There were quite a few name missing from last Sunday’s Academy Awards “In Memoriam” Segment. Zap2it compiled a list of those forgotten names. I don’t know all of the names on the list but there is one thing I know, all of them should have been in the segment. There is no reason valid enough to leave out any member of the industry whatever his role or rank in that industry.
Let’s take two examples – the one I am the most familiar with – Cory Monteith and Sarah Jones. Though both present in the online ‘Oscar remembers‘ gallery, their pictures were not featured in the live segment. (Sarah’s name however was featured in a pop-up at the end of the segment)
This feels wrong, why make a live segment that is different from the online one? How do you define who is going to be featured in the live piece? Do you choose in terms of fame, career, rank in the industry? Any of those reasons would be wrong, because at the end of the day, all of those people belongs to the same family. So yes, you could argue that Sarah and Cory worked for TV but that would be wrong. Although the biggest part of their work was indeed for the small screen, they also both worked for the big one. It might not have been for fancy – snazzy big productions, but still.
So why leave them out? Are there some kind of requirements to be feature in the ‘In Memoriam’ segment? I don’t think so. Leaving them out is not only disrespectful to them but to all the people who work on productions that are not as ambitious as the ones honored by the Academy. It shows that there are actually two levels in the ‘film industry’ and that they do not mix.
I see the film industry as one big family devoted to story telling. To me there should not be any distinction between actors depending on which films they star in. Films do not always have to be astounding, thought-provoking or really original, some movies are simpler and made only to have the viewer spend a good time – but does that mean those productions are less worthy than any other? And does that mean the people who work on them are less worthy of recognition than any others?
The answer is no. Storytelling, no matter what the story, is what they all do and given that they should all be recognized and taken into account as part of the industry. Because we talk about ‘film industrY’ not ‘film industrIES’.
The Academy Awards were good fun this year, I really enjoyed them. But it could have been better had the Academy chosen not look down on part of the film industry as it appears to me they did.