HAMMOND: Will Oscars' New Rules Actually Increase The Campaign Frenzy?

Today, the Academy giveth and taketh away. The new Academy Award campaign regulations announced earlier are clearly a mixed bag, significantly relaxing some long-standing rules and creating a good deal of freedom pre-nominations while really tightening and restricting activities by nominees and studios post-noms. Essentially what the new regulations do is try to encourage members to see films the way they are meant to be seen, in a theatrical setting. To that end, Oscar consultants can now freely invite members to Q&A screenings and in the pre-nomination period, even hold food and cocktail receptions before or after. It’s almost like the Academy realizes members need an incentive to get out of the house and the lazy habit of watching contenders on screeners. Previously, as noted in the Academy’s press release, members were not permitted to attend screenings that had filmmaker Q&As and/or receptions attached. Consultants got around this by inviting guild members who also happened to hold an Academy card (clever consultants). Now, no problem, although after the noms are out, members can only go to screenings and Q&As, not receptions. Whether this will open the floodgates and have the desired effect of encouraging members to get their butts in those theater seats is anyone’s guess since Acad members who wanted to go to Q&As and receptions went anyway with their guild cards. Still, it is a nice admission by the Acad that their previous rules had gone too far. I am told by one member of the Academy’s PR committee that this all came up due to a Deadline article I posted Jan. 7 about the Oscar party circuit. “I think it’s what we’ve all been talking about,” said one studio consultant. “The important thing is to get members to see the movies, preferably on the big screen. Rules are one thing, but it’s nice to see the Academy realizing they can sometimes be to the detriment of  the goal we are all trying to achieve. It’s clearly a new era at the Academy with Dawn Hudson.” (more…)

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2011/09/hammond-will-oscars-new-rules-actually-increase-the-campaign-frenzy-174496/