Composer Michael Giacchino has been named musical director for the 81st Annual Academy Awards. Giacchino was nominated last year for "Ratatouille." The awards are Feb. 22 at the Kodak Theatre.


Maya Entertainment will produce and distribute Jonathan and R.M. Robinson's feature writing and directing debut, the urban thriller "Preparation for a Murder." Luis Guerrero and Chris Lemos of Vital Pictures will produce with Maya's Sandra Avila. Principal photography is set for April.


McG will be honored as the Kodak Filmmaker of the Year at the CineAsia convention in the South China hub of Macau. The confab, staged by the Nielsen Film Group, parent of The Hollywood Reporter, runs Dec. 9-11.


Jay Lowi will direct "Something Wicked," a thriller about a man determined to protect his girlfriend from an unknown predator. Joe Colleran will produce his screenplay with financing from Chambers Prods. The feature is set for a January shoot in Oregon.

L.A. Critics SET

The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. will hold its 34th annual awards ceremony Jan. 12 at the InterContinental Los Angeles in Century City. The group will vote on its winners Dec. 9, at which time the winners will be announced.