Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Oscar Categories?

A piece from The Hollywood Reporter discussed at ActionFest, how the stuntmen of the industry are meeting with Academy officials to push for a separate award for stunt performers, similar to those given out by the Screen Actors Guild. This brings up a question that I would like to pose to you. Do you want new Oscar categories? I have always thought of this, and stuntmen do do dangerous work that makes the movie world go around, but do we really need new awards? I have thought of a few in my mind that could be potentials. One is Ensemble. The argument against it has always been that people will not discern enough from Best Picture, and there would most likely be too much overlapping, and not enough distinction. I mean if the actors can sometimes do it (hello Slumdog Millionaire anyone?), then don't expect sound editors, art directors, and executives to try to discern.

Another category I have considered is a Voice Acting Oscar. Over the years, some of the most prolific performances have come from voice acting in animated features. Think Robin Williams in Aladdin, Eddie Murphy in Shrek, Ellen Degeneres in Finding Nemo, Ed Asner in Up, the many voices of Toy Story, etc. Some will mock this, and it took them decades just to get an Animated Feature category (now there is talk of eliminating it, which I think is a huge mistake), and I have a feeling that it will never come to fruition.

Finally, I had a thought regarding consolidation. I know that Sound Mixing and Sound Editing are two distinct things, and those in that branch of the Academy fought to make sure that the disctinction has remained. But let's be honest. Most of these Academy members don't know the damn difference between the two, and unless that specific branch votes on it, be almost always have the same film win. I think it is time to consolidate the two categories into one, and simply call it sound, which honors both the mixers and the editors.

So what are your thoughts? Do we need a stunt category? New categories in general? or Consolidation?

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