On Friday, the Screen Actors Guild will choose the three percent of its members who will receive the most screeners, get free entry into the largest number of films and wield the greatest amount of power in the SAG Awards.
But you can't apply to be one of the lucky ones or do anything to improve your chances, because the process is completely random.
The guild uses nominating committees consisting of 2,100 members for the SAG Awards film categories, and another 2,100 for the television categories. Names will be drawn at random from a list of members who had paid their November 2010 dues by March 18, and who had not served on the same nominating committee in the last five years.
At January's SAG Awards, the requirement that dues be paid reduced the number of voters from the total SAG membership of well over 100,000 to slightly more than 90,000.
The committees will be chosen under the supervision of SAG Awards Committee chair Jobeth Williams, but the list of names will not be publicly released. Studios and networks who wish to send screeners to nominating committee members do so under a blind system that gets the screeners to members without disclosing their identities to the companies.
Along with the announcement of the nominating committee selection, SAG also announced that submissions for nomination consideration will open on Juy 11, 2011 and close on October 27. Actors may submit their own performances, or may give permission to do so to producers, studios or networks, managers, agents and publicists.
Other key dates include September 13, the last day for nominating committee members to make address changes; October 3, the last day for voters to request paper ballots instead of voting online; November 23, when nomination ballots will be mailed; December 12, when those ballots are due back; and December 15, when nominations will be announced.
Final voting instructions will be mailed to members on January 2, and all final votes must be cast by January 27, two days before the January 29 Screen Actors Guild Awards show.