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Is it us or is Variety.com becoming more accessible?

Well, it's Oscar Nom eve and those Hollywood-types still left in town are counting down the hours til actor Adrien Brody joins Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Frank Pierson in announcing the 77th Academy Award nominations on Jan. 25th at 5:38 AM out at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

Scott Robson quizzed Industry vets about surviving the awards season in the 1/13/05 edition of Variety' Awards Central column called "Award Season Almanac."
We were shocked the article was available to non-suscribers, but then we remembered hearing at a boozy dinner party that the trade's online ad inventory sold out for the quarter. Online adverstising is back!

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Robson writes, "There's no shortage of opinions in Hollywood this time of year. Any so-called awards expert can tell you who will win, who should win and who can't win. But what if you're seeking something deeper? What if you want to delve into the issues that drive awards season, to dissect the hows and whys behind the campaigning, marketing and strategizing? Then you need veterans of the awards experience -- studio execs, producers and embedded journalists. Just such a panel was assembled for this roundtable. Their insights -- collected via email to accommodate diverse schedules and locations -- are wide-ranging, informed, thought-provoking and occasionally humorous. And best of all, their ideas may stay with you long after this year's final envelope is unsealed.

Our favorite question so far:



When you're in the middle of the season, working in a virtual vacuum with ads running, buzz building and PR machines in high gear, is it possible to be aware of life beyond Hollywood? Vitale/Dinerstein: No!

Urman: We all lose perspective at this time of year. We start reading the most trivial columns and looking at the most ridiculous Web site posting for signs and meaning. Of course, in the real world no one much cares about all our blood and sweat. They just want to see a good movie, and they'd probably prefer we didn't try to manipulate them as much as we do.

Levy-Hinte: If you live within the world defined by the Hollywood PR machine, a psychotic breakdown can't be too far off. Filmmaking is a wonderful thing, but it's one small aspect of the human experience -- we're also obliged to take responsibility for the world around us.

Stone: We tend to think the world revolves around Hollywood and the awards season. People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I can't wait for the directors guild to announce. None of it really matters, of course. When I want to feel like a normal person I turn to my 6-year-old daughter, who wants to know things like, "Why can't we see air?"

Only 33 days left til the Awards ceremony. Perhaps Tivo will provide a special filter to mute Oscar host Chris Rock's voice.