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Stunt Coordinators Deserve Their Own Oscar

November 17, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Oscars Academy

Every year since 1991 Jack Gill has come to the Board of Governors of the Academy to petition that they include a new category for Stunt Coordinator. All that request needs is a majority vote of the board members to add it but every year he’s denied.

Jack has been risking his life doing stunt work since the mid-1970s, working the best names in Hollywood. Each time that he’s turned away, the frustration grows. He says: “It’s disheartening because you’ve put your life and blood through it. You’re sitting by yourself watching all the other department heads, and you’re not in there with them. Every single successful stunt coordinator I know has been sitting at home watching his film winning an Academy Award and he’s not part of it.”

Earlier this year the Academy was looking for ways to liven up the show, announcing that they were adding a new “popular” Oscar category, which has since been postponed after facing a massive backlash from those in and out of the industry.

What they should be doing is recognizing the unknown stuntman.

Gill went on to say, “When I got Steven Spielberg and Jim Cameron and (Arnold) Schwarzenegger and those guys signing a petition; once I took that into the Academy, I thought they would see that all of these eminent people really believe that we deserve this. It’s voted down every year. I’m baffled.”

Dame Helen Mirren did an interview earlier this year, voicing her support for the “craftsmen” of the stunt world. “There really should be an Oscar for stunt work,” she told the UK site Female First. “These guys are incredible and they’re so careful and so professional. And they’re artists. They do amazing things.”

The highest honor among stunt performers remains the Taurus World Stunt Awards. An honor to be sure but recognition at the Oscars has been earned many times over.

So what’s stopping the Academy?

Internal politics seems to be the most popular explanation. With the Academy looking for ways to liven up the ceremony and shorten the running time, adding a category means someone’s has to bumped down.

Gill is aware of this and has made it clear that it wouldn’t be an issue. “We don’t even want to be part of the televised show,” he said. Continuing, “You can give us our award the day before in a hotel room banquet hall. Anything, so we at least have some acknowledgement.”

A stunt person’s importance can’t be overstated. Each stunt puts their life in danger and when they do their job right, no one can tell. Adding the category is long overdue and would add another angle of interest to the night.

What are your thoughts on the issue?

article topics :

Academy Awards, Steve Gustafson