Campaigning for an Academy Award is big business. There's a heck of a lot at stake -- careers can be made or boosted with an Oscar nod; an Academy Award-winning film can go on to earn appreciably more money at the box office; future work in the industry can rise or fall on an award. No wonder, then, that the studios pull out all the stops during Oscar season, offering free screenings to members of the Academy as well as the other guilds; inundating voters with DVD screeners; paying thousands and thousands of dollars on ads in the trades, newspapers and online; and generally doing everything they can to raise awareness about their films -- within Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules, of course.

Which brings us to 'Buried' screenwriter Chris Sparling, who, according to a report at's Inside Movies, may have broken Academy rules by sending a letter to members of the Academy's writers branch, urging them to vote for 'Buried' for Best Original Screenplay. This is a big no-no. Apparently it's OK to spend five figures on an ad in Variety extolling your film, but you can't send members a personal note.
tags Buried