The academy adds filmmaker and creative director category to the best animated category; JS Communication takes R&H to solve bankruptcy problem; Star Wars: Rebels premiere on Disney Fall 2014

Welcome to the pre summer edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report Here’s what’s topping today!


There’s a change in the Best Animated category in time for this year’s Oscar’s as the academy makes a little tweak just like the other categories. What additions did the academy make Perch?


Perch Perkins (via The Wrap)- The Academy has relaxed the rules for winning an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, allowing more individuals to take home statuettes.

In rule changes approved by the AMPAS Board of Governors, the filmmaker with producer credit will now receive an Oscar in the category, along with the film’s credited director. In cases where a two-person team has shared director credit, a third statuette can be awarded.

In the past, the Animated Feature Oscar went to the single individual with the most creative input into the film, typically the director. In only two cases over the 12 years of the category – including the most recent winner, “Brave” – two credited directors received statuettes.

Other rule changes included previously announced alterations to voting in the documentary shorts and foreign-language categories.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved rules for the 86th Oscars®.  The most significant change affects the Animated Feature Film category.

In this category, the new rule designates a maximum of two award recipients, one of whom must have a producer credit.  The director and/or key creative individual shall continue to be a recipient, and in the circumstance of a two-person team with shared and equal director credit, a third statuette may be awarded.

Previously announced rules changes for the 86th Academy Awards® include allowing members to see the nominated documentary shorts and foreign language films either at a theatrical screening or on DVD.  Prior to the final round of voting, the Academy will provide members with DVDs of the nominated films in five categories: Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Animated Short Film, and Live Action Short Film.

Other adjustments to the rules include standard date and other routine changes.

Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees.  The Awards Rules Committee then evaluates all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors for approval.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center and televised live on the ABC Television Network.  The presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.


After weeks of money trouble, R&H is saved by JS Communications. But there’s a hitch in their plan. What was it Angie?


Angie Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)-JS Communications has finally settled for a reduced break-up fee in the drawn-out Rhythm & Hues bankruptcy saga. It’s been two months since troubled VFX house R&H sold out of bankruptcy to Prana Studios-led Holdings, LLC following a roller-coaster closed-door auction. At issue was the court-approved $425K fee promised to JS Communications as stalking horse bidder if a qualified rival beat them out for the Life Of Pi company, which JS was eyeing to buy. But in a hotly contested development, JS failed to meet a deadline to submit its bid (exec David Shim told me then that his dealings with Fox and Universal left him less than optimistic about buying R&H without future work assurances). Per a court document filed this week (read it here), JS will receive a $300K break-up fee. If approved in court June 4, that should put the R&H saga to bed for the time being; multiple class action lawsuits against R&H filed by former employees have yet to be settled.


Back in the last week’s April, we discovered Star Wars: The Clone Wars was put on hold because the demise of Lucas Arts Games. Now Disney’s repairing the the damage by planning to launch a brand new Star Wars animated series Star Wars Rebels thanks to Disney XD. When will the story continue Danny?


Danny Angelfish (via Dateline Hollywood)- With Lucasfilm firmly ensconced in Disney land, production has begun the next animated Star Wars TV series. Two months after The Clone Wars was forced to surrender following a five-year run on Cartoon Network, Star Wars Rebels is massing its forces for a fall 2014 attack. It will premiere as an hourlong special before the series kicks off on Disney XD outlets worldwide. Produced by Lucasfilm Animation, the action series is set during the nearly two-decade span between Episode III and IV of the Star Wars films — a time frame never chronicled onscreen. The Empire is fortifying its hold on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion is taking shape, but plot details are in the vault.

Writer-producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men First Class, Sherlock Holmes) is an executive producer on the new series and will write the premiere episode. Also taking EP roles are Filoni, who served as supervising director of Clone Wars, and Greg Weisman (Young Justice, The Spectacular Spider-Man). Casting will be announced later. The first public look at Star Wars: Rebels will be at Star Wars Celebration Europe, set for July 26-28 in Messe Essen, Germany.


As we check the Penguins tally, 724 fans continue to analyze Team Skipper’s chances of winning at the Daytime Emmys.


Things will start heating up next week as summer movie season 2013 arrives. Look for the best blockbusters including Iron Man 3 as well as the final installment of The Hangover series Hangover 3. And we ask the question will The Warner’s win the summer movie battle over DreamWorks? All answers will be revealed in the next summer installment of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Until then, see you there!

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