On the eve of the night of the Oscars, a question arises: why should the Academy Awards include the category of Best Casting Director? Let’s try to give an answer
It has been a few months since the official press release arrived Oscar, starting from 2024, they will have to respect new rules for inclusiveness. A particularly important and significant proposal in terms of representation, which will allow too often underrepresented groups to have the same opportunities as everyone else.
This is a small revolution in the world of the Academy Awards, which will have to embrace change in favor of a more open minded and projected towards the future and equality.
But speaking of changes in the field of awards, there is something that has been making a lot of discussion on the Internet in recent weeks. What are we talking about? Those who hang out in Oscar-themed discussions will surely know that we are referring tohypothesis to include the statuette for Best Casting Director within the categories of the most prestigious film industry awards.
Tech categories include Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Special Effects, Makeup, Photography, Set Design, but nothing as far as casting directors are concerned.
If we think about it, it is an award that has recently been included in other types of awards such as Emmy oi BAFTA. Isn’t it time for the Oscars to do it too? After all, the success of a film also depends on the performance of the actors involved, and it is right that whoever took care of choosing it should be given credit for it, even more so if we think that the casting directors are part of the Academy jury!
A dream still unfulfilled
In fact, if we take a step back in time and go back to 2017, we discover that the question had already been raised after the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement received by the late casting director Lynn Stalmaster, a victory that had given hope that the category was finally taken into consideration for the awards.
Numerous industry members had expressed their views on this.
Tom Donahue, who in 2013 made a documentary for HBO to celebrate the history of casting directors, stressed the importance of the role in the success of a film, while David Rubin praised Lynn’s talent for always knowing how to choose. actors who looked authentic in every feature film.
Oscar for Best Casting Director: the floor to those directly involved
To date, however, the situation has not changed for the casting directors, who still remain empty-handed during the Oscar awards.
And now that the discussions about the Academy Awards are particularly hot, the casting directors pointed out the importance of receiving the recognition they deserve.
To the microphones of the Los Angeles Times, Carmen Cuba he has declared:
We are the first to be hired. If Nina Gold or Victoria Thomas sign a contract, the industry immediately trusts the idea that this is a major film. We are the ones who start everything: the first ideas, the auditions, the budget, the planning. […] It’s a collaboration, and if 23 categories are eligible, we should be too.
The casting director and co-chair of CSA with Russel Boast, Rich Mento, commented that this is a top priority for the organization, and then added:
In my opinion, the clearest reason is that the work we do is not clear […] The best casting directors leave no footprints.
Words that also echo in the speech of Lora Kennedy, who commented:
Our work takes place behind closed doors. It is private, sacred. We can’t show you the audition tapes, we can’t show you our notes. Apparently we are not building anything. We are not sewing anything. So there is no tangible evidence of our contribution other than what’s on screen.
Laray Mayfield, who handled the casting of Mank, he has declared:
They tell us that the Oscar night is already too long. But the subtext is that we’re not important enough to spend five minutes on. This is upsetting, painful and disappointing. I consider myself an artist as much as costume designers, set designers, editors and writers. We work with humans, not with inanimate objects. The casting director brings the film to life.
Interviewed by BBC, Lucy Bevan, casting director on films such as Maleficent e The Dig, he said he hopes to see the Academy recognize their category at some point in the same way it honors every other key contributor to film production, because it is a collaborative art form.
Lucy Pardee, who two weeks ago took home the BAFTA for the casting of Rocks, commented:
Casting directors are often the first people to join the crew, so it’s great that BAFTAs have moved to recognize the importance of the role. The Oscars should follow suit. It is something we have been waiting for for a long time.
Fiona Wei, who has worked on almost every casting for Harry Potter, and other great hits like Judy, Brooklyn e Love Actually expressed his:
Ultimately, I think it’s wonderful that the BAFTAs have recognized what we do, they have been on the right side of history from that point of view. For so long there has been such a lack of understanding of what casting is. We are an important part of the process and it was really important to reach this milestone. I hope the Oscars do the same.
BBC News contacted the Academy for comment on the absence of the casting directors at the Oscars, especially because of its president David Rubin he’s a veteran in the field, but hasn’t gotten any answers at the moment.
In the meantime, let’s get ready for the 2021 Oscars awards ceremony to be held on the night of April 25-26.