Once again the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced that they will be expanding the number of nominees, but this year’s announcement is far less significant than last year’s Best Picture expansion. This year the expansion comes in the Visual Effects category, which will now be nominated 5 feature films instead of the previous 3. This expansion has been a long time coming as motion picture technology has continually improved and the number of films now depending on CGI has significantly increased.
The Visual Effects expansion is the most significant of the new rules announced by the Academy in a press release that came out today for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. The annual list of rule changes is likely to stir a lot less discussion than previous years’ rule changes and it also puts to rest several circulating rumors about what the Oscars will look like next year.
The other minor changes to the rules concern the Animated Feature category. The running time for a film to be considered an Animated Feature has been lowered from 70 minutes to 40 minutes, which puts it in the same time frame as the current rules for live-action films. This opens the door for more films that were previously categorized as shorts, but had running times that approached one hour.
The other change in the animated category consists of some language adjustments to clarify a rule about the use of motion capture technology. Last year there was some speculation that Avatar might be eligible to receive a Best Animated Feature nomination because over 50% of the film was made with CGI and motion capture technology. However, any remaining discussion on that subject has officially been ended with the Academy’s new line: “Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the pictureâ€™s running time.”
The other rule changes are minor and include “housekeeping” changes. The date for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards are set for February 27, 2011 and will air on ABC.
[Source: Awards Daily]