The 89th Academy Awards is this Sunday. Once again, Hollywood will celebrate some of the best achievements in film across 24 distinct categories. While those categories cover a wide range of topics, from best acting to best sound design, there are several aspects of film making deserving of attention that sadly fall outside of the existing genres.
The Academy Awards has not always consisted of 24 categories. The first broadcast in 1928 only had seven categories, and has expanded its range over the years. In 2001, they finally added a category for best animated feature. With well over 15 years having passed since the last addition, they’re well overdue another shake-up. Below, I have highlighted 5 categories I consider worthy of consideration by the 90th Academy Awards.
5. Best Stunt
For years, films have designed spectacular stunts that seems impossible to carry out in real life. When you learn that someone figured out a way to do it with limited visual effects (or none at all), the achievement becomes even greater. This award would finally give these amazing stunts their warranted recognition. It would be a shared award between the stunt coordinator on a film, and the people carrying out the stunt.
4. Best Voice-Over Performance
Following the release of Her, a discussion surrounding Scarlett Johansson’s eligibility for best supporting actress emerged. It was decided by the Golden Globes that Johansson was not eligble for consideration. Rather than Johansson, and other amazing voice-over talent, needing to fight for a share of the established acting categories, it would make a lot more sense for the Academy to establish a separate category for voice-over performances. Johansson might’ve been the first time people really considered voice-over work an Oscar worthy effort. However, for years voice actors have shown an amazing skill across a wide spectrum of roles. So a category celebrating their achievements is well overdue.
3. Best Motion-Capture Performance
Andy Serkis is probably the most prominent performer within motion-capture. Known from films like The Lords of the Rings, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and more, Serkis has raised a discussion about where visual effects end, and an individual human performance begins. This question could be answered with a category celebrating the best motion-capture performances within a year. Combined with the already existing best visual effects category, this would enable both aspects of a motion-capture performance getting its share of the glory.
2. Best Debut
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the British equivalent of the Academy Awards, has long had a category celebrating the best debuts of British directors, writers and producers in a given year. A similar award, either celebrating American talent specifically, or worldwide debuts, is a terrific addition to the roster. It would give the Oscars a chance to highlight films that may have gone under the radar of the major categories, but made enough waves to warrant some award accolades.
- Best Casting
This is the category that’ll most likely come into fruition at some stage. In 2013, Woody Allen went to bat for casting directors world over, saying they deserved their own category at the Oscars. While the Academy didn’t act back then, it is likely you’ll see an award for best casting at the some stage. Casting directors are a crucial part of any film production, and they’re long overdue their own category.