21 scientific and technical achievements selected for awards consideration in 2015

The Scientific and Technical Awards Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced that 21 scientific and technical achievements, 16 distinct investigations, have been selected for further awards consideration.

The list is made public to allow individuals and companies with similar devices or claims of prior art the opportunity to submit achievements for review. The deadline to submit additional entries is Tuesday 26 August.

The committee has selected the following technologies for further consideration:

Portable, remote-controlled telescoping camera columns
Prompted by MAT-TOWERCAM TWIN PEEK (MAT – Mad About Technology)

Drivable, high-speed vehicle platforms
Prompted by THE BISCUIT JR. (Allan Padelford Camera Cars)

Neutral density filters that remove infrared contamination
Prompted by INFRARED NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER TECHNOLOGY (Tiffen Company)

Lightweight, prime lens sets for high-resolution cameras
Prompted by LEICA SUMMILUX-C PRIME LENS SERIES (CW Sonderoptic)

Optical audio transfer processes
Prompted by CHACE OPTICAL SOUND PROCESSOR (Deluxe)

Enabling technology of digital cinema projectors
Prompted by TEXAS INSTRUMENTS DLP CINEMA TECHNOLOGY (Texas Instruments)

Interactive blend shape modeling and manufacturing
Prompted by LAIKA RAPID PROTOTYPING AND FACIAL ANIMATION TECHNOLOGY (LAIKA, Inc.) and ILM SHAPE SCULPTING SYSTEM (ILM)

Measurement toolsets for quality control of cinematic experience
Prompted by LSS-100P (Ultra-Stereo Labs)

Displays providing suitable visual reference for feature film review
Prompted by SONY TRIMASTER EL ORGANIC LIGHT EMITTING DIODE PICTURE MONITORS (Sony Pictures Imageworks)

Collaborative, enhanceable image playback and review systems
Prompted by RV MEDIA PLAYER (Tweak Software)

High-resolution motion capture techniques for deforming objects
Prompted by MOVA (MOVA) and GEOMETRY TRACKER (ILM)

Systems for interactive grooming and direct-manipulation of digital hair
Prompted by BARBERSHOP (Weta Digital)

Systems for placing, grooming and resolving collisions of digital feathers
Prompted by DREAMWORKS FEATHER SYSTEM (DreamWorks Animation)

Systems for modeling, animation and rendering of digital vegetation
Prompted by SPEEDTREE (IDV)

Digital technologies for high-density physical destruction simulation
Prompted by DROP DESTRUCTION TOOLKIT (Digital Domain) and FINITE ELEMENT DESTRUCTION MODELING (UC Berkeley) and ODIN – UNIFIED HPC MULTI-PHYSICS SIMULATION PLATFORM (Weta Digital)

Efficient volumetric data formats
Prompted by FIELD 3D (Sony Pictures Imageworks) and VDB: HIGH-RESOLUTION SPARSE VOLUMES WITH DYNAMIC TOPOLOGY (DreamWorks Animation)

After thorough investigations are conducted in each of the technology categories, the committee will meet in early December to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions.

The 2014 Scientific and Technical Awards will be presented on Saturday 7 February 2015.

Claims of prior art or similar technology must be submitted on the Academy’s website at http://www.oscars.org/awards/scitech/apply.html.  For further information, interested parties should contact the Awards Administration Office at (310) 247-3000, ext. 1129, or via e-mail at scitech@oscars.org.

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New rules approved for the 87th Academy Awards

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has approved the rules for the 87th Academy Awards.

For the complete rules for the 87th Academy Awards CLICK HERE

In the Acting categories, studios and production companies must now limit eligibility to a maximum of 10 actors and 10 actresses for each film, and must submit those names on the Official Screen Credits (OSC) form.  The Academy’s annual Reminder List of Eligible Releases will now list actors and actresses separately for each film.  Actors Branch voters would still make their own determinations about whether a performance should be considered under the Leading Role or Supporting Role category on their nominations ballots.

In the Animated Feature Film category, DVD screeners are now required as part of a film’s submission.

In the Documentary Feature category, films must now screen a minimum of four times daily during their qualifying theatrical releases in both New York and Los Angeles.  The screenings must begin between noon and 10 p.m., and at least one screening daily must begin between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

In the Music (Original Song) category, songwriters from established musical groups may now have the option to request that their song submission be considered under their group name.  If the request is approved and the song wins the Original Song award, the group would receive a single statuette.

In the Best Picture category, in determining the number of producers on a motion picture who are eligible for nomination, a two-person producing team shall be considered a single “producer” if the individuals have had an established producing partnership for at least the previous five years and have produced as a team at least two previous theatrically released feature films, instead of a minimum five theatrically released feature films.

A rule change in the Production Design category will allow the branch greater flexibility in recognizing the achievements of the principal artists responsible in creating the environment for the story.  When the environment of a film is substantially composed of animation and digital artistry, a digital artist who is primarily responsible for the achievement may now be considered for the Production Design award.  Previously, only “production designers,” “art directors” and “set decorators” were named as eligible for Awards recognition.

In the Animated Short Film and Live Action Short Film categories, films that have received prior nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution may now qualify for Academy Awards consideration by winning a festival award on the Short Films Qualifying Festival List. Without a festival win, the nontheatrical distribution prior to a theatrical release would still disqualify a short film’s eligibility.

For the first time, the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal award-winning films in the Alternative, Animation, Narrative and Foreign Film categories at the 2014 Student Academy Awards will all be eligible for Oscar® consideration in the Short Film categories.  Similarly, the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in the Documentary category at the 2014 Student Academy Awards will be eligible for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category.

Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees.  The Awards Rules Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors for approval.

The Academy also has launched its new Awards Submissions platform for entering information required for Academy Awards consideration.  This replaces the Academy’s previous submissions site for feature films, and now includes the ability to submit online for the Animated Feature Film category.  Submitting individuals are encouraged to register now at submissions.oscars.org.  The deadline for submitting OSC forms for the 87th Academy Awards is 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday, 3 December 2014.

Key dates for 87th Oscars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network hads announced the dates for the 87th Oscars.  The Academy Awards presentation will air live on ABC on Oscar Sunday, February 22, 2015.

Key dates for the Awards season are:

Saturday, November 8, 2014 – The Governors Awards
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 – Official Screen Credits and music submissions due
Monday, December 29, 2014 – Nominations voting begins 8 a.m. PT
Thursday, January 8, 2015 – Nominations voting ends 5 p.m. PT
Thursday, January 15, 2015 – Oscar nominations announced
Monday, February 2, 2015 – Oscar Nominees Luncheon
Friday, February 6, 2015 – Final voting begins 8 a.m. PT
Saturday, February 7, 2015 – Scientific and Technical Awards
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 – Final voting ends 5 p.m. PT
Oscar Sunday, February 22, 2015 – 87th Academy Awards begins 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT

The Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.  The Oscar presentation will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Grace of Monaco to open the 2014 Cannes Film Festival

Grace PosterFrench director Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco is to open the next Festival de Cannes. The world premiere will take place on Wednesday 14 May, 2014, in the Grand Théâtre Lumière of the Palais des Festivals, in the Official Selection category, Out of Competition. Grace of Monaco follows on from The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann.

The film portrays a period in the life of American Actress Grace Kelly (played by Nicole Kidman) who became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth) in 1956, in what was dubbed “the marriage of the century”. An Oscar winner, she was already a huge film star, having worked with the very greatest (John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Fred Zinnemann) and acclaimed the world over. Six years later, amid occasional difficulties in fulfilling her role, she was invited back to Hollywood by Alfred Hitchcock, to play in his new film Marnie. At the time, France was threatening to tax and even annex Monaco, the tiny Principality whose monarch Kelly had become. Was she still an actress? Was she really Princess of Monaco?

Produced by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, Uday Chopra and Arash Amel, who also wrote the screenplay, Grace of Monaco sees Nicole Kidman play the role of Grace, with Tim Roth as Prince Rainier. Their co-stars include Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Jeanne Balibar, Sir Derek Jacobi and Paz Vega, who plays Maria Callas.

Born in 1967 in La Ciotat, Olivier Dahan previously directed La Vie en Rose (2007) which garnered Marion Cotillard the Oscar for Best Actress in 2008. Grace of Monaco will be released on the opening day of the Festival, Wednesday 14 May, in France and in several cities around the world. The opening ceremony will be broadcast to participating cinemas, by Canal+.

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes the Guide

GRACE OF MONACO

289 feature films in contention for best picture Oscar

Two hundred eighty-nine feature films are eligible for the 2013 Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced.

To be eligible for 86th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theatre 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 86th Academy Awards” is available here

The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014.