The academy’s announcement on Dec. 19 of the seven films that made the shortlist for the Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar ends the preliminary round of voting in all eight categories in which the nominees are determined by a system other than the usual method. The nominations voting for the 16 categories at the Oscars with conventional rules will begin on Jan. 5 and run for eight days.
As detailed below, a full one-third of the 24 competitive Academy Awards categories — Animated Feature, Documentary Feature, Foreign-Language Feature, Makeup & Hairstyling, Visual Effects, and the three Shorts (Animated, Documentary, Live-Action) — require viewing of contenders on either DVDs or at special screenings.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Voting on this award is done in two stages. First, branch members who volunteered to be on the screening committee watched the 77 documentary shorts submitted. Members scored each film from 6 (poor) to 10 (excellent) and the 10 highest ranked above 7.5 go on to the second stage. All members of the branch will be invited to screenings of these 10 semi-finalists and a preferential ballot will determine the five nominees.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT, BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT
Short Films and Feature Animation Branch
Voting on these two awards is done in two stages. First, branch members who volunteer to be on the screening committees watch the animated and live-action shorts submitted; last year there were 63 and 165 entires respectively. Members score each film from 6 (poor) to 10 (excellent) and the 10 highest ranked above 7.5 go on to the second stage. All members of the branch are invited to screenings of these 10 semi-finalists and a preferential ballot will determine the five nominees.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Each branch member receives DVD screeners of the entries and is assigned to watch one-fifth of these but is encouraged to view as many of the 170 films as they can. Members list their top 15 picks on a preferential ballot and those results are compiled and produce a shortlist of 15 contenders. All members are encouraged to watch the films on this list that they have not yet seen and cast preferential ballots with their top five choices.
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
Makeup and Hairstyling Branch
Nominations are determined in two stages. First, upwards of 15 members of the branch who attend special screenings cast preferential ballots with the top seven vote-getters moving on to the second stage. Those members from the first stage and any other members who either attend screenings of excerpts from these seven semi-finalists or attest that they have seen them cast preferential ballots and the top three films are nominated.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual Effects Branch
The executive committee of the branch determines the 10 semi-finalists. All members of the branch are invited to a screening of excerpts from these 10 films at which potential nominees may discuss their work. Ballots are counted using a system of re-weighted range voting to determine the five nominees.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Voting on this award is restricted to academy members from any branch who volunteer to be on the screening committee and attest to having watched the 26 entries. Members rank their top five choices and a multi-step system of counting winnows the various contenders down to the final five nominees.
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FEATURE
Voting on this award is restricted to academy members from any branch who volunteer to be on the screening committee. They are divided into groups and required to watch at least 18 of the 92 submissions for Foreign Language Film over a two-month period. They will score them from 6 to 10 and their top six vote-getters will made it to the next round, as will three films added by the 20 members of the executive committee. These nine semi-finalists will be screened three per day beginning in early January for academy members in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London and will also be available online. Those who can attest to seeing all the semi-finalists can vote for the final five nominees. The entire academy membership will get screeners of the five nominated films and can vote for the winner.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.