Who Votes for the Oscars? It's Complicated.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Academy Award, it's Holly Wood's highest honor celebrating excellence on a silver screen. Well that and a really good marketing campaign, how much money goes into getting an Oscar? COINAGE, Life, well spent Presented by Geico. Hollywood studios typically span around $100 million in marketing during the town silly season. In the past a winning campaign could cost up to $10 million. Spending is filtered through PR firms. They use their tools of the trade to vie for whatever rewards the studio desire. These campaigns are split into Two Stages, Pre-Nominations and Post-Nominations. The pre-nomination period is where the real money is spent. Oscar voters are busy people. So, the name of the game is getting folks to watch the films. To do this, movies have to get a lot of press through ads and media stories. This also calls for lots and lots of screeners. Screeners including DVDs or digital copies sent out across the industry to make it easy for voters to check out the movie. This cycle, costs about $300,000. Once the nominations are announced, the focus shifts from outreach to engagement. Well, events like screenings, luncheons and Q&As occur through out the award season. They become crucial in determining winner The Academy has roles keeping films from campaigning too much, but the pros find ways to get stars, and voters, and selfie-friendly situations. So sure, you need great work to earn the golden guy, but a lot of handshakes and free food go a long way too. [MUSIC] Coinage. Life, well spent. Presented by Geico.

As you’ve no doubt heard, an Oscar is the highest honor in Hollywood. The award has the power to reinvigorate long-dormant careers, establish newcomers among the ranks of the industry’s elite, and shift a C-lister to the A-list in an instant.

But what is it that makes an Academy Award so prestigious? Who votes for the nominees and who ultimately crowns a winner?

Read more!
<p>Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images</p>

Well, the answer is far from simple. There are reportedly now more than 7,000 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, described as “film artists working in the production of theatrically-released motion pictures.” These members are broken into 17 different branches that cross every corner of the industry—from music and public relations to actors (and 14 others of equal importance). For those who don’t fit into a career-specific branch, there are two additional categories: “members-at-large” and “associates.” You can check out all the eligibility requirements on the official Oscars website.

There are two gateways in which one can join the Academy. If you’re nominated for an Academy Award, you’re automatically considered for membership—if not, you need two Academy members from the appropriate branch to sponsor you. The decision is ultimately made by the Academy’s Board of Governors—invitations are sent in spring.

Get an up-close look at the best red-carpet fashion for LESS. Subscribe to InStyle now and save big during our limited-time Award Season Sale!

When it comes to nominations, members of the specified branch vote for the nominees in their field (actors vote submit nominees for best actor, directors submit nominees for best director, etc.). Notable exceptions to the nomination process include the categories of Animated Feature Film, Documentary, Foreign Language Film, and Short Film, which you can learn about in the Academy’s 35-page rulebook. The nominees for Best Picture, however, are open to all voting members of the academy.

Once the nominees have been chosen, every voting member of the Academy is able to vote for a winner in each category. After the results are calculated, only two people (partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers) know the winners until the televised reveal.

Read more!