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The Future of the Academy to be Discussed … at the Academy

The New York Times revealed that Dawn Hudson is asking Academy members for a group discussion on what they think the future of the Academy might be.

Here are Awards Daily’s quick and dirty suggestions for topics members might bring up (and quickly get shot down by the status quo, but here’s to trying).

1. Create a new category for effects-driven film. The same way they have a category for animated feature, an effects-driven film category would have been a fun way to include films like The Avengers, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises from last year, for starters. They can’t be bothered to actually nominate these films (imagine how many Academy members would choose any of these as their number 1 pick? Maybe Skyfall). Sure, it’s a sticky area and there might be crossover, as there is with animated and foreign on occasion. The effects industry controls the majority of films released for audiences now. The Academy honors them in one category: Best Visual Effects. That’s not nearly enough. With advances in motion capture and 3-D coming up, they must embrace the future.


2. Do not have it both ways with having members choose five Best Picture nominees only to have them include the fringe dwellers when a film gets more number one votes. Keep the list to ten – as they did in 2009 and 2010, which resulted in brilliant inclusion of films that never would have gotten in otherwise – like, District 9, like The Kids Are All Right — because a voter is going to include a better variety when given ten slots. Having it both ways wreaks unnecessary havoc. 1) it doesn’t include movies that wouldn’t have been included otherwise. 2) it doesn’t honor films that the general public likes more.

3. Try harder to wrestle free from the dominance of the bigger guilds. Why have an Academy at all if all they do is put a period on the end of an already written sentence? Just because the DGA and PGA tells you to vote for something doesn’t mean you always have to vote for it. Will the Academy ever be original again? Will they always fall in line with the guilds? Hard to say but in the years that I’ve been doing this I’ve watched their power and their influence slip dramatically. The Golden Globes are gaining in prominence as the Academy dims in the wake of the precursors that decide the race. Of course, we bloggers and pundits aid in that – we herd them into the pen and say “pick that one.” Can it change? Doubtful.

4. Cut back on the special screenings and the q&as. All that does is turn the race into a political election where the most charming and entertaining people win all of the awards. Shouldn’t it just be about the films themselves and not about the personalities? Perhaps it has never been about the films or the performances themselves; even Meryl Streep had to campaign hard core to win for The Iron Lady. But can this be stopped? Does anyone want it stop?

5. Make sure every voting member has seen all of the nominated films before they are allowed to vote. They do it with foreign language, documentary and the shorts, why not Best Picture? You know, just a thought.

At any rate, the best thing the Academy does isn’t the Oscars, I don’t think, but their devotion to film preservation. Therein lies their greatest gift to cinema and to the public.

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75 Comments

  1. Big G
    March 30, 2013

    6. Get rid of the Best Director category and have Best Picture go to the director, as it is with Best Foreign Film.

  2. March 30, 2013

    Make sure every voting member has seen all of the nominated films before they are allowed to vote.

    Amen!

    To enhance the effect, make sure every voting member has been locked inside a windowless room for the three months leading up to the ceremony with no contact with the outside world. Let’s see if Argo can win then!

  3. March 30, 2013

    6. Get rid of the Best Director category and have Best Picture go to the director, as it is with Best Foreign Film.

    Surely you jest. Because what that entails, more precisely, is getting rid of the Oscar that goes to producers. And that’s seismic. That’s never going to happen. Nor should it. Producing and directing are two separate jobs, equally indispensable. Without producers there’s no movie, and then there are no Oscars for anybody in any category.

    So I hope this suggestion #6 is facetious.

    Besides, the directors don’t “win” the Oscars for Best Foreign Film. The directors are only designated to accept those awards. On behalf of the country of origin.

  4. Tero Heikkinen
    March 30, 2013

    Take away the right to vote from retired members, because they are out of touch with current cinema. You get points to become a member, why not take points away (year by year after last work)? We would get rid of some of the old farts and the demographic quickly becomes younger. Not enough voters for your taste? Replace them with film critics who have constantly written about films for more than three decades and see at least 200 films a year. Sure, they cannot influence on the nominees, but might stir the winners’ ballots a little bit.

    Let countries with population more than 30 million enter two films into the competition for FLF, more than 60 million could be three films. This would still be up to the countries (depending on their eligibility) if they sent one, two or three. Also, hand out these trophies to the film’s director AND producers, not to “country”.

    No need to add an effect-driven film -category, but emerge it to one existing category to something like Best Animated or Visual Effects Driven Feature (for lack of better title). This way the winner would not always be set in stone and they never find five good animated films here anyway. This year Skyfall would have won over Brave, I believe. Nominees will be chosen from both shortlists that are public very early anyway.

    Don’t continue the deal with ABC as they have done their very best to ruin the show year after year.

    Most importantly, make sure the voters see the films or do not vote at all (in categories they have not seen all nominees).

  5. Akumax
    March 30, 2013

    Let’s nominate and award everybody then!

    I mean, the more ghetto categories the Academy creates the less prestigious the Academy becomes, in my opinion.

    I also would like to go back to five best pictures. I prefer The Blind Side not to be a best Picture nominee.

  6. Jpns Viewer
    March 30, 2013

    My input:

    If they’d like, they could be more flexible, and more free (independent) in terms of the number+ of annual nominees in any given categories, or at least certain ones, as they’ve occasionally done already at least in a couple of categories. [+fewer or more than five+]

    This way, in addition to up to ten Best Picture nominees, noteworthy names in other categories in that given year would get a chance at least to be recognized. And in rarer cases for valid reasons so it is to be hoped, fewer than five nominees would get to stand and compete.

    Thanks for a read, Sasha.

    PS: I prefer keeping the number up to ten for Best Picture nominees especially in one like the 2012 US-release year.

  7. Chris
    March 30, 2013

    How about, instead of an award for effects driven movie, just a blockbuster film? It would be for all the films you mentioned, plus say Bridesmaids to be nominated or some surprise hit of the year that doesn’t rely on effects?

  8. Bryce Forestieri
    March 30, 2013

    Right off the top of my head I’d love a total overhaul of the Best Foreign Language Film that would result in the awards having much more prestige. This is really tricky and I don’t know how to go about it, but I’d say maybe not limiting it to one per country and also increase the number of nominees as they have done with Best Picture it makes sense with all the options in a given year. I figure the nomination proccess would have to be more complex and ardous so that as many films as possible get seen, but I think it’s worth it. It’d make the awards more global.

    Also about the VFX-driven films. I’d only divide Best Cinematography into “traditional” and those in which the end product is so fucking “CGIzed” (LIFE OF PI, HUGO, AVATAR). Kind of like when they had black and white and color categories. How you go about defining the parameters (how much CGI) is tricky too, but I think it’s appropriate

  9. Eoin Daly
    March 30, 2013

    Reveal the voting totals to see how close the race is. Also let the winner be picked by most number votes which would have helped films like Lincoln and Hugo win over Argo and The Artist.

  10. Bryce Forestieri
    March 30, 2013

    A separate category for films like THE DARK KNIGHT RISES would be like an insult…like you know those other movies that people like but are far from the absolute “Best”. I think that as time goes by those kinds of films will make it to Best Picture more often. Sure it might take another 20 years. A lot of “smart” people still blame STAR WARS and JAWS for ruining movies, making the 80′s shitty, and whole bunch of other evils. A lot of those people will start passing at some point and the stigma will extinguish

  11. Bryce Forestieri
    March 30, 2013

    So they didn’t nominate shit like that when there were only 5?

  12. Bryce Forestieri
    March 30, 2013

    “Let countries with population more than 30 million enter two films into the competition for FLF, more than 60 million could be three films. This would still be up to the countries (depending on their eligibility) if they sent one, two or three. Also, hand out these trophies to the film’s director AND producers, not to “country”.”

    I think that rather than population a more fair measure would be number of “qualifying pictures” produced by the country’s industry in a given year. Or take averages every 5 years or something. But now that I think about it I wouldn’t like so many Bollywood films to be considered which they would be under both systems. Ugh this it tricky, but I so want major changes to this category.

  13. Bryce Forestieri
    March 30, 2013

    “because a voter is going to include a better variety when given ten slots”

    This is a great great point Sasha. I agree 101%. Would love to have seen this play out a few more years than those two. Also having 10, I think, makes it more likely that members would place more out-of-the-box choices in let’s say positions #2 #3 #4 knowing they will have a chance to put the “consensus” titles (you know, those movies “everyone” is saying are “the best” pre-nominations) somewhere down the list. I think it worked something like this for DISTRICT 9.

  14. March 30, 2013

    I liked that The Blind Side got nominated. Hello, it made $250M. Just because you didn’t like it, doesn’t mean millions of others didn’t. And it had a shrewd campaign. Was it a quality movie? No. But, I love that the populist representation. Bravo.

  15. steve50
    March 30, 2013

    I like all five suggestions.

    I watched The Avengers last night and thought what a great popcorn movie it was. It doesn’t belong in a list of BPs, but it does deserve recognition outside the FX or sound catergories.

    I have to support a change to FLF, also – that is, no limit to submissions. Let the nominating committee decide the “best” 5 (or preferably 10).

    Tero suggested using 30 million as a benchmark for multiple submissions, but that won’t work. Taiwan, Netherlands, FINLAND, Hungary and Sweden would be allowed only one film while Uganda and Myanmar allowed two? Canada’s population is falling and I would not want to see a breeding program put in place just to ensure our francophone filmmakers keep their advantage.

  16. flor
    March 30, 2013

    “but it does deserve recognition outside the FX or sound catergories.”

    That’s why we have the People’s Choice Awards, the Teen’s Choice, Kid’s Choice and many more.

  17. Derek 8-Track
    March 30, 2013

    Would Benjamin Button be an effects driven film? I feel like it would have to be.

  18. steve50
    March 30, 2013

    Very true. Thinking about it more, it could also work against a film (like Life of Pi) making it into the “legit” BP category (“well, we’ll put it here and everybody will be happy”)

    Yeah, bad idea. Scratch that one.

  19. Jeff
    March 30, 2013

    Your first suggestion reminds me of the time Bridesmaids was up for award consideration and Judd Apatow called for the Academy to create a comedy category, similar to the animated film one.

    I’ve always wondered if that would work or not.

  20. Bryce Forestieri
    March 30, 2013

    Ima rest my case by saying that AMPAS’ aversion of of “unworthy popular genre trash” has been proven irrelevant over time. That is if what they considered “trash” happens to be a great movie. Are LENNY and THE TOWERING INFERNO more important in the history of cinema than THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE? Matter of opinion, but I don’t think so. I mean hell no! I’m in it because I find awards season to be interesting, but not particularly important or referable.

  21. March 30, 2013

    “5. Make sure every voting member has seen all of the nominated films before they are allowed to vote.”

    How will this be implemented? A quiz perhaps?

    My only suggestion to the Academy is to stop the desperate attempts to be more hip and cool.

  22. Tony
    March 30, 2013

    My 2 cents:

    – Best Picture and Best Director should have the same number of slots
    (at least *7* and up to 10) in a given year. It’s not important that the two categories match up completely, but the “stronger” contenders need to be in. Beresford (“Daisy”) and Affleck would have been in.

    – The acting categories should increase from 5 slots to 7. Too many performances have been ignored.

    – The show itself needs to trim the awards given “live” by 1/3.

    – My favorite/weirest idea for the show itself: Have some current and/or former nominees perform scenes from both current and former films.

  23. March 30, 2013

    A regular commenter on my blog suggested making changes to the Cinematography category, since it has matched the Visual Effects category for the past four years running. Creating an extra category that would facilitate a separation of different styles of cinematography might be difficult to achieve, since there’s a post-production process involved in creating the aesthetic for all films, but it’s a suggestion which interests me.

  24. steve50
    March 30, 2013

    A quiz! I love it! Not only did you see it, but did you understand it? Did you sleep through it? Did you walk out/turn-off halfway? Great way to test the recall ability of the (really) senior set.

    Well, that’ll never happen.

  25. March 30, 2013

    I agree. Especially since some films have are better directed than the film itself. Some directors can take a bad script and via performances and cinematography make it something at least worth watching, but might not be Best Picture quality.

  26. CMG
    March 30, 2013

    Definitely require all voters to see all the films on the ballot or at the very least see all the nominated films in their own branch.

    Do not ghettoize with effects-driven films getting their own nominations. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was driven by effects along with Hugo and Life of Pi, yet I doubt that is what people are describing- just genre-fare they are generally lukewarm on and just want to split the baby.

    Drop the animated feature category and keep the BP nominees at a hard 10. It is clear one studio has monopolized that category despite the good exposure to foreign, in some cases better, animated features.

    This will never happen: Drop the one per country short-list of foreign language movies. Foreign cinema is so accessible now that these ridiculous standards look even more out of date.

    Increase the Best Director slots to about 8.

    People will never give a child an award in the major acting categoies anymore yet people are too happy to reward a good child performance with a nomination. Not saying there has to be an established category for child performers but it would be something to consider. Sorry Wallis over Weisz is still something I cannot wrap my head around.

    AMPAS determines what is a leading vs. supporting performance. Pipe dream as AMPAS does not lose any sleep over category fraud but the studios determining this, in some cases to pad number of nominations, over even the actors raises the campaign aspect of these awards.

    Best ensemble category I have considered but think it could never live up to my ideal of it.

  27. March 30, 2013

    Totally agree with #4.

    My only suggestion is instead of creating a SFX-driven category, as mentioned in #1, what about an Above and Below $30mil categories? Or $45mil… or whatever you think is appropriate. Skyfall was relatively modest in SFX compared to Avatar or something.

    So that way instead of having King’s Speech or The Hurt Locker competing against Avatar or The Social Network. The SFX community definitely deserves more recognition, though. But I also feel there’s been some great studio comedies over the years that cannot find a place in the Academy. You’d have one category more similar to the Indie Spirit Awards and another that might include 40 Year Old Virgin, Avatar, The Dark Knight, Crazy Stupid Love, etc.

  28. rufussondheim
    March 30, 2013

    I love the idea of eliminating members if they’ve been inactive in the film community for five years. This may seem unfair to old people, but hey, there’s lots of work in independent films if you really want to stay involved. If five years pass without participating in an Academy eligible film, your voting rights are placed on hold until you participate in one.

    I have no idea how this would work, but somehow create two BP awards, one for more mainstream films and one for more esoteric or independent fare. When a film is submitted, it can only be eligible in one category at the producer’s discretion. The catch would be that eligible voters would only be able to nominate and vote for a winner in one of the two categories that’s predetermined before the nominating ballots go out.

    Under this plan we could eliminate such things as animated film and foreign film categories since they would each have a better shot of winning their “half” This way films like Amour or Tree of Life would have a true chance of winning.

  29. Q Mark
    March 30, 2013

    I don’t really like any of these suggestions. They seem knee-jerk and would create more problems than they would solve. It’s no surprise that Sasha proposes cutting down on Oscar campaigning after two of her favourites lost to the ‘cool kids’ of Argo/Affleck/Clooney and Streep, yet that proposed change contradicts her demand that all the voters see all the nominated films. You’re not going to get a 5000+ member group to watch every movie WITHOUT such special screenings, and obviously the better-prepared studios will make sure to have their stars or directors present for the event.

    Oscar campaigning is as old as the Oscars itself and it will never, ever, ever, ever, ever go away. Some years it just works better than others. To use this site as an example, nobody at Awards Daily complained when Hurt Locker’s campaigning helped it beat Avatar…nobody ever complains when their favourite wins.

    The idea of a “best effects-driven film” is laughable. How do you judge exactly when a movie is ‘effects-driven’ and when it isn’t? You might as well just call the category Best Popular Film or create an audience choice Oscar. While I would’ve judged some recent blockbusters worthy of Best Picture consideration, let’s not forget that the large majority of any year’s top box office hits are pure crap.

  30. JP
    March 30, 2013

    - Stop this everyone votes in everything thing. It only favors the presumed frontrunners. Just make a quiz among the Academy members with one short question: what’s the difference between sound mixing and editing that you get that there’s no way everyone should vote in basically everything.

    - Stop the bleeding in the animated feature category… or change its name to Biggest Animated Box Office… reform this category just like was done in the Foreign Language Film and now in the Doc Feature category with very strong lineups and deserving winners.

  31. JP
    March 30, 2013

    - Of course everyone only complains when their favorite loses. This is something that sometimes I find funny here. People seem to think The Hurt Locker won Best Picture with the hand of God in a way it did not need to campaign.

    - This best effects driven is impossible. Just like a best blockbuster category is impossible. What is an effects-driven film? A genius like Harvey Weinstein could convince the members that Django is an effects-driven film but a film like Skyfall may not be eligible here. And what is a blockbuster? 100-million +….. 200-million+? Imagine a Best Popular film with the five highest grossing films of the year: in 2012 we would have The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, The Hobbit and Skyfall… amazing category…. in 2011, Harry Potter….. and Transformers, Twilight, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Hangover…. don’t even need to say a word about this last one.

  32. Natasha
    March 30, 2013

    It seems, at least, that some of the Academy is now self-aware of their current status as an “afterthought to the Guilds” rather than as “THE Oscars” and are trying to do something about it. Whether something actually HAPPENS remains to be seen.

  33. JP
    March 30, 2013

    One thing I totally totally agree with Sasha: bring back the old top 10! District 9, Inception and Toy Story 3, just to name a few, will enlight the Oscars history books forever.

    Another one I forgot:
    - Best Stunt Achievement category NOW. Just like the one there is at the SAGs.

  34. JP
    March 30, 2013

    Funny that you mention The Tree of Life… its director (if he even is a member because he doesn’t seem to care about awards at all) would be among the eliminated since he makes a film once in a blue moon. 1973-1978-1998-2005-2011… thankfully now he seems to have more projects ahead.

  35. March 30, 2013

    I am laughing hysterically. I needed that, thanks.

  36. Rob Y
    March 31, 2013

    Here’s some of my suggestions:

    1) Membership is for a fixed time, 7 years. The member must requalify—maybe not as strict as the initial qualification—to maintain their standing.

    2) Allow more than five nominees in each category. Require that the nominee receives more than 5% (or whatever) after the first two rounds of elimination.

    3) To get more blockbuster inclusion, create a Best Stunt Direction category.

    4) Split Visual Effects into leading and supporting effects. Let the nominations decide who goes where, just like it does with Acting. Avatar = Leading, District 9 = Supporting, Benjamin Button = Supporting, etc.

    5) Get rid of Best Song. OK, Adele wins, and it is the first in years that is any good. But seriously, get rid of it. That will free up 20 minutes of the telecast.

    6) Release previous tallies. You could wait 25 years, or 50 years, or even after all nominees have passed. This will stimulate interest in previous winners as well as educate others to how the process works.

    7) Promote—not just allow—the shorts through iTunes, or other online digital distributors.

    8) Tour the country or the world with 10 films or so along with Oscar items.

    9) Limit preferential options to 3 in both nominations and final votes for Picture.

    10) Best Cameo performance. I know. I know. It’s goofy.

  37. gbocampo
    March 31, 2013

    Just choose 100 reliable members (actors/actress, writers, directors,etc) of the academy each year to vote/nominate in all categories so there is the assurance that they have seen all the films/performances nominated.

    Or there should be a separate nominating committee and a Jury for each category!

  38. March 31, 2013

    agree. no Q & A’s. period. they’re creepy.

    especially before the general release of a film. stop shaping critical response. If you want to know why critics have no standing anymore, look at their pre-chewed reviews. they’ve become indistinguishable from entertainment feature writers.

  39. TOM
    March 31, 2013

    With the dominance of computer imagery, the Academy really needs to separate backgrounds that are ‘real’ versus those that are digital. It’s increasingly harder to appreciate ‘real’ Cinematography of past winners (The Quiet Man/Braveheart/The English Patient’s deserts/The Bridge over the River Kwai/Tess) for what is positioned as ‘real’ backgrounds nowadays (Hugo – was that really filmed in Paris, Life of Pi – was that really filmed on an ocean, Avatar – was that really filmed in a rain forest?) Ditto the Art Direction category. How can you possibly appreciate an Art Director’s ‘job’ unless you view their efforts in past winners – (GWTWind/Lawrence of Arabia/Shakespeare in Love/Star Wars) Winners nowadays seem to be not Art/Set Direction but computerized green backdrops (Alice in Wonderland/Hugo/Avatar/Lord of the Rings III). Those these mentioned recent winners do show examplary ‘background’ scenes, they don’t really fall into the same category as this year’s ‘Production Design’ winner – Lincoln.

  40. John
    March 31, 2013

    1) the biggest bulk of votes should determine the nominees. I.e., if only 4 women got the biggest bulk of votes, then only 4 actresses are nommed for best actress. If 7 cinematographers got the biggest bulk of votes, then there are 7 nominees for cinematography, etc. for every category.

    2) to differentiate from the guilds, I think that for every vote that counts for the Oscar, that only a random selection/ percentage of those votes should count towards the result, which would make for more unpredictable results. I.e., maybe 2000 random votes of the 5800 should count towards the selection for best director, best screenplays, best score, etc. for every category.

  41. Tero Heikkinen
    March 31, 2013

    Yeah, it seems to me that the Cinematography category is one that is easiest to fix. Two categories where Cinematographers are still deciding on the nominees so they would know when a film is more traditional and when it’s more blue screen. Even we know pretty well. Digital age has done as much here as b/w -> colour.

    This would increase total to 25 categories, but they tried two Original Score categories not so long ago as well. Though, that did not work, but this should.

    Original Song I would not miss if they threw that away.

    Anyway, the day Academy has 28 categories or something, is the day they’ve lost it. Better not cheapen the value of one trophy. Having said that, they should give more of them in FLF (for directors and producers). They hand out up to 4 of them in one technical category.

    In today’s technology it would be fairly easy to determine whether a DVD disc was played from second 1 to the point where end credits begin. Even more easily in streaming. Sure, they might not be watching it, but at least it was played.

    Nothing can be done with precursors’ (Guilds, GG’s) power, I believe. The change of dates do nothing, because these other guys would change their dates then.

    Look at the time before Harvey Weinstein. What was better 20 years ago? Go back to that. He – single-handedly – changed the game too radically.

  42. steve50
    March 31, 2013

    Tom makes a great point. To be fair to the crafts, it would seem that some tech and non-tech subcategories would have to be created to put everyone on the same level.

    The thing is, we’re approaching it from behind the camera. What the viewer sees, real or imagined, is what ultimately counts. It’s the vision of the director and his artists to create something believable that enhances the story. So does it really matter if it put together by carpenters or computer-generated? The skill of interpreting the design and translating it to something visual is still the same.

    Maybe we’re overthinking here. Technology will be forever changing – but we’re judging the overall results. Keeping the category simple may be the key to ensuring fairness.

  43. Tero Heikkinen
    March 31, 2013

    “…only a random selection/ percentage of those votes should count towards the result, which would make for more unpredictable results. I.e., maybe 2000 random votes of the 5800 should count towards the selection for best director, best screenplays, best score, etc. for every category.”

    I’ve been thinking about this, too. I think it might result in not voting at all. Unless it was done in a random selection before the winners’ ballots, sort of like the guilds do because no-one is counting 100.000+ SAG votes. Everyone gets to vote – say – once in every three years. This should be done in secret so that campaigning wouldn’t be even more personalised and effective. Everyone would still vote for the nominees in their own groups.

    Or the opposite way. Everybody votes for almost everything like they have so far, but randomly select categories each year where only a fracture of votes will be counted. Only PWC would know these categories – say 5 a year and it could be BP even. There might be more ties, though. Not sure. Maybe this could work?

  44. Tero Heikkinen
    March 31, 2013

    I know. It’s not very democratic. Just makes a more fun game. And this is what Oscars are – a game.

  45. March 31, 2013

    Excellent suggestions, as always Sasha. But let’s step back a bit and look at who actually will be calling the shots, IF anything is to change and I doubt it.

    The majority of people who will opt in to this discussion will be THE ACTORS! They dominate and continue to dominate and will NEVER allow or cede ANYthing to effects-laden cinema. They want it all to go away. Period.

    10 picture choices? That’s possible, if anything is. It’s more actor-friendly, indie-friendly actually.

    That they are having this discussion at all is a miracle and a step in the right direction. But will this yield anything? I’m highly pessimistic about AMPAS changes.

    It’s VERY difficult to become a Member. And yes, if they do, they are a member for life. IF THEY CAN PAY THE ANNUAL DUES. Which btw aren’t cheap.

    The majority is also older than water.And they are the majority, too. Are they going to vote themselves out? I don’t think so.

    At the Actor’s Studio, members who go through the RIGOROUS audition process to get in(Robert De Niro famously had to audition TEN times!) and then members for life. And also many, many AMPAS members are there.

    Actors let me tell you, as open-minded as they like to see themselves, are VERY resistant to change in organized bodies that they belong to.

  46. Cosmos
    March 31, 2013

    Wouldn’t that entail stopping quality film making for three months considering who constitutes the voting body of the Academy?
    Also isn’t Harvey and his ilk members of the Academy too? You are effectively giving them all 6,000 members of AMPAS in a single place, making campaigning easy.

  47. Rob Y
    March 31, 2013

    From a statistical standpoint, you should get the same results. This is why pollsters do not sample the entire population, as a sample usually reflects the whole. You would have to break it down to about 200 in order for the anomalies to bubble up.

  48. Rob Y
    March 31, 2013

    Grandfather the grandfathers. Have the future members on a 7 or 10 year rotation.

  49. Anon
    March 31, 2013

    My suggestion:

    Expand the Makeup Category to 5 slots.

  50. Christophe
    March 31, 2013

    #2. I read somewhere they reduced the number of BP choices bc the titles beyond #5 almost never got counted, most of the time they would find a nominee among the first 5 listed titles, so the other titles are automatically discarded since they only allocate one vote per ballot, but maybe they should change that rule to give one vote to each listed title.

  51. March 31, 2013

    I think in they should add an extra nominee in each of the acting. categories there’s always a performance that should be nominated that doesn’t

  52. March 31, 2013

    There are plenty of performances that misses the top 5 every year.
    The more competition the better, but also means more runtime for the show. Like 4 hours is the limit.
    And still mostly the favorites are going to win anyway.

  53. Henry Zambrano
    March 31, 2013

    1. Change the Best Picture nominees strictly to five again. The expansion to ten has lessened the prestige of films being nominated in this category, but I know this rule was mainly to add blockbuster films that had no chance of being included (except ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Avatar of course).

    2. Allow foreign countries to submit more than one film, at a maximum of two only.

    3. Bring back the ‘Best Story’ category.

  54. TJ
    March 31, 2013

    I agree with Big G:
    The Academy should follow the major film fests and hand the Best Picture “Grand Prix” to the director.

    Yes the producer has everything to do with getting the film off the ground but the quality of the finished product (the very thing that decides whether the film is awards worthy) is mostly in the hands of the director as he or she orchestrates all the elements into a cohesive whole.

    Producer not given his/her due? Establish a best producer category in the place vacated by best director.

    While we’re at it:

    1. Foreign language nominating committee selects from all films not only those submitted by individual countries. Mammoth task yes, but lets gets real – ‘Best’ cannot be decided under such stringent restrictions as only be able to select from ONE film submitted by each country.

    2. Establish award for best ensemble. Awarded to the casting director but additionally given in name to the actors. How great it would have been to see the casts of Boogie Nights, Hannah and Her Sisters, Nashville and They Shoot Horses Don’t They? given their rightful due.

    3. Abolish the rule that limits an actor to ONE nomination per category. If a costume designer, cinematographer, director etc. contributes two of the five best achievements in their field they are fairly honoured with a nomination for BOTH. You can’t claim to be selecting BEST if you’re going to qualify everything to within an inch of its life.

    4. Create a critics voting block within the Academy. They are an important part of the industry and if nothing else maybe they can help push the voting in a direction based more on quality.

    5. Do something, anything to become truly representative of the WORLD of cinema, not just Hollywood. Ridiculous to think that almost every film worth honouring is a product of the Hollywood machine.

    I’m sure there’s more but that’s my top 5 (no particular order)

  55. March 31, 2013

    Best stunt category! Please!

    And go back to 10 nominees, those were the best lineups for bp in a while…

  56. JJ
    March 31, 2013

    1) Cut back to 5 best pics
    2) Eliminate the shorts from the show – or have the Academy select nominees and VIEWERS at home vote winners so they’re more engaged with this part of the show.
    3) Have voters choose nominees for main categories and then a committee of truly knowledgeable experts in each craft choose winners so the real talent wins, not someone like Sandra Bullock or a movie like Argo.
    4) Have Laurence Mark produce. He nailed it his year. This year was an epic disaster. DISASTER.

  57. Bertie
    March 31, 2013

    They should never kick anyone out of the academy for not working in recent projects, that idea is ridiculous. BUT, if they demand and require that all voting members see all the films nominated to have the right to vote, that would be natures way of thinning out the herd, because if older members don’t want to see provocative, racy or violent films, then that’s just fine, they will forfeit their right to vote that year. Then by default you will have the younger crowd voting anyway. But all members should ALWAYS have the right to vote. PERIOD.

    Change is good, but only to uphold the integrity of the Oscars.

    1- I love the idea of the Acting Ensemble Award. Brilliant!
    2- I love the idea of the Best Stunts Award, mix also Best Choreography with that!
    3- I feel they should add a Critics branch to the Academy. And they can have their own Award as well. An Entertainer of the Year Award and/or Film person of the year that can be voted on for the nominees by the branch of the critics, then the entire Academy can vote on the winner as normal.
    4- A best CGI/Green Screen/Voice Performance Award would be wonderful! So performances from Andy Serkis for planet of the apes, Zoe Saldana for Avatar, and Ellen for Finding Nemo could be recognized. We all know if they could have given Peter O’toole an Oscar for Ratatouille they would have!!!
    5- I also think the voting should go back to the old fashioned may the best man win. No rounds or percentages, just that whoever gets the most votes wins. No rankings. With Nominations, just put in a list of your favorites and may the best be nominated. That alone will help with new fresh winners because if a good film is ranked last, just so another can win??? That’s not the Academy way. That’s politics. One vote per category, and that’s it! Make it simple people!

  58. Rob Y
    April 1, 2013

    I am one for preferring simplicity, but . . . “Just put in a list of your favorites and may the best be nominated.” You don’t say how you want them counted. The preferential ballot has been around for decades (I think back to the 30′s) for nominations. The idea was that the Academy wanted every ballot to count for a nomination.

    Having a people’s choice or critic’s choice will cheapen the output. Entertainer of the Year will do the same. I mean last year would have been Channing Tatum as he was everywhere in every movie just about.

    And as for the members having to requalify, I say make anyone invited from this point on have a number of years before the requalification.

  59. April 1, 2013

    Oh no! Please do not add any award to encourage more special effects driven films. That would be a disaster. If anything, lets try to discourage effects by getting rid of the special effect category. Also, I think that if the Academy is going to have 10 noms in the Best Pic category, then at least two of them should have to be in a foreign language. Having separate categories for foreign films makes it easier to omit them from the real prize. Overall, the Oscars needs to MAN UP… rather than dumb down. If it skews too much to a younger audience, it will immediate become less prestigious. Younger audiences (fanboys) can head over to MTV for their award show.

  60. April 1, 2013

    And as for the members having to requalify, I say make anyone invited from this point on have a number of years before the requalification.

    One thing we’re overlooking in this discussion of “qualifying” to be an Academy member. Simply having participated in making any sort of movie is a pretty flimsy qualification.

  61. Rob Y
    April 1, 2013

    I would agree. But something more substantial to say that they are current. This applies especially in the technical categories. How does someone who earned their membership in the Cinematography or Visual Effects branch back in the 70′s understand the nuances of what is being done today?

  62. MNJOHN
    April 1, 2013

    I’m on board with 2-5, but Number One is an awful idea. When an effects-driven film is quality (Titanic, Lord of the Rings, Avatar), they can score a Best Picture nomination. Giving a Best Picture citation to The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises would be terrible, as they are generic, average blockbusters. People who want that can go watch the MTV Movie Awards.

  63. The Dude
    April 1, 2013

    The acting ensemble idea is silly, the last thing actors need is more awards to them. Not to mention it would lessen the impact of having an Oscar.

    I do like the Best Stunts, though.

  64. Joel V
    April 2, 2013

    I would not get rid of Best Song. On the contrary, some of the rules to be considered for nomination are too stringent and should be revised. In addition, I’d add another category in music, for best overall soundtrack from original and non-original sources. Example, 500 Days of Summer had a great soundtrack that included some original and non-original songs that all perfectly fit the film, and that should have been recognized.

  65. Joel V
    April 2, 2013

    YES.

  66. Joel V
    April 2, 2013

    In regards to adding a Best Ensemble prize, I mean even SAG is falling into the fold with their choices in this category, so the chances of the Academy providing some variety is doubtful.

  67. Joel V
    April 2, 2013

    “I also think the voting should go back to the old fashioned may the best man win. No rounds or percentages, just that whoever gets the most votes wins. No rankings. With Nominations, just put in a list of your favorites and may the best be nominated.”

    Winner-take-all voting method (plurality voting) doesn’t work that well in politics as we’ve seen, let alone in cases where there is more than one spot to be filled. You could have a case(s) where the vote is evenly spread, and someone wins with less than half of the total vote. Meaning more members total voted for someone other than the winner. Ranking the votes, as the Academy does now, for choosing nominees ensures there is a bit broader base of support for them.

  68. Joel V
    April 2, 2013

    Just a few changes,

    Early nominations (like this year), have final voting and hold awards ceremony later in the calendar. Like April.

    Expand membership to critics as well.

    Revise “Best Song” rules to be less restrictive, and add category for “Best Overall Soundtrack (Original and Non-original sources)”.

  69. Joel V
    April 2, 2013

    Last year I was rooting for “Tree of Life” in cinematography. Far more powerful than the work in “Hugo” to me. Had the double category been in place, both would have one their respective places.

  70. April 2, 2013

    Every branch determines their own nominees? Why not do the same for voting for the winners? Especially for technical categories such as Cinematography, Editing, Effects…. I don’t like that everyone is allowed to vote on everything.

  71. William James
    April 3, 2013

    My idea would sort of be like Dancing with the Stars – allow members of the viewing audience at home register to vote for winners, then weigh their selections into the final choices somehow

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