Open letter to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
The Stuntman’s Association of Motion Pictures is respectfully requesting the addition of the categories of Stunt Coordinator and Stunt Performance to the OSCARS. While this category has been recognized by The Academy of TELEVISION Arts and Science, (the Emmy’s), the SAG Awards & the Taurus World Stunt Awards they have yet to be recognized at the most auspicious awards ceremony in Hollywood.
Therefore, we respectfully request that you, the Academy consider the essential part of “Art” and Science” that is relative to the design, direction, casting and physical determination and risk of stunts.
Consider the films up for “Best Picture” in past years: DUNKIRK, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, BRIDGE OF SPIES, SPOTLIGHT, THE REVENANT, THE MARTIAN, THE BIG SHORT, ROOM, and BROOKLYN. Not only could these films not be made without the expertise and talent of a stunt coordinator and stunt performance, the presentation of the films would have fallen incalculably below the entertainment level expected of such films. In view of this fact, should not the performers of such valuable contribution be acknowledged?
Again with all due respect, let’s bring some ACTION to the OSCAR stage that without a doubt uses it, to MAKE, SELL and DISTRIBUTE the very product you are awarding. Our stunt brothers and sisters, of all colors, who literally put their lives on the line for this very thing, deserve to be acknowledged. The only skin that is getting discriminated against, seemingly, is the skin on the very backs of the stunt performers. Not only does The Academy not allow stunt coordinators and stunt performers a category, they are not even acknowledged as an “Art”.
We appeal to you to add these categories to a distinguish group of professionals who have added so much to the entertainment value of feature films since the very beginning of the industry.
Comments from Award-Winning Stunt Coordinators:
- “For almost 90 years the Film Academy has blatantly discriminated against stunt people and their contribution to the medium we all love and literally bleed for. There are no color lines or gender lines here. Stuntwomen and Stuntmen of all walks are affected by the disregard of their significant contribution to the Films we watch. After all, what would most movies be without the action? Today’s filmgoers and filmmakers are well aware that the actor does indeed, NOT do all of their own stunts… Isn’t it long overdue for the Academy to acknowledge the same?” – Jeff Wolfe, Vice President of the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures, 4 Time Emmy Nominee/1 Time Emmy-Winner Stunt Coordinator, 2 Time World Taurus Stunt Award Winner.
- “The Academy of TELEVISION Arts and Science” superbly recognizes the work of the Stunt coordinator. What makes the category of stunts for film different but that it’s on a bigger screen? I am immeasurably grateful for my gold statues and want the stunt coordinators of feature films to feel the same appreciation – Peewee Piemonte, Two Time Emmy Winning Stunt Coordinator.
- “I have been fighting for this category for 25 years and the signatures in favor of a stunt Oscar category are in the thousands, however, the Academy continues to turn a blind eye and ignore the deserving group year after year. To deny the stunt coordinators and stunt people a category because in the eyes of the Academy, they do not meet the Academy’s high standards for an Oscar category is simple discrimination or complete lack of understanding of the movie making process. For the Academy, who deem themselves the most knowledgeable authority in the film industry, not to understand a stunt coordinator’s contributions in the making of an Action film is to discount their contribution to action films. This is extremely puzzling when these films are nominated for BEST picture.” – Jack Gill, winner – SAG Award, 3 Time Taurus World Stunt Award Winner, Former Stunts Unlimited President.
- “It’s interesting to me that film clips clearly displaying the creative work of stunt coordinators and stunt performers are constantly used to promote motion pictures for Oscar consideration in varying categories, and yet the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences still refuses to directly acknowledge Stunt Artistry of any kind. I wonder what movie goers think of this.”– Alex Daniels, President- Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures.