Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Academy Members Project Home

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Welcome to The Academy Members Project: The largest public list of Oscar voters you’ll find on the internet!

As of our most recent update on 6/20/2017, we have identified 6,958 Current Members - Over 91% of the full AMPAS membership! - plus over 7,200 Historical Members.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT about our preparations and procedures for the Academy’s upcoming June invitee list.

Chapter 1: About The Project

The Academy Members Project is a grassroots effort to identify and celebrate as many Oscar voters as possible. Rooted in the proud tradition of citizen journalism, the list is a compilation of information gathered from publicly available sources, including web searches, celebrity biographies and archival materials.

This chapter provides general information about us, including the origin story of how we began; a detailed look at our methodology which explains the research tools we utilize and what the fonts and font colors used throughout the site mean; a look at the Academy’s branch history and current branch statistics; and a Frequently Asked Questions page.

We also have sections telling how you can Join The Search as one one of our researchers, or sign up for one of our Special Projects. You can also follow our progress updates, or sign up for our monthly email Newsletter.

Because we want to make it easy for Academy members to share the fact that they’ve been given the honor of joining the Academy, we’ve created a page exclusively dedicated to Academy Members and their friends, family and agents. We’ve also created pages for journalists and filmmakers who are not in the Academy to share their stories with us.

And of course, we have a page for all of our disclaimers, a list of our hard working researchers, and a contact page.

Chapter 2: Known Academy Members

This is the heart and soul of our project: The actual members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, both past and present. As of our most recent update on 6/20/2017, we have identified 6,958 Current Members - Over 91% of the full AMPAS membership! - plus over 7,200 Historical Members.

Names listed in BOLD font have the strongest documentable proof. Names in STANDARD font are those who have been publicly invited to join the Academy, but whose acceptance we have not been able to verify. Names in ITALIC font represent individuals believed to be members, but whose status has not yet been verified using our rigorous documentation standards. Members who have passed away are shown using the same three-tiered system, but in GOLD, and those whose biography is still being researched are in PINK.You can learn more about our methodology and fonts here, and can send any additions, corrections or confirmations to nevertooearlymoviepredictions@gmail.com.

Academy Members Pages (Listed alphabetically by last name):
( Aa-Ak )  ( Al-Am )  ( An-Arm )  ( Arn-Az )  ( Baa-Baq )  ( Bar-Bd )  ( Bea-Ben )  ( Beo-Bk )  ( Bl-Bn )  ( Bo-Bq )  ( Bra-Brn )  ( Bro-Bt )  ( Bu-Bz )  ( Caa-Car )  ( Cas-Cha )  ( Chb-Cn )  ( Coa-Con )  ( Coo-Cq )  ( Cr-Cz )  ( Da-Dd )  ( De-Dh )  ( Di-Dq )  ( Dr-Dz )  ( Ea-El )  ( Em-Ez )  ( Fa-Fh )  ( Fi-Fn )  ( Fo-Frd )  ( Fre-Fz )  ( Ga-Gh )  ( Gi-Gn )  ( Go-Gq )  ( Gra-Grh )  ( Gri-Gz )  ( Haa-Haq )  ( Har-Hd )  ( He-Hn )  ( Ho-Hz )  ( I )  ( J )  ( Ka-Kd )  ( Ke-Kk )  ( KL-Kz )  ( La-Ld )  ( Le-Lh )  ( Li-Lom )  ( Lon-Lz )  ( Maa-Maq )  ( Mar-Mb )  ( Mc-Men )  ( Meo-Mn )  ( Mo-Mz )  ( N )  ( O )  ( Pa-Pd )  ( Pe-Ph )  ( Pi-Pz )  ( Q )  ( Ra-Reh )  ( Rei-Rn )  ( Roa-Ror ) ( Ros-Rz )  ( Sa-Sb )  ( Sc-Sg )  ( Sh )  ( Si-Sm )  ( Sn-Sth )  ( Sti-Sz )  ( Ta-Th )  ( Ti-Tz )  ( U )  ( V )  ( Wa-Wd )  ( We-Wg )  ( Wh-Wim )  ( Win-Wz )  ( X )  ( Y )  ( Z )

Chapter 3: Known NON-Members

When we began our research to learn who the members of the Academy were, we quite naturally came across some articles pointing out the surprising number of filmmakers who were NOT members of the Academy as well. As our research techniques have become more advanced, that list of known Non-members has grown. (You can learn more about the special methodologies and fonts used for this section here).

These Non-member pages also help to correct some frequent misconceptions about the Academy, the most common of which is the myth that all Oscar winners and nominees automatically get invited to join: They Don’t, as you’ll see below.

Non-Members Pages:

Chapter 4: The Wish List (Artists still being researched)

We’ve confirmed the identities of thousands of Academy members (but not all of them), and confirmed the identities of thousands of NON-members (but not all of them). That leaves a whole bunch of people in the middle, on what we call our “Wish List”.

These artists are on our radar, but so far, we just don’t know whether or not they are members. (To learn more about getting someone on -- or off - the Wish List, read here).

Wish List Pages:

Thank you for visiting our project!

If you have any questions, suggestions, additions, corrections or confirmations, you can send them to us via email at nevertooearlymoviepredictions@gmail.com.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Preparing for the Academy’s Upcoming Invitation Announcement

June is when the Academy traditionally publishes their list of new invitees. We’re expecting another large entering class, so I thought I’d take a moment now to review our process so that everyone knows what to expect -- and importantly, how you can help during that busy time.

On the day that the list is announced (and as quickly as my day job allows), I’ll post a link to the invitee list on the site and also send out an email to our researchers letting them know that it’s been released.

Contrary to what you might expect, however, I will NOT try to fold the new names into our regular membership pages until a few weeks later. That may seem counterintuitive to those who assume we would do an immediate update, but there’s a very real research strategy behind it. We’ve discovered that the Academy’s official announcement is only the starting point, not the finish line. It sets off a flurry of activity, with tons of new information coming from new members, existing members, journalists, and others. As researchers, it’s important to collect as much of that follow-up evidence as possible.

In the hours, days, and weeks following the Academy’s announcement, our top priority is to find and record as many reactions and responses as we can. In addition to stories from the traditional and industry media, we’ve discovered that social media searches on twitter, facebook and instagram are particularly time-sensitive. If we don’t find them as they are coming out, the evidence gets hidden deeper and deeper down those timelines, making it much more difficult to uncover.

The first 72 hours are like a tidal wave of information -- there’s no way that I could ever catch everything on my own. But even a week or two later there’s still a steady stream of information coming out from invitees that are just opening their mail, human interest pieces and international interviews as the news spreads further from L.A., and follow-up articles from news sources that publish weekly or monthly.

Because the rush of information is so great, I ask everyone who is able to help us look for evidence during that time. Here are some examples of things we’re watching for:

  • Sources that confirm (or at least strongly suggest) that an invitee is actually ACCEPTING their invitation. Sometimes these take the form of official press releases, but more often they come out as short social media messages. Even a retweet or a single word reply like “Thanks” or “Honored” can give us a sense of their reaction, so please feel free to send me anything you find, even if it wouldn’t normally count as stand-alone proof of membership.
  • Sources that show that someone is REJECTING their invitation. Yes, this really does happen. And the Academy’s attempts to cast a wider net may make this even more likely, since they’re inviting people who didn’t apply, rather than waiting for applicants who have shown an interest ahead of time.
  • Sources that list the SPONSORS of an invitee (ie. the existing members who recommended the new person for membership). Sometimes this is the invitee thanking the sponsors, and sometimes it is the sponsors congratulating the invitee. Not only have we discovered several members this way, we’ve also been able to confirm branches for others based upon the branch where their invitee was listed.
  • Other congratulatory posts from EXISTING members. It’s quite common for mentors or colleagues to post these, often with reflections or stories remembering when they first joined.
  • Congratulations, commentaries, or sour grapes posts from NON-MEMBERS. These sometimes come in the form of “hope you’ll sponsor me next year” or “can’t wait until the day I get to join too.”
  • Articles that give BIOGRAPHICAL hints about the new members. This is particularly important for the four categories where the Academy hasn’t traditionally listed any credits -- Executives, Public Relations, At Large and Associate members. If the person has a common name or isn’t in a position that gets much press, this may be one of the only times that we can positively identify who they are. These types of sources usually come from industry publications (Variety, IndieWire, Deadline, The Wrap, LA Times, etc.), and are often hidden as a single line or paragraph in their larger story that reprints the invite list.
  • Any ANALYSIS of who was left off the list. Particularly any Oscar nominees from the past year that don’t make the cut. Depending on their career and the number of credits they have, we can often use their absence from the list as circumstantial evidence to determine if they were simply snubbed, or if we should add them as presumptive members who didn’t need an invite because they were already in the club.
  • Anyone who receives a SECOND INVITATION (or third or fourth invitation). This can be a sign that they turned down the first one.
  • Occasional PUBLICITY, COMMENTING on articles, or answering QUESTIONS, with a link back to our main page as evidence. I’m not able to do this nearly as much as I’d like to because of the huge amount of new information coming in. But people’s peaked interest in the Academy’s membership does provide an opportunity to let them know about our project, and some of them might even turn into new researchers to help us in the future. As always, you are all authorized to link people back to our site if they’re asking questions that we have the answers to.

Once the flurry of activity has settled down a bit and I feel like we’ve captured all the evidence that we’re able to, I’ll block out a weekend to add all the new names and supporting links to the site, as well as take them off of the Non-Members pages and Wish List pages. That requires a lot of attention to detail and is also quite time consuming, so I won’t try to rush it. It’s better to take my time and get them added correctly than to hurry and make mistakes.

Thank you again to all of you for helping in the search!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Academy Branch History

The Academy is currently made up of 17 branches, but it began with only 5.

The history of how the branches changed and expanded (and sometimes contracted) can make historical research like ours complicated. Individual members shift between branches over time, sometimes crossing back and forth. Branches appear and disappear and are renamed. New categories and subcategories pile up -- both outside the branches and within them.

This page includes a narrative description of the Academy’s branch history, plus a few other large-scale shifts in the Academy’s membership that our researchers have encountered. There is also as a handy summary chart near the bottom.

1927: Founding of the Academy

The Academy began with five branches:
  • Actors
  • Directors
  • Producers
  • Technicians
  • Writers

These five original branches took on a mythical importance in the Academy’s iconography. For example, the Oscar statue stands on a film reel which features five spokes, signifying the five original branches.

While the five canonical branches were adhered to as an official structure for over a decade, exceptions began to be made almost immediately. Membership lists from 1930 and 1931 show additional people being listed as “Special Members” -- a category that would eventually lead to the “Members At Large” grouping.

It’s also worth noting that the 1927 Bylaws already allowed for Associate Members, who were sometimes listed separately and sometimes listed as associate members of a particular branch. One list from 1931 subdivides further, separating out “Assistant Directors” as a particular type of associate member within the directors branch.

1933-1936: The Guild Exodus

The period from 1933 to 1936 saw a massive exodus of members from the Academy, which had taken a pro-studio stance against the emerging guilds and labor unions. In a single year more than half of the Academy’s membership had resigned. By 1936, Frank Capra reported that the membership had plunged from a high of 600 members down to only 40.

Many of the members who had left the Academy rejoined soon after the contract disputes ended, and others would be reinstated over the years and decades that followed. But several never returned.

1939: Creation of the Sciences Branch and its Four Sections

In 1939, the Technicians Branch was renamed the Sciences Branch, and subdivided into four “Sections”:
  • Art Directors Section
  • Cinematographers Section
  • Film Editors Section
  • Sound Section

Each of these sections would eventually become a branch of its own, but for several years they remained under the “Sciences Branch” heading to keep the original branch structure at five.

Various other “Sections” of the Sciences Branch appear in some membership lists, including the Photographic Section and the Equipment Section. These seem to be short lived and were absorbed into one of the other sections.

1941 & 1942: First Official Branch Expansion

1941 saw the creation of two new branches: the Music Branch  and the Short Subjects Branch.

The Academy also changed the name of the Producers Branch to the “Producers And Executives Branch”

A year later, in 1942, the Public Relations Branch was created, formed from a committee that had been established in 1940 called the Public Relation Institute.

1947: Arts And Sciences Clusters

By 1947, the Academy separated the combined “Producers and Executives Branch” into two separate branches: the “Producers Branch” and the “Executives Branch”.

With the number of branches climbing from five to twelve, the Academy attempted to conceptualize its branches into two clusters: the Arts and the Sciences.

Arts Branches:
  • Actors Branch
  • Directors Branch
  • Executives Branch
  • Music Branch
  • Producers Branch
  • Public Relations Branch
  • Short Subjects Branch
  • Writers Branch

Sciences Branches:
  • Art Directors Branch
  • Cinematographers Branch
  • Film Editors Branch
  • Sound Branch

While the distinction between Arts Branches and Sciences Branches was later discarded, the division of the Academy into stand alone branches would remain.

This is also the period where the two non-branch categories of At Large Members and Associate Members seem to solidify.

1953: The Administrators Branch

In 1953, the Academy added the Administrators Branch as its 13th branch.

The Administrators Branch would become unique in that it would eventually become the only example in the Academy’s history (so far) when the number of branches contracted rather than expanded. After 17 years, the Administrators Branch was eventually absorbed into the Executives Branch in 1970, decreasing the number of branches from 13 to 12.

1970: Gregory Peck’s Academy Realignment

In 1970, Gregory Peck oversaw a massive realignment of the Academy’s membership. In addition to merging the Administrators Branch into the Executives Branch, a total of 546 members were transferred from their branches, either to other branches or to Members At Large or Associate Members.

The shakeup was controversial, with many members protesting their transfers. Particularly controversial was the move of somewhere between 300 to 400 members to Associate Member status, which stripped them of their Oscar votes. Several members resigned in protest.

It is worth noting that while most of the transfers stuck, there were some that were reversed or where the person was later readmitted to their original branch. In particular, we have found evidence that several members of the Public Relations Branch who were moved to Associate Member status were later transferred back to the Public Relations Branch -- after Peck had finished his term as Academy president! Peck wasn’t happy about this, just as the public relations members hadn’t been happy that he transferred them in the first place.

1974 Short Films Branch Name Change

In 1974, the Short Subjects Branch (which had been created in 1941) changed its name to the Short Films Branch. The name would remain the same for two decades, until 1995 when it would be renamed again as the Short Films And Feature Animation Branch.

1992: Introduction of Retired Status

In 1992, the Academy introduced the option of “Retired Status” to their members.

This was a voluntary program, where members could choose to lower their membership dues while maintaining their affiliation with the Academy. Those who choose this option pay half the normal rate, but do not get to vote for the Academy governors or for the Oscars.

Note that the Academy’s Retired Status is not necessarily related to one’s career status: One can still be working in films while on this status, while others who have long been retired from their careers have not opted to join this category.

The program is apparently quite successful. Reports are that over 500 Academy members opted for it in the first year. In December 2016, there were 686 members listed as Retired Members.

Note that the Retired Status option does present some challenges for researchers: Some biographies and resumes are worded in ways that make it unclear whether someone is retired from the Academy (ie. they left or resigned), or if they have retired status within the Academy (ie. they are still a member but can’t vote). Additionally, branch counts from the Academy and reported by journalists can vary greatly: Sometimes retired members are included within the counts for their branch (of which they still remain a member), while other counts focus on active Oscar voters and include all the retired members in a separate category, or leave them out altogether.

1995: Visual Effects Branch, and Short Films And Feature Animation Branch

In 1995 the Academy expanded its branches again with the creation of the Visual Effects Branch. Sources suggest that most members of the new branch originally came from the Cinematographers Branch or the At Large Membership, although some seem to have also come from the Art Directors, Short Films or other branches.

1995 is also the year when the Short Films Branch (formerly Short Subjects Branch) was once again renamed as the Short Films And Feature Animation Branch.

2001: Documentary Branch

In 2001 the Academy created the Documentary Branch. Members of the new branch came from several other branches, but there seem to be a high number of transfers from the Short Films And Feature Animation Branch (formerly known as the Short Subjects or Short Films Branch), the Directors Branch, and At Large Members.

2006: Makeup Artists And Hairstylists Branch

The Makeup Artists And Hairstylists Branch was created in 2006. Prior to this, many of these artists had been listed as At Large Members.

2012: Designers Branch Name Change

In 2012, the Academy changed the name of the Art Directors Branch to the Designers Branch. At the time, the branch consisted of art directors, production designers, set decorators, costume designers and others. (Note that the costume designers would be given their own branch a year later).

2013: Costume Designers Branch and Casting Directors Branch

In 2013, the Academy created the Costume Designers Branch. The vast majority of these members had previously been part of the Designers Branch (formerly called Art Directors Branch), although a few may have been At Large Members.

Later in 2013, the Academy created the Casting Directors Branch. Prior to this, many casting directors had been listed as At Large Members, although some also seem to have been part of the Executives Branch.

2016: Introduction of Emeritus Status

In 2016, the Academy adopted a new Emeritus Status. Emeritus members do not pay dues, but also do not get to vote for Academy governors or for the Oscars.

The status is applied on a rolling basis to:
  • Those who are not Oscar Winners or Oscar Nominees
  • Who have not worked in their field in the past ten years
  • Whose careers have not spanned three ten-year terms.

Note that all three criteria must apply before moving to Emeritus status. If someone has been nominated or won an Oscar, or has worked at any point in the last ten years, or has worked in the industry during three ten-year terms at any point, then they are not supposed to be moved to Emeritus Status.

Like the realignment that happened under Gregory Peck, the announcement of the new Emeritus policy was quite controversial, with some members threatening to resign. Unlike Peck’s system, however, Emeritus members are not transferred to Associate Member status, but rather remain part of their respective branches, although unable to vote. Note too that the Emeritus Status is separate from the voluntary Retired Status option that still remains in place.

Initial reports suggest that about 70 members were moved to Emeritus status in the first year. Since it is meant to be an ongoing policy, this number may increase over time.

The Academy’s Branch History
1927-present Actors Branch
1927-present Directors Branch
1927- present Writers Branch
1927-1941 Producers Branch
1941- 1947 Producers And Executives Branch
1947-present Producers Branch

1947-present Executives Branch

1953-1970 Administrators Branch

1927-1939 Technicians Branch
1939- 1947 Sciences Branch - 4 Sections
1947 - present Cinematographers Branch
1947-present Film Editors Branch
1947-present Sound Branch
1947-2012 Art Directors Branch
2012- present Designers Branch

1941-present Music Branch
Short Subjects Branch
1974-1995 Short Films Branch
1995-present Short Films And Feature Animation Branch
1942 - present Public Relations Branch

Visual Effects Branch

2001-present Documentary Branch

2006-present Makeup Artists & Hairstylists Branch

2013-present Costume Designers Branch

2013-present Casting Directors Branch

Academy Developments that weren’t Branch Specific
Various Associate Member Categories
1952-present Associate Members
Various Special & At Large Categories
1948-present Members At Large

1933 - 1936 Guild Exodus

1970: Gregory Peck Realignment

1992-present Retired Status

2016- present Emeritus Status

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