Stunts

Oscar2013 Stunts

No matter what you think about the Academy Awards (and there is whole wide spectrum of thought as to their relevance and accuracy) there is no question that The Oscars are the pinnacle of filmmaking honors. There isn’t any other organization, ceremony, or statue in the film industry that has quite the prestige. So, it should probably piss you off that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science doesn’t offer an award for Stunt Coordinators. Yep, you read that right. They don’t even get awards in that weird little untelevised pre-show thing that they do before the awards telecast. It’s not a passive exclusion either. Each year for more than two decades, the Academy has actively rejected the creation of an award for Stunt Coordinators. So, since The Academy doesn’t do these masters of cinematic mayhem any justice, we’re going to pretend that they do. Like our other Oscar Prediction pieces, we’ll offer some insight into how the (fictional) nominees were chosen and who we think will win (noted in red):

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Michael Caine The Dark Knight Rises

Speaking specifically about the success that Christopher Nolan‘s Batman movies have earned, and the secret behind why The Dark Knight Rises works, Michael Caine recently pointed to the real stunt work, practical effects, and minimal computer manipulation that went into the production. “For me, it was incredible because the great thing about it was – and the secret of the success of this picture as opposed to those massive blockbusters out there – is the stunts and special effects are real. There is very, very little computer generated imaging in it. All these other ones you see a million people marching towards you, you know they’ve photographed ten and just kept doubling it up and up and up. In ours, when the stuntman falls off the roof, it’s a real man falling off the roof and hitting the bottom.And I think that is very important. It’s very human and I suppose the class of acting is a little better… For a start both Batman and the butler are Oscar-winners! (laughs). Gary Oldman, who’s the chief of police, nearly became one himself, do you see what I mean? So it’s a very high standard of acting, and a very high standard of reality. That’s the secret of that series, for me.” Funny. It all sort of boils down to having a huge human factor involved in a massive movie. I wonder if any studios are paying attention, because Caine just nailed it. [Empire]  

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Why Watch? Because all a story needs is a gun and a girl. This high-intensity short is a showcase of action – both stunt work, hand-to-hand combat, gun battling, and a surprise or two. It’s shot fluidly (thankfully avoiding an overly shaky camera), and it’s got a clever hook to hold it all together. That’s about it. Nothing fancy. Nothing crazy. Just good, solid action with a few curious costumes (or at least one) and a little bit of movie love. If you’re interested in the pre-production and planning that went into making this film, there’s a comprehensive production diary for it that might provide a little insight for those interested in making something action-oriented. What does it cost? Just, you know, 3 minutes of your time. Check out 3 Minutes for yourself:

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It’s not every day you can make the claim that something has just revolutionized the film industry. It’s also not every day that you see liquid shit fire out of a man’s ass like a volcano, gushing three feet into air before splattering down onto that man’s own buttocks in three dimensions. Well, unless you’re a member of the Jackass crew, because then stuff like that is pretty much a day to day activity. In theaters October 15th, Jackass 3D is the… well, not exactly third installment, considering Number Two was overflowing with enough stunts to create Jackass 2.5. So technically I guess this is the fourth film and it is without a doubt the best looking of all of them. That’s what you get when you use Phantom 3D cameras, which are capable of capturing amazing slow-motion, three dimensional footage, and have a price-tag that involves six digits. So what happens when you give equipment like that to guys like these? Well, they throw up on them, of course.

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I imagine the children of the next generation will be forced to slam together green blocks and head for a computer to add in the cars afterward. CGI has grown up considerably in the past decade, but it’s also become prevalent to the point of fault. It’s great to see advancements, but it’s not great to see technology used as a crutch when practical filmmaking is so much more exciting to watch. Cars flying down the crackling asphalt of highway is one of those occasions.

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oscar-boyle.jpg

So the Academy Awards are over and even after last weeks explosion, I’m still angry.

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