Saturday, April 8, 2017

A Look at the New Rules for Oscar Season 2017

Scene from O.J.: Made in America
It is likely that if you saw O.J.: Made in America that you think it's a one of a kind experience. Its journey into the tumultuous celebrity around O.J. Simpson created one of the most fascinating documentaries of 2016. What if I were to tell you that O.J. was a one of a kind experience in another way? The Academy has recently announced their new rules for this upcoming Oscar Season, and there's been a heavy blow to the documentary nominees-to-be. There will no longer be documentaries eligible that are released in multiple parts. This is one of the major rules to come out. Read on to find out new rules involving Best Animated Film, Best Original Score, Best Picture, and more.

I am one of those who loved O.J.: Made in America and couldn't imagine it in a shorter running time. However, I also found it suspicious that it was ever going to be an Oscar contender to begin with. Besides its known public debut on ESPN, it was odd that a story told over several 90 minute "episodes" was considered, in terms of awards, film and not just TV. It's been odd to see O.J. get nominated in both fields. While I don't think all upcoming documentaries will suffer from this confusing structure, I definitely think that it's important to differentiate between what is and isn't a documentary. 

The other rules weren't as controversial. In fact, they are mostly positive changes that should make this upcoming Oscars ceremony a lot more interesting:

-Best Animated Film will be opened to the entire Academy for nomination voting. 

-Best Picture has changed how it will see producers up for the award. If a pair of producers (no more than two) have a recognized partnership, they will be counted as one producer. Any further details will be handled by The Academy's Producers Branch Executive Committee.

-Best Original Score has decided that any music composed equally by multiple people will be accepted and considered a group. If said group wins, they will receive one statue.

Along with these changes, they have also recently announced dates for the upcoming Oscar season. It isn't that far into this Oscar Season, but we're already packed with information. What do you think of the changes? Should Best Documentary have restrictions to its presentation, or should serialized, multiple episodes  of a story still count? 

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