With the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards behind us and the 92nd Annual Academy Awards just around the corner, it always gets me thinking about how hard people work in the film industry. And I am not just referring to the people included in the categories presented at the ceremony. I’m talking about those categories we never hear about, but probably have thought about every waking moment.
There is a plethora of activity going on behind the scenes of a film that most of us don’t even realize is a “thing.” But — we really should.
It’s no secret that the most attention when it comes to awards and accolades for a particular film always goes to the actors and the director. Those are the most obvious contributions to what makes a film great, but they are undoubtedly not the only ones that deserve recognition.
Achievements in cinematography, sound, costumes, editing, score, makeup and screenwriting are among those categories that also get nods of acknowledgment from The Academy.
That’s great. But, I promise you, the tireless work and dedication goes far beyond even those roles.
On a film set, it is often the unrecognized positions that everyone remembers most — whether it be the friendly caterer that made your 18-hour filming day a little better, or the director’s assistant that made sure that everyone was on the same page when things could have easily gone awry.
Here are some examples of categories that have been overlooked by The Academy. Some, entirely plausible and downright infuriating that they are not including — and some perhaps a little more far-fetched. Either way, I am lobbying for all of them to be included some day.
Category: Best Casting
This is a legit annoyance of mine that excellence in casting is not recognized within award shows. It is truly an art to be able to read a script and cast the perfect actor to fit each role’s dynamic, look and overall energy.
Category: Best AD
Assistant directors on film sets are arguably the positions that work the hardest. They are the go-betweens between literally all the departments. They need to be constantly on their game, and they get slammed if anything goes wrong. They definitely deserve a little pat on the back after each grueling gig.
Category: Best Voiceover Performance
The level of talent that it takes to be a good voiceover artist is incredible. It is much more difficult than it looks, and at times, can be more of an art form than regular “face” acting. Voice actors have to convey every emotion and every impactful moment of a film using just their voice.
They often have the ability to manipulate their voices to fit each character in such a way that it becomes impossible to recognize the actor. That skill is something to be revered.
Category: Best Catering
What is better or more grounding after a day of work than some great food? Nothing, that’s what. Food is what brings people together, gives them energy and makes them feel safe. I can’t think of a time of day that is not more anticipated on a film set than meal time. Without fuel, none of the crew could be expected to do what they do best.
Category: Best Personal Assistant
Not unlike the assistant directors, personal assistants to the director, producers and actors are integral to running a film set smoothly. They have to anticipate the needs of each role before those needs are voiced, and they have to constantly be on their toes so that they can spring into action when something goes wrong — and something always goes wrong.
Category: Best Stand-In
Stand-Ins make it possible for the principal actors to chill while they do all of the standing around for hours while the scene is lit and has all the kinks worked out before the first shot is filmed. Also, they have to perfect the art of standing and looking a lot like the main actor enough to where they’d be believable if any of the shots need to be used in the final cut.
Category: Best Stunts
Seriously? These people essentially risk their lives — their lives for a film. They have to be bad-ass enough at their job to, well, not die. They jump from buildings, fight each other, roll down a mountain and set themselves on fire. Can we get these people some trophies, please?!?
Category: Best Performance by a Featured Extra
Often the extras are remarkably entertaining and memorable in a film. If you don’t believe me, think about which line you immediately remember when you think of When Harry Met Sally. “I’ll have what she’s having” was uttered by Rob Reiner’s mother, a featured extra.
Category: Best Performance by an Animal
Okay, I am just going to say it. Animals are better than people. And they do some amazing work, often leaving the biggest impressions when they are experiencing sadness, fear, happiness or elation.
Sure, a person can laugh or cry during a scene and affect the audience, but an animal that tugs at your heart strings is always going to be what you remember more than the boring old human.
TOTO (The Wizard of Oz) SHOULD HAVE WON ALL OF THE OSCARS.
So, what categories have you thought about that have never been brought to light at these award shows? Let us know!