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Academy awards (OSCAR) rules
81st Academy Awards (Digital Qualification and Submission Rules, Informal Notes
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"What do these rules mean for me, the filmmaker?"

Most of the Academy's Award categories allow for eligibility for award consideration by means of digital presentation, as outlined in "Rule Two—Eligibility" in the Academy's "Rules for Distinguished Achievements During 2008".
Here is the language (in bold type) in Rule Two (section 2, paragraph b) that applies to digital presentation: "All eligible motion pictures, unless otherwise noted, must be publicly exhibited by means of 35mm or 70mm film, or in a 24- or 48- frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format with a minimum projector resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, source image format conforming to SMPTE 428-1-2006 D-Cinema—Image Characteristics; image compression (if used) conforming to ISO/IEC 15444-1 (JPEG 2000), and image and sound file formats suitable for exhibition in commercial Digital Cinema sites..."


What does choosing a Digital Cinema format mean for filmmakers?
The first thing that you, the filmmaker, will need is what is now called a Digital Cinema Package, commonly abbreviated as DCP. The SMPTE and ISO/IEC documents mentioned in the general rule are in fact international standards that define the technical characteristics of the DCP. As a practical matter, you can rely on specialized digital cinema mastering facilities to provide you with a DCP that will comply with these your original Image capture can be whatever you want (film, digital video, CGi and so on}, 6~uf ultimately you will need individual, "one per frame" digital image files for the compression step of the mastering process. Once you choose a mastering facility, you may discuss with them the most efficient and cost-effective method of conversion for your project. Your finished DCP will be provided to you on a computer •HDD (hard disk drive)—typically a USB drive or a universal CRU drive.



OK. I have a DCP. What next?
For your qualification screenings, as defined in Rule Two and the special rules for the foreign language film category, you will need to find a commercial theater equipped with a digital cinema projector that meets the requirements outlined in Rule Two, as well as a digital cinema server that will play the SMPTE DCP you have received from your mastering facility.
In practice, there are only two types of digital cinema projectors that are acceptable for your qualification screenings. The first type uses DLP Digital Cinema technology licensed by Texas Instruments to projector manufacturers. Be sure your cinema has a true DLP Digital Cinema projector, one that has a pixel count of 2048 x 1080, and not one of the industrial grade DLP projectors that typically have pixel counts of 1920 x 1024 with reduced color and other image performance characteristics.
The second type of projector is the Sony SXRD Ultra HiRes Cinema "4K" series intended for digital cinema applications.
There are several companies who manufacture digital cinema servers that meet the applicable SMPTE specifications, and will play DCP's that are mastered according to these specifications. These companies include (in alphabetical order) Dolby Laboratories, Doremi, DTS, GDC, Kodak, Qube, QuVis, and XDC. Be sure the server system in your cinema can play a SMPTE DCP as defined in Rule Two above. If you are not sure, you may confirm with the manufacturer that the server you plan to use is "compliant" with the applicable SMPTE digital cinema specifications.
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