The award season takes off with a bang. An especially big bang was made today by DreamWorks and everyone in the film industry is shaking from it. In an effort to snag a Director's Guild nomination for Dreamgirls' director Bill Condon, DreamWorks was planning to send out a screener copy to every DGA member. This tactic would have been unprecedented in DGA history. Not because it was against DGA policies -- although many thought that to be so -- but for multiple reasons.

First of all, the DGA discourages their members from viewing DVD screeners because they want members to view films in theaters. This makes perfect sense to me especially, as directors; part of the total experience is being in the theater and not watching it on their television sets. It is would have been a huge expense on the studio's part. An astounding expense to be exact. The DGA has 13,400 members and the cost to print DVDs is seven bucks a pop. I couldn't help but do the math to find out exactly how much DreamWorks paid in order to possibly get a nomination; I can barely breath as I type it: $114,800. The film has already made $360,000 in pre-screening sales so perhaps this effort to get a nomination is a mere dent in their budget.

Other studios were very unhappy with the DGA's approval of the Dreamgirls' DVD screener distribution because not a single studio was notified with any time to put up a fight. Production offices were only notified yesterday of DreamWorks' actions and many felt cheated that they were not notified sooner. The DGA's ballots for 2007's award show are due on January 8. For a rival studio to have produced DVDs alone would take up to that date, never giving them the chance to get copies into voter's hands before they seal their envelopes.

However, this awards-season meltdown was averted -- David Poland's always-excellent The Hot Blog has the skinny -- but still: How insane is awards season getting?