The Academy Focuses A “SPOTLIGHT On Screenwriting” In New York City

Screenwriting Series to Feature Films by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, An Evening with Walter Bernstein, and a Special Sneak Preview of “Ghostbusters”


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “Spotlight on Screenwriting,” a summer series illuminating the art of writing for motion pictures, beginning May 15 at various venues in New York City. The programs include onstage conversations and screenings of acclaimed films spanning nine decades.

Hollywood’s Happiest Couple: Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett
May 15 and 16 at Film Forum, 209 W. Houston Street
The series launches with a two-day celebration one of Hollywood’s most famous creative partnerships. 
Jim Moore, biographer and grandson of writer, producer and former Academy President Charles Brackett, will introduce three films co-written by the legendary team: “Ninotchka,” “The Lost Weekend” and “Sunset Blvd.,” all of which won or were nominated for multiple Oscars®.

Hollywood’s Darkest Moment: “The Front” Screening and Q&A
June 7 at the SVA Theater, 333 W. 23rd Street

A 40th anniversary screening of “The Front” will be followed by an onstage conversation with screenwriter Walter Bernstein, who received a 1976 Oscar® nomination for his original screenplay.  Bernstein, who was among dozens of screenwriters blacklisted during the 1940s and ’50s, will discuss his personal experiences and the lasting legacy of one of Hollywood’s darkest periods with Michael Barker, co-president and co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics.

Ghostbusters: A Sneak Preview
July TBA at the 
SVA Theater, 333 W. 23rd Street

The series will conclude in July with a preview screening of this year’s much-anticipated summer release “Ghostbusters.”  Screenwriter Katie Dippold will discuss the process of adapting the screenplay from the 1984 film of the same name.

For more information on “Spotlight on Screenwriting” and to purchase tickets, please visit the Academy’s event pages at www.oscars.org/events 

The Academy Adds Diverse Voices To Its Leadership

Three Members Added To Board Of Governors; Six Members Also Added To Board Committees

Following up on her January 21st announcement regarding the lack of diversity in the Academy membership, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs today appointed three new governors to join the Academy’s 51-seat Board of Governors. Reginald Hudlin (Directors Branch), Gregory Nava (Writers Branch) and Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Short Films and Feature Animation Branch) were confirmed by the current Board members for three-year terms, effective immediately.

I’m proud of the steps we have taken to increase diversity,” said Boone Isaacs. “However, we know there is more to do as we move forward to make this a more inclusive organization.”

The Board also appointed additional Academy members to each of the six Board committees that provide oversight to specific Academy areas.

  • Actor Gael García Bernal joins the Awards and Events Committee, chaired by First Vice President Jeffrey Kurland.
  • Cinematographer Amy Vincent joins the Preservation and History Committee, chaired by Vice President John Bailey.
  • Producer Effie Brown joins the Museum Committee, chaired by Vice President Kathleen Kennedy.
  • Executive Marcus Hu and Animator Floyd Norman join the Education and Outreach Committee, chaired by Vice President Bill Kroyer.
  • Executive Vanessa Morrison joins the Finance Committee, chaired by Treasurer Jim Gianopulos.
  • Producer Stephanie Allain joins the Membership and Administration Committee, chaired by Secretary Phil Robinson.

The Board also reaffirmed its January 21 resolution to make sure Academy voters are active in the motion picture industry. In the meeting, the Board decided that each branch executive committee will determine specific criteria for active voters based on the guidelines established in January. Active voters are defined as:

  • those who have worked in the motion picture industry in the last 10 years;
  • those who have worked anytime during three 10-year periods whether consecutive or not;
  • members who have won or been nominated for an Oscar®.

The branch executive committees will meet every two years—starting this spring—to review their members and determine any potential reclassifications. The committees also will adopt an appeals process for members who may lose their voting privileges.

Now the hard work begins….

11 Scientific And Technical Achievements To Be Honored With Academy Awards®

87th (1)The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 scientific and technical achievements represented by 33 individual award recipients will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 13, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. In addition, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) will receive a special award recognizing a century of fundamental contributions to the advancement of motion picture standards and technology.

Unlike other Academy Awards® to be presented this year, achievements receiving Scientific and Technical Awards need not have been developed and introduced during 2015. Rather, the achievements must demonstrate a proven record of contributing significant value to the process of making motion pictures.

The Academy Awards for scientific and technical achievements are:

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS (ACADEMY CERTIFICATES)

To Michael John Keesling for the design and development of Image Shaker, an optical system that convincingly creates the illusion of the camera shaking in a variable and repeatable manner. The Image Shaker was unique and superior to alternatives in use when it was invented two decades ago, and it continues to be used today.

To David McIntosh, Steve Marshall Smith, Mike Branham and Mike Kirilenko for the engineering and development of the Aircover Inflatables Airwall.

This system of modular inflatable panels can be erected on location, at lengths reaching hundreds of feet, with exceptional speed and safety. When used to support blue or green screens, the Airwall permits composite shots of unprecedented scale.

To Trevor Davies, Thomas Wan, Jon Scott Miller, Jared Smith and Matthew Robinson for the development of the Dolby Laboratories PRM Series Reference Color Monitors.

The PRM’s pioneering and innovative design allows the stable, accurate representation of images with the entire luminance range and color gamut used in contemporary theatrical feature presentation.

To Ronald Mallet and Christoph Bregler for the design and engineering of the Industrial Light & Magic Geometry Tracker, a novel, general-purpose tracker and solver.

Geometry Tracker facilitates convincing interaction of digital and live-action elements within a scene. Its precise results and tight integration with other ILM animation technologies solve a wider range of match-animation challenges than was previously possible.

To Jim Hourihan, Alan Trombla and Seth Rosenthal for the design and development of the Tweak Software RV system, a highly extensible media player system.

RV’s multi-platform toolset for review and playback, with comprehensive APIs, has allowed studios of all sizes to take advantage of a state-of-the-art workflow and has achieved widespread adoption in the motion picture industry.

To Richard Chuang and Rahul Thakkar for the groundbreaking design, and to Andrew Pilgrim, Stewart Birnam and Mark Kirk for the review workflows and advanced playback features, of the DreamWorks Animation Media Review System.

Over its nearly two decades of development, this pioneering system enabled desktop and digital theater review. It continues to provide artist-driven, integrated, consistent and highly scalable studio-wide playback and interactive reviews.

To Keith Goldfarb, Steve Linn, Brian Green and Raymond Chih for the development of the Rhythm & Hues Global DDR System.

This consistent, integrated, production database-backed review system enables a recordable workflow and an efficient, collaborative content review process across multiple sites and time zones.

To J Robert Ray, Cottalango Leon and Sam Richards for the design, engineering and continuous development of Sony Pictures Imageworks Itview.

With an extensive plugin API and comprehensive facility integration including editorial functions, Itview provides an intuitive and flexible creative review environment that can be deployed globally for highly efficient collaboration.

SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING AWARDS (ACADEMY PLAQUES)

To Brian McLean and Martin Meunier for pioneering the use of rapid prototyping for character animation in stop-motion film production.

LAIKA’s inventive use of rapid prototyping has enabled artistic leaps in character expressiveness, facial animation, motion blur and effects animation. Through highly specialized pipelines and techniques, 3D printing capabilities have been harnessed with color uniformity, mechanical repeatability, and the scale required to significantly enhance stop-motion animated feature films.

To Jack Greasley, Kiyoyuki Nakagaki, Duncan Hopkins and Carl Rand for the design and engineering of the MARI 3D texture painting system.

Combining powerful, multilayer painting tools and a unique texture-management system, MARI simplifies working with large, high-resolution texture sets. It has achieved broad adoption in the visual effects industry, often supplanting long-term in-house systems.

SPECIAL AWARD (PLAQUE)

To the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers

For one hundred years, the Society’s members have nurtured technology, provided essential standards, and offered the expertise, support, tools and infrastructure for the creation and post-production of motion pictures.

This year’s honorees represent a wide range of new tech, including a modular inflatable airwall system for composited visual effects, a ubiquitous 3D digital paint system and a 3D printing technique for animation,” said Richard Edlund, Academy Award®-winning visual effects artist and chair of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. “With their outstanding, innovative work, these technologists, engineers and inventors have further expanded filmmakers’ creative opportunities on the big screen.”

As always, portions of the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be included in the Oscar® telecast.

The nominees for the 87th Annual Academy Awards will be announced Thursday (morning), January 14th. The Oscars® for outstanding film achievements of 2015 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised, hosted by Chris Rock, live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

10 Contenders Remain In VFX Oscar® Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 10 films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 88th Academy Awards®.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

Ant-Man”

Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Ex Machina”

Jurassic World”

Mad Max: Fury Road”

The Martian”

The Revenant”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Tomorrowland”

The Walk”

The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist. All members of the Visual Effects Branch will now be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on Saturday, January 9, 2016. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.

The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

112 Film Scores In 2015 Eligible for Best Original Score Oscar® Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 112 scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2015 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 88th Academy Awards®.

To be eligible, the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must be written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer. Scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible.

The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below, in alphabetical order by film title:

“Adult Beginners,” Marcelo Zarvos, composer

“The Age of Adaline,” Rob Simonsen, composer

“Altered Minds,” Edmund Choi, composer

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” Mark Mothersbaugh, composer

“Anomalisa,” Carter Burwell, composer

“Ant-Man,” Christophe Beck, composer

“Beasts of No Nation,” Dan Romer, composer

“The Big Short,” Nicholas Britell, composer

“Black Mass,” Tom Holkenborg, composer

“Bridge of Spies,” Thomas Newman, composer

“Brooklyn,” Michael Brook, composer

“Burnt,” Rob Simonsen, composer

“By the Sea,” Gabriel Yared, composer

“Carol,” Carter Burwell, composer

“Cartel Land,” H. Scott Salinas and Jackson Greenberg, composers

“Chi-Raq,” Terence Blanchard, composer

“Cinderella,” Patrick Doyle, composer

“Coming Home,” Qigang Chen, composer

“Concussion,” James Newton Howard, composer

“Creed,” Ludwig Goransson, composer

“The Danish Girl,” Alexandre Desplat, composer

“The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” Joseph Trapanese, composer

“Dukhtar,” Peter Nashel, composer

“The End of the Tour,” Danny Elfman, composer

“Everest,” Dario Marianelli, composer

“Ex Machina,” Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow, composers

“Far from the Madding Crowd,” Craig Armstrong, composer

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” Danny Elfman, composer

“5 Flights Up,” David Newman, composer

“Frame by Frame,” Patrick Jonsson, composer

“Freedom,” James Lavino, composer

“Furious Seven,” Brian Tyler, composer

“The Good Dinosaur,” Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna, composers

“Goosebumps,” Danny Elfman, composer

“Grandma,” Joel P. West, composer

“The Hateful Eight,” Ennio Morricone, composer

“He Named Me Malala,” Thomas Newman, composer

“Hot Pursuit,” Christophe Beck, composer

“Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” Christophe Beck, composer

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” James Newton Howard, composer

“The Hunting Ground,” Miriam Cutler, composer

“I Smile Back,” Zack Ryan, composer

“I’ll See You in My Dreams,” Keegan DeWitt, composer

“In the Heart of the Sea,” Roque Baños, composer

“Inside Out,” Michael Giacchino, composer

“The Intern,” Theodore Shapiro, composer

“It Follows,” Disasterpeace, composer

“Jalam,” Ouesppachan, composer

“Jurassic World,” Michael Giacchino, composer Continue reading

7 Features Advance In Race For Makeup And Hairstyling Oscar®, 305 Feature Films In Contention For 2015 Best Picture Oscar®

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that seven films remain in competition in the Makeup and Hairstyling Category for the 88th Academy Awards®.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

“Black Mass”

“Concussion”

“Legend”

“Mad Max: Fury Road”

“Mr. Holmes”

“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared”

“The Revenant”

On Saturday, January 9, 2016, all members of the Academy’s Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

In other news, three hundred five feature films were eligible for the 2015 Academy Awards® Best Picture Award. To be eligible for 88th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31, and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days.

Under Academy rules, a feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film, or in a qualifying digital format. Feature films that receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release are not eligible for Academy Awards in any category. The “Reminder List of Productions Eligible for the 88th Academy Awards” is available at http://www.oscars.org/oscars/rules-eligibility.

The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday morning, January 14, 2016, at 5:30 am. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The 88th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7 pm. ET/4 pm. PT.

74 ORIGINAL SONGS VIE FOR 2015 OSCAR®

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 74 songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2015 are in contention for nominations in the Original Song category for the 88th Academy Awards®.

During the nominations process, all voting members of the Music Branch will receive a Reminder List of works submitted in the category and a DVD copy of the song clips. Members will be asked to watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award. A maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film.

To be eligible, a song must consist of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the film. A clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits. The original songs, along with the motion picture in which each song is featured, are listed below in alphabetical order by film title and song title:

“Happy” from “Altered Minds”

“Home” from “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”

“None Of Them Are You” from “Anomalisa”

“Stem To The Rose” from “Becoming Bulletproof”

“The Mystery Of Your Gift” from “Boychoir”

“I Run” from “Chi-Raq”

“Pray 4 My City” from “Chi-Raq”

“Sit Down For This” from “Chi-Raq”

“Strong” from “Cinderella”

“So Long” from “Concussion”

“Fighting Stronger” from “Creed”

“Grip” from “Creed”

“Waiting For My Moment” from “Creed”

“Don’t Look Down” from “Danny Collins”

“Hey Baby Doll” from “Danny Collins”

“Dreamsong” from “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”

“It’s My Turn Now” from “Dope”

“Ya Rahem, Maula Maula” from “Dukhtar”

“Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”

“Love Me Like You Do” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”

“Salted Wound” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”

“Hands Of Love” from “Freeheld”

“See You Again” from “Furious Seven”

“Brother” from “Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones”

“As Real As You And Me” from “Home”

“Dancing In The Dark” from “Home”

“Feel The Light” from “Home”

“Red Balloon” from “Home”

“Two Of A Crime” from “Hot Pursuit”

“Til It Happens To You” from “The Hunting Ground”

“I’ll See You In My Dreams” from “I’ll See You in My Dreams”

“The Movie About Us” from “Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words”

“Bhoomiyilenghanumundo” from “Jalam”

“Koodu Vaykkan” from “Jalam”

“Pakalppaathi Chaari” from “Jalam”

“Yaathra Manoradhamerum” from “Jalam”

“Lost In Love” from “Jenny’s Wedding”

“True Love Avenue” from “Jenny’s Wedding”

“Hypnosis” from “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet”

“Juntos (Together)” from “McFarland, USA”

“The Light That Never Fails” from “Meru”

“The Crazy Ones” from “Miss You Already”

“There’s A Place” from “Miss You Already”

“Johanna” from “Mortdecai”

“Little Soldier” from “Pan”

“Something’s Not Right” from “Pan”

“Paranoid Girl” from “Paranoid Girls”

“Better When I’m Dancin'” from “The Peanuts Movie”

“Pink & Blue” from “Pink & Blue: Colors of Hereditary Cancer”

“Flashlight” from “Pitch Perfect 2”

“Birds Of A Feather” from “Poached”

“Still Breathing” from “Point Break”

“Manta Ray” from “Racing Extinction”

“Cold One” from “Ricki and the Flash”

“Torch” from “Rock the Kasbah”

“Someone Like You” from “The Rumperbutts”

“Aankhon Me Samaye Dil” from “Salt Bridge”

“Bachpana Thaa” from “Salt Bridge”

“Kanpne Lage Tum” from “Salt Bridge”

“Kyaa Bataaun Tujhe” from “Salt Bridge”

“Le Jaaye Jo Door Tumse” from “Salt Bridge”

“Na Jaane Kitni Door” from “Salt Bridge”

“Sookha Hi Rang Daalo” from “Salt Bridge”

“Feels Like Summer” from “Shaun the Sheep Movie”

“Phenomenal” from “Southpaw”

“Writing’s On The Wall” from “Spectre”

“Squeeze Me” from “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water”

“Teamwork” from “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water”

“Who Can You Trust” from “Spy”

“Came To Win” from “Sweet Micky for President”

“Mean Ol’ Moon” from “Ted 2”

“Love Was My Alibi” from “The Water Diviner”

“Fine On The Outside” from “When Marnie Was There”

“Simple Song #3” from “Youth”

The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The 88th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.