Vox filmerati: Hollywood reacts to today’s Oscar news

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Hollywood executives and producers respond to the news that there will be 10 best picture nominees this year, instead of the traditional five.


Jon Favreau, director of ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Elf’

I think its going to help the musicals and comedies and the genre films but I don’t think this means they will be winning. I think this means more people are in on the party, but I think you will still see films sweep. I think the nominee list is going to look like an Iraqi presidential ballot with all the names. I also think it could hurt small films that have won in the past, like ‘Crash’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ which may suffer when there are more choices.

Tom Bernard, president, Sony Pictures Classics:

It’s great for the independent community. There are more chances to win. There’s probably, every year, 10 movies that could have easily been chosen, so it’s interesting to put them all into the mix. The big question [is] how are you going to get all the members to watch the 45 DVDs that show up at their house on Christmas day?
Laura Ziskin, producer of the ‘Spider-Man’ movies and two previous Oscar telecasts:

I think it’s fantastic. What could be bad? From a horse race standpoint, it makes it more exciting. I guess the tricky part is that in some years, it’s hard to think of five movies to nominate.


I’m excited about it as a producer. I have a better chance of getting nominated. It gives you a more interesting mix. What’s wrong with popcorn movies if they’re good? The danger is if you don’t have a [minimum for] how many votes you need to get nominated. Between the the movie that gets the most votes and the movie that gets the least, there could be a very big spread.

Joel Wayne, retired studio marketing executive who worked at Warner Bros. for 25 years:

Today’s news is wonderful for the Academy because it widens the field. But the question is, will the studios see their Oscar campaign budgets swell?

Mike Vollman, president of marketing at MGM/UA:

The general amount of Oscar spending has effectively doubled. There are twice as many movies you have to spend against.

A.C. Lyles, a veteran producer who started as a page and has been working at Paramount for 71 years:

I have been a voting member of the Academy for 65 years. I see almost every movie made and I have had a difficult time selecting five. I think it’s a good idea to have 10 nominees.

-- Times staff writers

In Wednesday’s Times, find out more about the decision and its impact on the film business; the financial reasons behind the move; the new calculus for potential best picture nominees; and read commentary from film critic Kenneth Turan and columnist Patrick Goldstein.