Imagine if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was to announce a three-season award calendar — January 1st to April 30th, May 1st to August 31st, and September 1st to December 31st. And then require members to fill out sudden-death online ballots for the best achievements of season #1 (winter/spring) and season #2 (late spring & summer)? No nominations, no campaigning — just a simple popularity ballot. This would be coupled with two Junior Oscar ceremonies to announce and celebrate the winners of season #1 and #2.

I know the Academy would never go for this in a million years, but be honest — wouldn’t this approach encourage distributors to release better films between January and August? Wouldn’t this result in a richer, more nutritious film year with the “wealth” spread around more evenly? The winners of these seasonal award ballots would obviously derive some commercial benefit. Season #1 and #2 winners wouldn’t be eligible for the third and final season (Labor Day to New Year’s Eve), so this wouldn’t change award season as now know it. Everything would still start at Telluride/Venice/Toronto/New York. It would obviously make things better all around. I’m fairly certain this has been suggested before so I’m not claiming this as my idea. But it’s a good one.

If I were an Academy Napoleon I would push this plan through along with my reduce-the-influence-of-Deadwood-voters suggestion.

Update: The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg suggested a variant of the “Junior Oscars” in late 2012.