Exactly four months from today on March 2nd the 86th Academy Awards will take place, but the 2013 awards season starts in earnest today as Deadline’s 3rd Annual THE CONTENDERS event kicks off this morning at the brand new Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. It’s the meeting of a new venue and an early look at the race for Oscar that will bring members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and key guild voters to see what the studios and distributors are touting as their big contenders this year. In all 12 of those companies will each be given a half hour to showcase their wares and make their case for a slate of Oscar-worthy hopefuls that already is promising to be the strongest in years. Participating are The Weinstein Company, Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate, Focus, CBS Films, Paramount, Fox Searchlight, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, Walt Disney Pictures, Universal and Dreamworks Animation. Numerous directors, writers, producers, actors and below the line artists will be participating in panels presided over by Deadline’s Pete Hammond, Mike Fleming Jr. and Dominic Patten. The day long event running from 9AM to 5pm will also feature a catered breakfast and buffet lunch. And it’s completely sold out. Camera crews will be capturing it all and highlights from each presentation will be featured on Deadline, ENTV and other outlets in the weeks to come. The event is being produced by Madelyn Hammond.
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OK, Academy members, this is your last chance to switch from online voting to a paper ballot or simply even request a paper ballot to vote in the finals for the 2012 Oscars. Balloting begins February 8th and runs to 5 PM PT on February 19th, but if you find yourself frustrated by what some members feel is a too-complex online voting experience during nominations, you only have until tomorrow, February 1, to switch to paper by calling 1-800 251-0185 or emailing the membership department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences seems to be doing everything it can to avoid some of the problems members had with online voting for noms, mostly just by just trying repeatedly to inform members they do have the option of paper but must make that request by tomorrow. A follow-up to last week’s email informing voters of their options was sent to members by President Hawk Koch earlier this afternoon. It was simply to inform them of tomorrow’s deadline to request paper with a P.S. that all members would be receiving a package of DVD screeners for the nominated Live Action and Animated shorts and Documentary Features by start of voting. Rather than allowing voting for these films only at special screenings, this is the first year the Academy is sending them to the entire membership in order to foster greater participation. Read More »
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ brave new steps into electronic voting for Oscars after 84 years of the snail mail routine is proceeding well. Most members seem to be getting the message that they must register to vote, as well as pay dues, before they will be eligible when balloting officially begins on December 17th and runs through January 3rd. That is 10 days earlier than last year and smack in the middle of the holiday season so naturally the Academy was a little nervous when they decided to launch this process four months ago. But I’m told things are going smoothly and they have their fingers crossed it will continue that way. “The response has been really favorable. We are very encouraged,” Academy COO Ric Robertson told me this afternoon, adding that most members are going for the electronic voting option but that there have been a “small number” of requests so far for the old fashioned paper ballots. One member though who is working on a major Best Picture contender told me they have heard from numerous other members saying they were requesting a paper ballot (“although they were all 60 and above”). The Academy will provide paper ballots as long as Oscar voters make that request by this Friday November 30. If members desiring traditional paper ballots have not registered to vote and made their request by Friday, they will not be able to participate using that method. Think of it as registering to vote for President. After the cut-off date you’re out of luck. Electronic voting registration however will remain open throughout the entire process ending on January 3rd so there’s another clear advantage for the onliners. Read More »