All around town, producers whose often-fuzzy roles in bringing together the various elements necessary to get prestige projects before rolling cameras are throwing open their windows and offering up an exultant "Huzzah! to the Hollywood heavens, as the Academy has ever so slightly loosened its Draconian rules about the number of people allowed to storm the Kodak Theatre stage in the unlikely event of a Best Picture win. Reports the NY Times:
Bruised by disputes over which of a film's producers are entitled to a best-picture award, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, said it would now, "in a rare and extraordinary circumstance," consider crediting more than three producers as nominees. An eight-year-old policy had limited the number of qualifying producers to three. [...]
In announcing the change Sidney Ganis, the film academy's president, said officials wanted to preserve a limit on the number of credits. But, he added, "a truly unique situation could arise, and we want to have just enough flexibility to allow for that rare occurrence."
Ganis admitted that he was "thrilled" that the rules change could help people like Little Miss Sunshine's Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, who were denied their share of the credit when their "delightfully overrated labor of love" made its improbable Best Picture run back in February. But he was careful to note that there was some give-and-take necessary to push through this crucial alteration; to compensate for the possibility that credit in special cases like Sunshine's would be dealt with more equitably, the Academy's board quietly introduced a measure that would bar any film in which Paramount emperor Brad Grey had direct involvement from Oscar recognition, because, in Ganis's words, "It's just so much fun to fuck with that guy."