The governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the folks who hand out the Oscars every year, have finalized a couple of changes to the rules for this year’s Academy Awards. Most significantly, there will now be five final nominees in the Visual Effects category instead of just three nominees as it has been in recent years.
Up until 1963, the Visual Effects and the Sound Effects categories were combined under the umbrella of the Special Effects category. Following that split, only three nominees were allowed for the visual effects category except between the years 1977 and 1979, when five nominees were possible. However, only the 1979 awards ceremony saw five films nominated.
The change undoubtedly reflects the growing use of visual effects even in films where one would not expect them. Of course, it will probably still be the big blockbuster pictures that use visual effects the most obviously that will still dominate the nominees. But maybe there will now be some room to recognize smaller films that use effects in a more subtle, less showy way.