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  1. #1
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Default New Inclusion Requirements for Academy Award Best Picture Eligibility

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new requirements for Best Picture nominees, to help promote greater diversity in the movie industry.

    In order for a film to be eligible, it must meet at least two of four standards.

    The standards are as follows:

    STANDARD A: ON-SCREEN REPRESENTATION, THEMES AND NARRATIVES
    To achieve Standard A, the film must meet ONE of the following criteria:

    A1. Lead or significant supporting actors: At least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
    • Asian
    • Hispanic/Latinx
    • Black/African American
    • Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
    • Middle Eastern/North African
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
    • Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

    A2. General ensemble cast: At least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from at least two of the following underrepresented groups:
    • Women
    • Racial or ethnic group
    • LGBTQ+
    • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

    A3. Main storyline/subject matter: The main storyline(s), theme or narrative of the film is centered on an underrepresented group(s).
    • Women
    • Racial or ethnic group
    • LGBTQ+
    • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

    STANDARD B: CREATIVE LEADERSHIP AND PROJECT TEAM- To achieve Standard B, the film must meet ONE of the criteria below:

    B1. Creative leadership and department heads: At least two of the following creative leadership positions and department heads — Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Decorator, Sound, VFX Supervisor, Writer — are from the following underrepresented groups:
    • Women
    • Racial or ethnic group
    • LGBTQ+
    • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

    At least one of those positions must belong to the following underrepresented racial or ethnic group:
    • Asian
    • Hispanic/Latinx
    • Black/African American
    • Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
    • Middle Eastern/North African
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
    • Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

    B2. Other key roles: At least six other crew/team and technical positions (excluding Production Assistants) are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. These positions include but are not limited to First AD, Gaffer, Script Supervisor, etc.

    B3. Overall crew composition: At least 30% of the film’s crew is from the following underrepresented groups:
    • Women
    • Racial or ethnic group
    • LGBTQ+
    • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

    STANDARD C: INDUSTRY ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITIES- To achieve Standard C, the film must meet BOTH criteria below:

    C1. Paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities
    The film’s distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships that are from the following underrepresented groups and satisfy the criteria below:
    • Women
    • Racial or ethnic group
    • LGBTQ+
    • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

    The major studios/distributors are required to have substantive, ongoing paid apprenticeships/internships inclusive of underrepresented groups (must also include racial or ethnic groups) in most of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

    The mini-major or independent studios/distributors must have a minimum of two apprentices/interns from the above underrepresented groups (at least one from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group) in at least one of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

    C2. Training opportunities and skills development (crew)

    The film’s production, distribution and/or financing company offers training and/or work opportunities for below-the-line skill development to people from the following underrepresented groups:
    • Women
    • Racial or ethnic group
    • LGBTQ+
    • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

    STANDARD D: AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
    To achieve Standard D, the film must meet the criterion below:

    D1. Representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution
    The studio and/or film company has multiple in-house senior executives from among the following underrepresented groups (must include individuals from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups) on their marketing, publicity, and/or distribution teams.
    • Women
    • Racial or ethnic group:
    •Asian
    •Hispanic/Latinx
    •Black/African American
    •Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
    •Middle Eastern/North African
    •Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
    •Other underrepresented race or ethnicity
    •LGBTQ+
    • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing
    It seems to be well-intended, and something that most studios could meet pretty easily. If the film has a subject matter that would emphasize white men (like Dunkirk, Ford V. Ferrari, The Irishman, Hell or High Water or 1917) and the crew happens to be majority white male, the studios can get around that with representation in marketing and affirmative action in internships.

    I do ultimately thinks this is a bad idea. These requirements have nothing to do with the quality of the film, which is the one thing that is supposed to be judged. The films with a difficult time passing would be some of those with the lowest budgets. In the event that a decent film doesn't meet these standards, it allows for an argument that it wasn't allowed to compete.

    What do you think?
    Sincerely,
    Thomas Mets

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    I think people should make their movies the way they want to and tell the Academy to shove its award.
    Make America Good Again.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    This is a terrible idea to institutionalise. It effectively nullifies any claim of Best Picture to be Best Picture.

    It’s more important to get a diverse bunch of voters into the Academy. That’s what counts and a diverse bunch of people as studio chiefs. That’s what matters big laying things out on some grid.

  4. #4
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    Hard to say. Looking at past nominees, a lot of the lower budget films are the ones who should pass it easily.

    I think some of the mid-budget films that take place in historical time period where your main cast is all caucasian, that might be a little bit problematic.

    That said, this *shouldn't* be an issue for most films. If you just take a random sampling of people of the United States, to work on a movie, 99% of movies shouldn't have any problems. Almost every movie should be able to "check the box" on B1 for example. That's really loose!

    In theory, it shouldn't need to be done. But I honestly don't know the diversity make up of Hollywood films. I remember being outraged at Matt Damon during his comments on Project Greenlight a few years back...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    This is a terrible idea to institutionalise. It effectively nullifies any claim of Best Picture to be Best Picture.
    Let's also be real, looking back to most people "Best Picture" isn't really the "Best Picture" anyway. The Academy always has obtuse weird criteria, that most of the viewing audience doesn't relate to anyway. At least this one would be spelled out.

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member Zauriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new requirements for Best Picture nominees, to help promote greater diversity in the movie industry.

    It seems to be well-intended, and something that most studios could meet pretty easily. If the film has a subject matter that would emphasize white men (like Dunkirk, Ford V. Ferrari, The Irishman, Hell or High Water or 1917) and the crew happens to be majority white male, the studios can get around that with representation in marketing and affirmative action in internships.

    I do ultimately thinks this is a bad idea. These requirements have nothing to do with the quality of the film, which is the one thing that is supposed to be judged. The films with a difficult time passing would be some of those with the lowest budgets. In the event that a decent film doesn't meet these standards, it allows for an argument that it wasn't allowed to compete.

    What do you think?
    Yes, I think it is a bad idea. If they are going to make a movie about Vikings and want to win an Oscar, should they include a black actor?

  7. #7
    Courage looks like this Powerboy's Avatar
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    Mixed feelings. The idea is good and means well. But the movie that wins should be the one that was the best movie of the year- period. This will just further increase the accusation that movies win for reasons that have nothing to do with being the best movie.
    This is what courage looks like.

  8. #8
    Courage looks like this Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zauriel View Post
    Yes, I think it is a bad idea. If they are going to make a movie about Vikings and want to win an Oscar, should they include a black actor?
    I actually thought of that specific example. Mind you, I could care less about the racists whining "Politically correct" over Morgan Freeman being worked into that Kevin Costner Robin Hood movie, especially since Freeman was the best part of the movie. But there will probably be movies with obviously contrived things just to meet the criteria- or they'll just have directors bashing the Oscars and doing what they want to do.

    I personally subscribe to the Clint Eastwood solution. Many shows and movies tend to cast white actors by default unless a role specifically has to be black, Asian or Native American. But he is a proponent of not stating the race of a character in casting calls. Just cast whoever did the best audition. Sure, MLK has to be black. The Grand Wizard of the KKK has to be white. But most roles, just cast the best actor.

    On the other hand, it comes down to what is more important. While there will be the occasional movie that certain races in certain times and places just don't work. So the question is whether being more inclusive is worth it.
    This is what courage looks like.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by titanfan View Post
    Let's also be real, looking back to most people "Best Picture" isn't really the "Best Picture" anyway.
    That's a separate issue from this. It's a fact that any award that tries to give one movie "the best" of that year will get things more wrong than right. It's not unique to Oscars. People can get things wrong.

    The Academy always has obtuse weird criteria, that most of the viewing audience doesn't relate to anyway.
    Not so sure about that. Most Best Picture winners have always been box-office successes and popular titles. That's changed a bit in recent times but that's also when the Academy has given awards to interesting titles, like in February 2020 it gave Best Picture to PARASITE, a South Korean movie, the first time a foreign film got an Academy Award.

    At least this one would be spelled out.
    What it spells out is a model for Oscar bait and pre-focus group testing...and also potentially leading to tokenism just to get nominated and win.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    Fans: "People should make movies how ever they want"

    Also Fans : Hey I wonder why movies and production aren't more diverse, Maybe they should keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different

    It is fundamentally not a good idea BUT it forces industry a little to try to make a change so frankly it is great thing. Maybe one day movies are so diverse that rule disappears but until then you have try do something instead of twiddling your thumbs. They are just doing what they can to influence change beside winning best picture isn't only reason to make a movie and Oscars aren't the only awards.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zauriel View Post
    Yes, I think it is a bad idea. If they are going to make a movie about Vikings and want to win an Oscar, should they include a black actor?
    They don't have a black actor or minority , You just have to make sure your crew and opportunities is diverse to the standards. You need two out of the four standards to be eligible.
    Last edited by Killerbee911; 09-08-2020 at 09:23 PM.

  11. #11

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    It seems every initiative designed to help minorities that has been enacted over the last 55 years has led to lots of dissatisfaction from all sides. This will likely be no different.

    Of the four Standards, only Standard A involves on-camera talent. That means a Viking history movie or a Founding Fathers movie will have a white cast, but Standards B, C, and D are there to give opportunities for minorities behind the camera.

    Sounds like it could work, but I have a feeling that an all-white cast movie would be frowned upon even if it's historically accurate. I don't think the defense, "Wait! Wait! We have lots of minorities behind the scenes!!! We're good!!!" will fly.

    I don't think an all-white cast movie has a chance of getting a Best Picture nod now, and that likely means that Oscar-bait movies like, say, Shakespeare in Love, wouldn't get made today.

    Notice how criteria A1 does NOT include gay actors (A1. Lead or significant supporting actors: At least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.). The Academy wants to SEE that diversity, so, sorry gay actors, you don't count there.

    If a very diverse cast film wins Best Picture, a lot of people will say it only won because of its diversity. If a non-diverse cast film should win, then minorities will be upset because they'll think nothing's really changed in Hollywood. Again, all sides will end up dissatisfied over this.

    Count filmmakers and cinephiles among the to-be dissatisfied. Box checking and creativity don't go hand-in-hand. A lot of writers won't bother to tell their personal stories because it may involve an all-white cast.

    This ruling is a divider, not a uniter -- as all top-down edicts tend to be.

  12. #12
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    The Academy wants to SEE that diversity, so, sorry gay actors, you don't count there.
    It doesn't want to put studios (or people) in the position of having to out themselves, so I understand there. (Not to mention sexuality can be fluid.)
    Last edited by titanfan; 09-08-2020 at 09:32 PM.

  13. #13
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    Yes, I think it is a bad idea. If they are going to make a movie about Vikings and want to win an Oscar, should they include a black actor?
    Considering that there were actually Black Vikings, yes. https://www.northendagents.com/inter...trius-dillard/
    This is actually something that most of us are wrong about with history. Because we watched movies with caucasian people in historical pieces growing up, we don't realize that the world was integrating a lot earlier than it actually did.

    https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-r...acked-up-to-be

    Long Article, and it talks about why Color-Blind Casting isn't perfect and maybe we should use another alternative (color-conscious) casting instead.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    Companies should step up on their own try to be diverse with out someone putting a gun to their head. But people are over looking without a gun to their head the changes are happening very slow if at all. This reminds me of the Rooney rule in football only two Black Coaches have won a superbowl, and one of them directly because the Rooney rule gave him at shot at the interview. The small point is the rule didn't lead to hiring equaling out, The owners figure out away around by by token interviews with people from their staff and they hire who they want to hire. Even with a rule encourage diversity in hiring they are only 3 black coaches and 1 Hispanic coach out of 32 teams in league made up 70% black people. The big point with out a gun to their heads they have no encouragement to change and even with the encourage they give the least effort towards change.

    The real question to be ask is "Why do they have to put rule like that in place, Why isn't casting and behind the scenes more diverse already?" . I am curious why people think the same Hollywood that cast Gods of Egypt or Avatar with white leads or even as recently as new mutants the director went "I know character is afro latino I am just going to cast him how I want anyway", is place that is going to just magically change without being forced. The end result of the hiring Mike Tomlin is worth the flawed process, The fact the more minorities in hollywood will get a chance is worth the flawed process.
    Last edited by Killerbee911; 09-08-2020 at 10:29 PM.

  15. #15
    Chad Jar Jar Pinsir's Avatar
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    So, uh, wouldn't something like Greenbook still be eligible?
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