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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the year's five best picture nominees. But it hasn't yet resolved who will be credited with producing three of them.
In an effort to curtail the pileup of producers swarming the stage to collect the top Oscar, the academy now limits the number of people who can claim to have made the film to three. Problem is, it isn't easy deciding who those three people should be.
In the case of "The Aviator," "Million Dollar Baby" and "Ray," the movies each credit four producers. As a result, when those best-picture nominees were read early Tuesday by Adrien Brody, the actor repeatedly had to say, "Nominees to be determined."
"It's a weird rule," said producer Richard Gladstein, whose best picture nominee "Finding Neverland" was able to settle upon just two producers. "Sideways," the other best picture pick, has but one credited producer. "There's no reason to put a cap on the number of producers," Gladstein said.
But the academy felt it had to, and now forbids studio executives and personal managers from claiming a producer role unless they actually served as a day-in, day-out producer. The move was prompted by the producing entourage (including Miramax Films co-chairman Harvey Weinstein) claiming the best picture statuette for 1998's "Shakespeare in Love."
An academy committee resolves disputes about who is eligible to be called as a producer.
"We all worked as a team and worked very diligently on this film," said Taylor Hackford, director and one of the four credited producers of "Ray."
John Horn is a Times staff writer; Chris Lee is a freelance reporter.