After years of relentless begging and pleading from people who know what they're talking about, the visual effects branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has finally, finally approved the expansion of the number of nominees for the Academy Awards from three to five films.
With the overall quality of feature film visual effects achieving new heights over the past 20 years, this decision, while awesome, comes much too late. Far too many films that deserved visual effects nominations were left nomination-less because of the branch's bizarre devotion for three nomination slots.
The visual effects branch's decision needs to be approved by the Rules Committee and Board of Governors. Hopefully, this will mean that the 83rd Academy Awards will feature five nominees for Best Visual Effects. Finally.
It is unknown, at this time, what this will mean to the two-step procedure of determining the 'bake-off' roster, or to the 'bake-off' itself.
And what will this mean to The VFX Predictinator, our totally awesome formula that accurately predicted the visual effects Oscar winner across 21 years? It will require a serious overhaul, since many of the formulas are dependent on the assumption of three nominees. More likely than not, we'll have to come up with an all-new formula.