The story

Cameras click as members of the media shout, "Look this way please!" and "Over here!" while pushing at each other to get the best shot.

The pair they're focusing on seems almost blinded by the flash of lights. But they smile agreeably until a publicist drags them across the room to a video crew, where a reporter shoves a microphone in their faces.

It's not Oscar night yet, and the two men aren't big name celebrities. Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes are the directors of the animated short film nominee "This Way Up," and they're soaking up the spotlight at the Academy's Shorts! reception in Beverly Hills, California.

The short film categories -- animated and live-action -- are among those Oscar slots that rarely garner attention, such as makeup or sound mixing. The nominees range from Pixar's newest animation director to foreign filmmakers to a group of college students. Gallery: Nominees await their moment

"It's just such a more democratic process of filmmaking," Smith said. "You don't need massive studio funding to make shorts -- although it helps." Read full article »

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