While the studios were quiet during the last full week of the year, awards season started kicking into high gear. Golden Globe final ballots were mailed to voters earlier in the week, and SAG mailed online-voting instructions to its nearly 100,000 members today. Though SAG has a mere five film categories, the sheer number of voters in the guild and the fact that some of its membership crosses over into the Academy’s makes it a closely-watched contest.

The WGA will also reveal its original and adapted screenplay nominees next week. The guild’s race isn’t considered a foolproof predictor of how the Academy will vote, but in an uncertain year like this one, all eyes will be on the annoucement Jan. 5. The Art Directors Guild noms come out Jan. 4.

However, next week’s biggest announcement is the PGA, whose nominees for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year are usually considered to be a close mirror to the Academy’s choices for best picture.

All of these kudos, plus DGA noms on Jan. 9, are happening when talent is assembling to the south, at the nearby Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival (Jan. 5-16). It’s going to be a busy three weeks prior to the Jan. 24 Oscar nomination announcement.