The entertainment award season is underway. It seems like every few days an award is given out by some organization or group of voters. These organizations' main goal is to highlight what they feel is the best of the year in music, movies, and television. Technical awards are also given in various fields like costumes and writing, among others.
When it comes to the juggernaut in film awards, nothing is bigger than the Academy Awards. The Oscars are presented near the end of the award show season. Afterwards, some in Hollywood can take a little break from the glare of an awards show red carpet and focus on their next projects.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (simply known by many as the Academy) showcase most aspects of the film process. Acting, writing, directing, and some technical aspects are represented and given the golden statue. But is there a category missing?
In the film world, there is no doubt that action movies, whether original, comic book related or part of some other major franchise, bring in major business to the film industry. They spawn sequels, remakes, and make their stars household names. Merchandise, fan-fiction, spin-off televisions events, and major fan events like Comic-Con are held showcasing their work. However, when it comes to the Oscars, one group is shutout: the stunt coordinators. So this poses the question -- is it time for "Best Stunt Coordinator" to be added to the Oscar lineup?
The awards already cover technical aspects in costumes, sets, editing, music etc. So why are the men and women who in some cases risk their lives shut-out of the big ceremony? Stunt coordinators have tried for not years, but decades, for recognition. Apparently in the Academy's eyes, stunt coordinators or a variation of this is not worthy of the honor.
To be fair, stunts are recognized at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in not one, but two categories. Also the Taurus World Stunt Awards which specifically honor these men and women in several categories are given out each year. More technical aspects like costume design, sound, and editing (which award is called the "Eddie") have their own individual awards as well. However unlike stunts, they have categories for the Academy Awards.
So why doesn't the Academy recognize the hard work of stunt people? If one were to break down the organization's name and compare it to stunt work, it would fit the bill. The stunts play a prominent role in film (Motion Picture) and there is an art and science to creating the magic that is the stunt world. All involved with the stunt coordinator must orchestrate a sort-of mystical dance in order to safely create what the viewer sees on-screen. Isn't that part of what the movie experience is about?
The Academy has added categories throughout the years. The most recent was "Best Animated Feature" in 2001. While the show tends to go long adding another award would not add that much time to the overall broadcast. If anything, it would give more opportunities to feature films that might not receive recognition during award seasons. These films also tend to do very well at the box office and might draw a different audience into watching the telecast. Also the producers of the show dictate how long the winner could give his or her speech. They could play off the winner at any time, therefore not adding too much time.
In the next few weeks, the public will see or hear about award season. While some of their favorites will win or lose, most say it was "great to even be nominated." Hopefully, the stunt men and women who help pack theaters year-after-year will someday be in their own category. While there are many aspects into creating a successful movie, and not all of those involved can be recognized, overlooking the stunt coordinators is wrong. They play such a vital role in creating the magic on the screen, that their time and effort should be recognized by the entire film community.