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Sunday, July 31, 2005

AMPAS grapples with blurry boundaries

Great piece posted to Variety's Web site today, by David S. Cohen, about the dilemmas that new technologies are creating for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the industry group that doles out Oscars once a year.

"...[T]he arrival of digital cinema is forcing almost every branch of the Academy to take a hard look at its rules. One insider calls it the widest-ranging review of Academy policies since talkies came in nearly 80 years ago," Cohen writes.

Among the questions:

- "Sin City's" sets were created digitally. Is that production design, cinematography, or visual effects?

- Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will play King Kong in the forthcoming Peter Jackson remake of the 1933 classic. Well, to be exact, his motions were captured in order to make a digitally-animated King Kong seem more realistic. Is he eligible for a Best Actor nomination?

- "If a project is shot and edited digitally and shown on a digital projector, is it still a `motion picture?' With some directors, such as James Cameron, talking about making movies that can only be shown with digital projection, that's a question the Acad must answer in the next few years," writes Cohen.

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