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Stunt Community Angered by Oscar Decision

By:
Jun 24, 2005 | 11:14am EDT

Hollywood's stunt community has been left fuming after Academy Awards bosses decided not to introduce an Oscar category to recognize their work.

Following a protest outside the Academy Awards headquarters in Los Angeles earlier this week, Oscar organizers were forced to consider a category honoring stunt work but made their unpopular decision to keep the annual ceremony's running time down.

Academy president Frank Pierson explains, "At a time when the Academy is trying to find ways to reduce the numbers of statuettes given out, the board is simply not prepared to institute any new annual awards categories."

But stuntman Jack Gill, 50, who has worked on big-budget films such as Pearl Harbor and The Day After Tomorrow, fumes, "Stunt coordinators are an integral part of the filmmaking business yet we are totally overlooked by the Academy.

"It seems like every picture that is promoted has an action piece to lure audiences in there and the stunt people are central to those scenes.

"Even the Academy shows action scenes at the Oscars, yet they keep us out of it, despite the fact that we play a major role before, during and after production."

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