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Oscars 2012: 'Descendants' producer closer to 'career goal' with nom

January 24, 2012 | 12:11 pm

Click for photos of reactions from top nominees

After "The Descendants" received a best picture Oscar nomination Tuesday, producer Jim Burke spent the early morning reading congratulatory texts from family and friends and sending his own messages to fellow nominated cast and crew from the Hawaii-set family drama.

So it’s been a morning to be thankful for accolades -- and unlimited texting plans, though, as Burke pointed out, “These are texts I’d be willing to pay for.”

PHOTOS: Oscar top nominees

The producer watched the nominations announcement on his laptop while in bed at his Los Angeles home. For Burke, earning an Oscar nomination means he’s one step closer to a longtime goal. “It’s been just my own personal career goal to win an Oscar since I was 23,” said Burke, 53.

"The Descendants" stars George Clooney as Matt King, a middle-aged man trying to become a better father to his two daughters after his wife suffers a grave injury in a boating accident. Things grow more complicated when he learns that she had been unfaithful to him prior to the incident.

Burke shares the best picture nomination for “The Descendants” with Jim Taylor and director-co-writer Alexander Payne. Those filmmakers and cast members such as Clooney (who nabbed his own nomination for lead actor in the film) are all people Burke has spent a lot of time with during the last few months of campaigning -- though he made a point to not call it “campaigning” but instead “discussing” the film with reporters and with audiences at screenings.

“We have become really close, the cast in particular, and the filmmakers too,” Burke said.

As audiences have dissected “The Descendants” during multiple Q&A sessions, Burke said he’s gained a greater understanding of the film than he had at the time of its release.

“I’ve learned things about this film that I was not conscious of. I was probably subconsciously aware of them. And I would say Alexander feels the same way,” Burke said. “When art reveals itself to you, it really is a wonderful experience.”

“The Descendants” received five Oscar nominations, including best director, best editing and best adapted screenplay.

The following clip is from the recent Envelope Directors Roundtable. Here, filmmakers Alexander Payne ("The Descendants"), Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist"), George Clooney ("The Ides of March"), Stephen Daldry ("Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close") and Martin Scorsese ("Hugo") talked about how nerve-racking it can be to start a new film, and how they deal with it.


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Photo: Jim Taylor, left, Alexander Payne and Jim Burke at the 69th Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press.