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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 14:26 GMT
Stuntmen call for Oscar honours
Scene from The World is not Enough
Some action stunt sequences take weeks to co-ordinate
Stuntmen are calling for an Oscar category to honour the dangerous work they do in film.

Despite setting themselves on fire and jumping from tall buildings in many Hollywood films, stuntmen and women are not eligible for an Academy Award.

Four groups representing film stuntmen plan to press the Academy for a stunt co-ordinator Oscar category next year.

Jack Gill, former president of Stunts Unlimited, said he had been trying to get Oscar recognition for 15 years.

The board is very, very, reluctant to add new categories
Jon Pavlik, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

He said: "I can't tell you why they refuse us a category.

"At the most, I thought it would take five."

Gill, who is co-ordinating the effort, is joined by the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures, the International Stunt Association and Brand X, all of which represent hundreds of people who create and perform stunts.

Conrad Palmisano, president of the Stuntmen's Association, said for years there was a tradition among stuntmen to remain in the background.

But he said as stunt work had provided some of the most memorable scenes in recent movies. - such as the hand-to-hand combat in The Lord of the Rings - it was time for a change.

"For what we do, why shouldn't we be acknowledged for the work," he said.

Prestigious award

Jon Pavlik, a spokesman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, acknowledged the work done by the stunt groups, but said it was difficult to add new awards.

He said: "The board is very, very, reluctant to add new categories.

"You just got to keep trying. Sometimes you will ultimately succeed, and sometimes you won't."

The most recent addition in the 77-year-old award show was a best animated feature Oscar in 2002, but it took Hollywood animators decades to get it approved.

Meanwhile, actress Drew Barrymore has been lined up to present an Oscar at the ceremony on 27 February.

The Charlie's Angels and ET star will join stars including Dustin Hoffman and Halle Berry in presenting one of the prestigious awards.


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