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Oscars: How Many Votes Does It Take to Get a Nomination?

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  • AviChristiaans
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    #124495

    From The Wrap…..Very interesting (and eye opening).
    This might put a lot into perspective and help with our predictions.

    Answer: Not as many as you might think

    The Academy is made up of more than 6,000 members, but to land a Best Picture nomination you only need to persuade 300 of them that your film is the year’s best.

    That’s one lesson from TheWrap’s annual calculation of how many votes it takes to secure a nomination in the 24 Oscar categories.

    The Academy has compiled its annual list of the eligible members in each branch, which this year showed that voting membership has passed the 6,000 mark for the first time since AMPAS began restricting the number of new members more than a decade ago.

    And now that they’ve revealed that their membership has grown to 6,028 potential voters (and more than 6,800 members of all kinds), we can do the math and figure out the “magic numbers” for each category.

    These numbers are predicated on the idea that every eligible voter will cast a ballot. Obviously that’s not true, although PricewaterhouseCoopers has said that voter participation is extremely high, and the Academy reported a record number of voters for the last Oscars.

    The numbers depend on the size of each branch or voting body, as well as the number of nominations up for grabs. Under the preferential system used by the Academy, a film can secure a nomination by getting enough votes to guarantee a spot in the top five (or 10 for Best Picture). It can get those votes either by being listed first on a ballot, or by being ranked lower on a ballot that is re-allocated in the complicated redistribution process used in the nomination round.

     

    So fewer than 40 first-place votes (or second-or-third-place votes on redistributed ballots) will get you a nomination for cinematography, film editing and documentary feature, while fewer than 50 will do so in the original song and production design categories. A film will need to hit triple digits to secure a nomination only in Best Picture and the four acting categories.

    Here’s the breakdown:

    Best Picture
    The entire Academy votes to nominate for this award – including the Executive, Producers and Public Relations branches and Members-at-Large, none of whom nominate in any other categories. That means 6,028 potential voters.

    In this category, there are two different magic numbers: the one required to clinch a nomination after the first round of counting, which is about 8.9 percent of the ballots cast, and the five-percent threshold that will secure a nomination after the redistribution rounds are complete.

    If every eligible voter casts a ballot, the first-round number will be 549 votes, while the ultimate number to shoot for is only 301.


    Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress
    The Actors Branch, by far the Academy’s largest, has 1,176 members. A maximum of 197 votes will guarantee a nomination in the four acting categories, depending on how many eligible members vote.

    Best Animated Feature
    The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch consists of 366 members. If they all voted for the nominations, the magic number would be 61 – but in the category, voting is open to volunteers from both inside and outside the branch, as long as they see 66 percent of the eligible films. This year, that means they had to see 13 toons.

     


    Best Cinematography
    The Cinematographers Branch has 228 members, making the magic number for a nomination 39.

    Best Costume Design
    The Costume Designers Branch, formed from costume designers formerly in the Art Directors Branch, has 108 members, making it the smallest branch to vote for its own award. (The new Casting Directors Branch is smaller, but the Oscars don’t have a casting award.) The magic number is 18.


    Best Director
    The Directors Branch has 377 members, meaning that a maximum of 63 votes will guarantee a nomination.

    Best Documentary Feature
    The branch contains 210 members. Under new rules that went into effect this year, the committees that formerly voted for nominations were abolished, and all branch members became eligible to vote. If they all exercised their right to do so, the magic number would be 35.

     

    Best Documentary Short Subject
    The old rules still apply in nominations for the doc-short category, with volunteers from the branch using an averaged-score system to produce the shortlist and the nominees. That means the magic-number math doesn’t apply.

    Best Film Editing
    The branch contains 230 members, making the magic number for a nomination 39.

    Best Foreign Language Film
    The rules are more complicated in this category than in most, with volunteers from the entire Academy viewing and scoring the eligible films over a period of months. Those viewers – known as the general committee – pick their six favorites, and then an executive committee adds three more films to make up a shortlist. Another hand-picked committee views the nine shortlisted films and votes for the five nominees. Magic numbers never come into play.

    Best Makeup and Hairstyling
    The Makeup Artist and Hairstylists Branch has 135 members. Nominations voting is restricted to members who attend special meetings, with a minimum of 15 members required at the meeting that selects the shortlist. Members who attend a screening of excerpts from the shortlisted films can vote, along with members who’ve seen all seven of the semi-finalists.

    Best Original Score, Best Original Song
     The Music Branch is made up of 240 members, all of whom are now eligible to vote in the Original Score and Original Song categories (and all of whom receive a DVD with clips of the eligible songs as they are used in their films). The magic number, if all the branch members vote, is 41.

    Best Production Design
    The Designers Branch contains 262 members. That gives contenders for the production-design Oscar, which was formerly the Best Art Direction award, a magic number of 44 for a nomination.

    Best Animated Short, Best Live-Action Short
    The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch has 366 members, but not all of them vote in these two categories. Instead, members of the branch serve on special committees and attend special screenings, at which they score each contender on a scale of 6-to-10.

    Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing
    With 418 members, the Sound Branch is the Academy’s fourth-biggest, trailing only actors, producers and executives. If they all vote, the magic number for a nomination in the two categories is 70.

    Best Visual Effects
    The Visual Effects Branch has 323 members, but contenders in its Oscar category are narrowed down to 10 by committees before a “bakeoff” at which clips from each shortlisted film are played and potential nominees are allowed to discuss their work. Ballots are cast on the spot, and tallied using “reweighted range voting” to select the five nominees.

    Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay
    The Writers Branch has 378 members, which would mean that 63 votes are needed to secure a nomination. However, members of other branches who have been nominated or won for writing — for example Cameron Crowe and Ben Affleck — can also vote in the category, theoretically pushing the magic number higher.

    Those are the theoretical numbers behind Oscar nominations. The real numbers will come into play beginning on Jan. 8, the final day for Academy members to vote online or to return their paper ballots to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    http://www.thewrap.com/oscar-numbers-many-votes-take-get-nomination/

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    AviChristiaans
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    #124497

    Taking all this into account, i find it shocking that Ben Affleck & Kathryn Bigelow coudn’t even get 63 votes from the Director’s branch last year.

    And film needs to aim for 300   #1 votes in Best Picture to be eligible to make the 5% rule to make Top 10?
    Seems low, but remember your film needs to be  #1 on the ballot. So you need approximately 300 1# votes.

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    JayDF
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    #124498

    2 questions:

    1. Are the members of the new casting branch eligible to vote for best picture?  Curious since they were not mentioned in the picture breakdown above along with execs, producers & members at large.

    2. I should know this, but can an individual be a member of more than one branch?  Or is it like this in other cats like directing, film editing, cinematography, acting where we know there have been members nominated elsewhere beisdes their main field.  Breakdown of the writing categories prompted this question.

    THANKS! 

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    That Don Guy
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    #124499

    Are the members of the new casting branch eligible to vote for best picture?  Curious since they were not mentioned in the picture breakdown above along with execs, producers & members at large.

    Going by a strict reading of the rules, I would say “yes”:
    Rule 16.1
    A Reminder List of all eligible motion pictures shall be made available along with a nominations ballot {for Best Picture} to all active and life members of the Academy who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five pictures

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    Scottferguson
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    #124500

    The BP category is a bit more complicated with the new 5% rule, which I’ve finally figured out how it works.

    A few years ago, the Academy decided that if a member is part of one branch (say director) and is nominated in another category (say writing) s/he then will be eligible to nominate in both categories. It means that people like Warren Beatty and Woody Allen and George Clooney can nominate in 3 (acting, writing, directing) as well as BP. But one has to be nominated to do so, not just be active. Some members switch branches during their time of members.

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