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Academy Changes Rule FLF

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  • babypook
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    #101122

    Is this going to ‘help’? Lol

    Academy Changes Rules, Will Let Everyone Vote in Foreign-Language Category

    Announcement of new rules also includes the unprecedented revelation that 90 percent of the Academy voted for this year’s Oscars

    Published: May 04, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    By Steve Pond

    The Academy has changed the rules in the Best Foreign-Language Film and Best Documentary Short Subject categories, allowing all members to vote in the categories for the first time without attending special screenings.

    The announcement came at the first AMPAS-wide membership meeting, a presentation and forum that took place simultaneously in Beverly Hills, New York City and Emeryville in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    AMPAS also made a similar change to the rules in the Best Documentary Short category. The Academy will now send its members screeners of all nominated films in the five categories that formerly require attendance at special screenings: foreign-language, documentary and doc short, and the animated and live-action shorts.

    The rule change went into effect in the doc-feature, animated short and live-action short categories last year.

    All 24 categories will now appear on the Oscar ballot. In the past, those five categories were not on the main ballot, but required members to see the films in a theater before voting.

    Members will no longer have to prove that they’ve seen all the films before voting, but will be on the honor system, as they are in the other Oscar categories.

    The rule requiring members to see all five foreign-language nominees in a theater severly restricted the number of voters in the category, and in a sense leveled the playing field and made possible upsets like the victories of “Departures” over “The Class” or “The Secret In Their Eyes” over “A Prophet” and “The White Ribbon.”

    The foreign-language voting should now involve significantly more voters, and the results could favor higher-profile films and place increased importance on campaigning. With voters not required to see all the nominees, smaller movies may well need to work harder to persuade members to see them before voting.

    In making the announcement, Academy president Hawk Koch said, “This change continues our efforts to expand our members’ participation in all aspects of the Academy’s activities including, of course, voting for the Oscars.”

    Koch’s statement in the AMPAS press release also surprisingly revealed that 90 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots for the Oscars this year, which he said was a record.

    In the past, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Academy have described voter turnout as strong, but have never released any actual figures.

    The changes in the foreign-language and doc-short categories had both been known to be in the works for some time.

    The membership meeting, which began with brunch in Beverly Hills and Emeryville and lunch in New York, was also scheduled to include presentations and discussions about online voting, new technology and the Academy Museum.  

       

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    Scottferguson
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    #101124

    This is an excellent change. The previous rule put the vote into the hands of a small % of members (reported to be less than 10%) and cut off a lot of people who wanted to vote.

    The concurrent change should be to make sure screeners are sent to all members, but that shouldn’t be a problem.  

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    Scottferguson
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    #101125

    What the rule will do is favor those films that actually have been released and have been tested by critics and audiences, rather than obscure, lesser titles that have little interest apart from their native countries and a portion of the small group who up to this point have voted.

    It’s hard to say how this would affected past years, when many of the winners were opened after the awards. Now I suspect the leading distribs are going to want to make sure that they are already open. 

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    mse
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    #101126

    In making the announcement, Academy president Hawk Koch said, “This change continues our efforts to expand our members’ participation in all aspects of the Academy’s activities including, of course, voting for the Oscars.”

    Well, they were able to participate in that before. They just had to watch the films first. Gasp, what an impossible criterion!

    No, of course I know that most members don’t actually have the time or opportunity to sit through all these special screenings, and that screeners are much more practical. But who are we kidding? 90% of the voters are still not going to watch all the foreign language films or documentaries. They might watch one with the most support and cast their vote accordingly. That might be good news for some but to me that just makes the Academy Awards even more predictable and tediously boring. Judge me all you want, but I like tiny obscure surprising wins that happen because the voters actually watched all of the nominees in a category.

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    Scottferguson
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    #101127

    The obscure surprising wins have almost always been to minor, undeserving films with little acclaim outside their home countries. They have managed to make the category lose respect among the movie going public.

    I disagree that 90% of the members won’t see all 5. There won’t be 90% that do. But the anecdotal evidence from last year is that many members did bother to at least start all of the doc nominees. I think the same thing will be true of this.

    If a representative number of members saw the nominees, then fine. Unfortunately, it became nearly entirely a small subset of older, retired, LA based members who had the time and interest.

    And what ended up happening is that some companies with one or more unreleased films – Sony Classics and Miramax/Weinstein have both done this – withheld their nominees so that members had to see one of only two screenings in order to vote, which automatically cut down the number of voters. The rules were gameplayed by some distribs to work to their advantage. This will now be ended, which is a good thing.        

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    CanadianFan
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    #101128

    I don’t think this is a good change.

    As a matter of fact, I believe “Paperman” beat “Head Over Heels” precisely because it was open to the entire membership. A lot of voters did not see the animated shorts and voted for “Paperman” based off Pixar’s name recognition and buzz instead of the ingenious “Head Over Heels”.

    I think the films with the most buzz will win the categories now because it will mean a TON of uninformed voters casting their ballot. I’m disappointed that it’s open to everyone.

    In theory, it’s a good idea. But as long as the academy doesn’t make the voter sign a contract stating they watched the films (like Emmy voters), it will do more harm than good. 

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    Anonymous
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    #101129

    Fuck you, Academy! A big fuck you!

     

    The only interesting category is going to become live every other. Boring and predictable. Those lazy sons of bitches won’t even bother to watch those movies. It’s gonna be always the one that is sweeping or the one with the most famous director behind it. Meaning: couple of countries with the most famous directors are going to win again and again and again.

     

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    Scottferguson
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    #101130

    How do you know this? My guess is that most members who didn’t see all 5 didn’t vote. We are all just speculating here, including you.
    The Pixar name isn’t on the ballot – how would they know which one they made if any? 

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    CanadianFan
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    #101131

    Fuck you, Academy! A big fuck you!

     

    The only interesting category is going to become live every other. Boring and predictable. Those lazy sons of bitches won’t even bother to watch those movies. It’s gonna be always the one that is sweeping or the one with the most famous director behind it. Meaning: couple of countries with the most famous directors are going to win again and again and again.

     

    Yep… just a terrible decision. In fact, I would go the opposite direction and make more restrictive voting like the Emmys. They have a track record of watching the tapes and voting for the winner based off of that (Paul over Esposito, Chandler over Hamm, etc…). I do not believe Oscar voters are nearly as reliable. Ugh, I’m really disappointed by this.

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    CanadianFan
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    #101132

    How do you know this? My guess is that most members who didn’t see all 5 didn’t vote. We are all just speculating here, including you.
    The Pixar name isn’t on the ballot – how would they know which one they made if any? 

    Well, my guess is that most members who didn’t see all 5 *still* voted.
    People still knew that “Paperman” was made by Pixar… After all, better shorts like “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”, “The Lost Thing”, “La Maison en Petits Cubes” beat competitive Pixar shorts. 

    It’s no coincidence that when the category was opened up to everyone that a lame Pixar short beat a great short from a small group. You can choose to ignore that but I won’t. Pixar lost 7 or 8 times before that with better shorts and worse competition.

    Have you seen “Head Over Heels”? It has the same type of creativity that past winner have. “Paperman” just has the Pixar brand… but when the voting was open to everyone, it won. 

     

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    Scottferguson
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    #101133

    But you are ignoring that more often than not Academy members ignore the clearly better nominee for the more accessible one – this is the rule, not the exception, at the Oscars.

    And the difference in the FL category is that if in the unlikely event many voters do vote without seeing all 5, at least they will be voting for a film they have seen, as well as one probably supported by popular and critical support.

    It’s an imperfect compromise, but vastly superior to the current system.

    One thing it will do is further enbolden countries to submit films not aimed at the usually narrow, reactionary aesthetically interests of the moribund committee and those few others who have been able to vote under the past system. This is a good thing.     

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    CanadianFan
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    #101134

    They didn’t ignore the better nominees, though! The best animated short usually won because of the restrictions!

    And no… that is not a better system than the old one. I can’t comprehend your logic. How is a system where voters cast their ballot without seeing the film BETTER than one where people do? Because it will conform to the accessible, boring academy?

    How is an uninformed voting bloc more reliable than one where people watch the films? I don’t care about the “popular voting bloc” if they are uninformed. If that’s the case, what separates the Oscars from the People’s Choice awards?

     

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    Scottferguson
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    #101135

    Again, you act like it is certain members will vote without seeing all 5. And that when a small, reactionary, unrepresentative of the Academy group does the voting, it is a fairer result.

    I do think a case can be made that shorts should still be seen by a select group. I actually think that all categories except for best picture should only be voted on by members of the branch,

    But I am dealing with the reality of how this category operates as something of an insider who knows the marketeers who manipulate this category, the very limited tastes of many of the voters, the frustration of many very big supporters of FL film who are incapable of voting because of the usually limited screenings and previous rules, the stupid choices that have made the Academy look ridiculous in the past.

    To its credit, the last two years the system led to appropriate choices. But too often obscure, quickly forgotten films won because they appealed to a narrow group of Academy members who had the time to see them and the preference for sentimental films with kids in them and soaring musical scores and lazy liberal themes all calculated to appeal to this small group.

    I totally respect your instinctive reaction. My viewpoint comes from an initimate association with this award and group and how much damage it has done to getting American viewers to have less than a negative reaction of subtitled films, rather than making them more exciting and interesting and relevant.        

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    Renaton
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    #101136

    Really, people are against this? The reason why the winners in Foreign Language film are always so random is because of those committees they do. Opening to all members is a good change. Voters interested in the category that have seen the films but were never a part of the committee will able to vote for it, insetad of just the people going for the most conservative and tame choice every time.

    I know the previous two winners in this category were excellent, but look at the wins before, and you’ll see it’s a bunch of stuffy, forgettable films. It isn’t the perfect solution because it doesn’t guarentee there will be quality films nominated, but at least we won’t have random ass mediocre stuff like “The Secret In Their Eyes” beating “The White Ribbon” and “A Prophet”, at least not as much.

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    CanadianFan
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    #101137

    The entire system is flawed.

    I hate to beat a dead horse but they should really copy the Emmy system. Restrict voting to a few hundred who will sign a piece of paper saying they watched every film.

    I would rather have a somewhat reactionary group decide the winners (who have seen everything) than people who haven’t given it a fair chance. And if your problem is with the committee, add a hundred or two more but don’t open it up to the entire academy (some of whom have NO interest in shorts).  

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