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Nudged Out of the Spotlight

Oscars* A rule limiting the number of producers receiving awards is forcing difficult choices on some filmmaking teams.

February 18, 2002|ROBERT W. WELKOS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In the case of the Disney/Pixar film, "Monsters, Inc.," Pixar must decide whether producer Darla K. Anderson will be the designated recipient or Pixar founder John Lasseter, who is credited as an executive producer on the movie. Pixar did not return telephone calls seeking a response as to what course it might follow, but sources close to the film said Pixar may let the academy arbitrate the issue.

Paramount Pictures, which released the Nickelodeon movie "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius," also declined comment on which of its producers--John A. Davis, Paul Marshal or Steve Oedekerk--would accept the Oscar should the film win. Sources said Paramount may also opt to let the academy resolve the issue.

Davis conceded that it might not be easy choosing one producer who should receive the statuette in the animation category.

"What they are looking for there is a single recipient--the key creative contributor to the film," Davis said. "This is not always easy to determine."

The producers guild, meanwhile, argues that the proliferation of producer credits in movies as well as television only dilutes the work of real producers, who develop the material and oversee the entire production.

The guild believes that the academy's move to pare down the list of producer nominees for best picture can only help its cause.

"We're extremely supportive of what [the academy] has done," said Vance Van Petten, the guild's executive director. "It was a very brave move, even though you can argue that attaching a numerical figure [to the awards] is arbitrary. But something desperately needed to be done."

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