Name Museum Team

By | Wednesday March 21, 2012 @ 2:40pm PDT

The Motion Picture Academy has begun its aggressive efforts to get its long-in-the-planning Academy Museum of Motion Pictures project going. Heather Cochran has been working on the project since its inception more than 4 years ago and has been promoted to Managing Director of the Academy Museum Project. Bill Kramer joins the Academy as Managing Director Development with the task of leading fund-raising efforts for the museum project. The Academy already houses an extensive collection of movie memorabilia and preserved films but recently began adding to its holdings which will be housed in the LACMA West building on the LACMA grounds at LA’s Miracle Mile area. On February 22, an angel team of investors lead by Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg and Terry Semel acquired “The Witch’s Shoes,” considered the finest of the known surviving pairs of ruby slippers used in The Wizard Of Oz. By announcing the acquisition, the Academy hopes it provides an impetus for other donations of artifacts and funds. Late last year, Academy President Tom Sherak announced that Disney Co. President and CEO Bob Iger would chair the capital campaign for the museum. Actors Tom Hanks and Annette Bening will co-chair the effort, which Kramer will manage. here’s today’s announcement:

Beverly Hills, CA – Heather Cochran and Bill Kramer have been named to two newly created senior positions as part of the continuing progress of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, it was announced today by Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Cochran has been elevated to Managing Director, Academy Museum Project, and Kramer will serve as Managing Director, Development. Both will report directly to Hudson.

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Ruby Slippers Are The “Holy Grail” For Academy’s Planned Museum

By | Thursday February 23, 2012 @ 1:11pm PST

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is banking on ruby-red slipper magic to rally support for its proposed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures — 70 years after the iconic shoes’ debut in The Wizard Of Oz. Dorothy’s vibrant Technicolor … Read More »

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Tom Sherak Reflects On The Past Week…

By | Saturday November 12, 2011 @ 12:32am PST

Tonight in the Samuel Goldwyn theater, at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Tom Sherak got a knowing laugh. It was right before the screening of The Great White Hope as part of the new Governors Awards … Read More »

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OSCARS: Eddie Murphy Pulls Out As Host

HAMMOND: Murphy Exit Throws Oscars Into Further Chaos
Will The Academy Consider Brian Grazer?
HAMMOND: Oscars Post-Ratner – What Now?
SHOCKER! Brett Ratner Out As Oscar Producer
Eddie Murphy Agrees To Host Oscars; Producers Tell Film Academy It’s Official

UPDATED: Only three months before the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and ABC are almost back to square one. Hours after Brett Ratner tendered his resignation as Oscar producer in the fallout of racy-bordering-on-vulgar public comments and the use of an anti-gay slur, Eddie Murphy has stepped down as host. The move is not entirely unexpected given that Ratner was the one who brought in his Tower Heist star Murphy, and Deadline noted that Ratner’s exit Tuesday gave Murphy the perfect chance to bow out. But it still gives the Academy a big headache having to replace a producer and now a host only three months before the February 26 Academy Awards ceremony. On the other hand, Murphy’s acceptance of the gig was abnormally early. With the two departures, the only key member of the creative team remaining in place is veteran TV producer Don Mischer, who had been originally paired with Ratner. As for potential replacements, Brian Grazer, who produced Tower Heist, is being rumored as a candidate to succeed Ratner. Here is AMPAS’ statement on Murphy’s departure:

Beverly Hills, CA – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced that Eddie Murphy has withdrawn as host of the 84th Academy Awards. “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well,” said Sherak.

Commented Murphy, “First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.”

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.

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OSCARS: 18 Animated Feature Films Submit

By | Friday November 4, 2011 @ 1:35pm PDT

Beverly Hills, CA – Eighteen features have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 84th Academy Awards®.

The 18 submitted features are:

“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Alois Nebel”
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”
“Arthur Christmas”
“Cars 2″
“A Cat in Paris”
“Chico

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R.I.P. Oscar Producer Gilbert Cates

Mike Fleming

2ND UPDATE, 12:45 PM: Reaction from Hollywood to Gil Cates’ death today is coming fast. The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood just released a statement mourning its founder and producing director, who in addition to his Oscar pedigree led the Directors Guild of America in labor talks and founded UCLA’s film school. From the statement:

Gil was many things to many people throughout the entertainment industry — to the Oscars, one their longest running producers; to the DGA, their longtime president and chief negotiator; to UCLA, the founder of their school of Theater, Film and Television; and to the Geffen Playhouse, he was our founder, our leader and our heart.

“Gil has always referred to the staff of the Geffen Playhouse as his second family” said Geffen Playhouse Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. “And it is as a family that we mourn this tremendous loss. Gil built this theater and he will forever be at the center of it – we honor his life by continuing the fulfillment of his dream. As my dear friend Gil would no doubt say ‘onward and upward with the arts.’ “

From DGA president Taylor Hackford: “There are few people in the history of the Guild who have matched Gil’s vision and influence on the organization and our industry. There was no greater champion of the creative and economic rights of directors and their teams and no truer friend to the membership, board and staff of the DGA. For more than fifty years, Gil has served the Guild — as president, as secretary-treasurer, as negotiations chair. It’s impossible to think of a single issue debated, program launched or battle fought on behalf of us all that didn’t have his special touch in its crafting.

From Steven Spielberg: “No one may ever again achieve what Gil Cates achieved in his contributions to the success of the Motion Picture Academy and the Directors Guild. In producing 14 Oscar shows for the Academy and leading the Directors Guild through challenging times and negotiations, he set a remarkable standard for dedication and excellence. He was the most liked person I knew and will be missed by all who knew him as a proud member of our industry and a great pal to everyone.”

UPDATE, 11:19 AM: The Academy has just issued this statement regarding the death of Gilbert Cates: “Gil was our colleague, our friend and a former governor of the Academy,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “He was a consummate professional who gave the Academy and the world some of the most memorable moments in Oscar® history. His passing is a tremendous loss to the entertainment industry, and our thoughts go out to his family.”

Cates produced the Academy Awards® 14 times between 1990 and 2008, more than any other individual. He was responsible for first bringing hosts Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart to Oscar’s stage.

Cates served three consecutive terms as a governor of the Academy’s Directors Branch, from 1984 to 1993. He returned to the board for another term beginning in 2002, and held the post of vice president from 2003 to 2005.

PREVIOUS, 10:13 AM: Deadline has confirmed that veteran Academy Awards producer Gilbert Cates died at age 77. Read More »

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Academy Announces Winners Of 2011 Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships

Beverly Hills, CA – Seven writers have been selected as winners for the 26th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each writer

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OSCARS: 63 Films In Competition For Foreign-Language Film Academy Award

Pete Hammond

For the Academy’s official screening schedule, click here.

EXCLUSIVE: Although the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has yet to release an official list or tally (look for that by Thursday or Friday), the screening schedule is out and … Read More »

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HAMMOND: The Oscar Race Is On To Get Academy Voters’ Private Info

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount’s announcement on Tuesday that it was teaming with Deluxe Entertainment Services Group to become the first major studio to stream its awards consideration films online made news and tech-challenged voters nervous. (So far, it is a pilot program for the Visual Effects Society; a Paramount source told me they were selected because they are deemed the most likely to be able to figure out how to do it.) But this isn’t the only awards-season noise the newly aggressive Deluxe has been making this month. Another of  their moves even raised eyebrows among several rank-and-file Academy voters.

Last week, some concerned Academy members contacted me regarding an emailed letter they had received from Deluxe Media Management asking for confirmation of their contact information and directing them to a detailed survey of the members’ personal details in their database. A bolded note near the bottom warned: “PLEASE NOTE: We must receive verification of your contact information before screeners or other materials can be sent.” This letter was preceded by an introductory email a week earlier telling members that Deluxe was the “preferred industry partner for distribution of awards consideration materials” and would be sending a subsequent email instructing them how to update their contact information and that their privacy would be respected and info remain confidential. The second letter began by saying:

Dear AMPAS Member,

Since 2003, Deluxe Media Management has been producing, manufacturing and fulfilling watermarked and regular DVD screeners for our studio clients. On behalf  of our studio clients, Deluxe also distributes screening calendars and various awards materials to AMPAS members worldwide. Please take a moment to confirm your contact information is current in our database. This will ensure timely dielivery of your awards consideration materials.

Nowhere is this letter do they identify who those studio clients are, and some AMPAS members I have talked to were concerned about being solicited directly by an outside vendor requesting personal information. But due to the wording of the letter, they were worried they wouldn’t get screeners if they didn’t comply. Read More »

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DREAMING ANEW: Academy Approves Movie Museum Housed At LACMA West: Hollywood Abandoned For Wilshire Blvd

By | Tuesday October 4, 2011 @ 9:25pm PDT

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) have taken a step toward realizing a museum dedicated to motion pictures and the creation of a new and unique cultural center for the city of Los Angeles. On Tuesday night (10/4), the Academy’s Board of Governors joined their LACMA counterparts in agreeing to sign a memorandum of understanding to work in good faith in establishing the Academy’s movie museum in the historic May Company building, currently known as LACMA West. The memo paves the way for the two organizations to discuss details of a future contract and for the Academy to begin developing plans for fundraising, design, exhibitions, visitor experience, and modifications to this historic site.

“It is appropriate and long overdue for the city that is home to the motion picture industry to recognize this art form with a museum of its own. The LACMA Board is delighted to be facilitating this important cultural event, which has special resonance for me, having spent most of my life dedicated to the great art of movies,” said co-chair of the LACMA Board of Trustees Terry Semel. “The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will provide a much needed destination for cultural tourists and Los Angelenos to learn more about cinema, and the setting could not be more ideal, nestled next to the largest encyclopedic art museum in the Western United States.”

According to Academy President Tom Sherak, “The new museum will be a world-class destination that is a tangible representation of the Academy’s mission. And the idea of our museum being part of a larger cultural center for the arts, in this city that we love, was incredibly compelling to the Academy Board.”

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Oscar Documentary Shorts Deadline Sept. 1

BEVERLY HILLS, CA — Thursday, September 1, is the deadline for documentary filmmakers to submit short subject documentaries to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for consideration for the 84th Academy Awards®.

To be eligible, the documentaries must complete a seven-day commercial run in a theater in either Los Angeles County or in the Borough of Manhattan in New York, between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2011. All paperwork must be completed and received by the Academy no later than 30 days after the end of the qualifying run. For films completing their qualifying run after August 1, all paperwork, including legal contracts, must be completed and received by the Academy by 5 p.m. PT on Thursday, September 1.

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Academy Narrows Visual Effects Oscar Field

Mike Fleming

Beverly Hills, CA –The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that seven films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 83rd Academy Awards®.
The films are listed below in alphabetical order:
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
“Hereafter”
“Inception”
“Iron Man 2”
“Scott Pilgrim

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AMPAS Names Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship Winners

By | Wednesday October 20, 2010 @ 9:58am PDT
Mike Fleming

Beverly Hills, CA – Five writers have been selected as winners of the 25th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each writer will receive a $30,000 prize, the first installment of which will be distributed at a

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OSCAR: Academy’s Bruce Davis To Retire



EXCLUSIVE: This is truly the end of an era. I’ve just learned that Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences executive director Bruce Davis announced at this evening’s Board Of Governors meeting that he intends to retire on June 30th, 2011, after … Read More »

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Academy Voters React To ‘Social Network; Blake Edwards Reacts To Academy Tribute

Pete Hammond

Sony Pictures’ Oscar hopeful The Social Network not only had a good weekend at the box office with an estimated $23 million, but an even better weekend at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The film’s “official” West Coast member screening Saturday … Read More »

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