Stuntmen Want an Oscar

June 13, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. stuntmen (n.) [stuhnt-men] – a person who does dangerous acts in place of a real actor
Example: The stuntmen are dressed exactly like the actors they replace in movies.

2. prestigious (adj.) [pre-stij-uhs]– highly respected
Example: To work for the country’s President is a prestigious career.
3. obstacle (n.) [ob-stuh-kuhl] – something that blocks, delays or stops progress
Example: Laziness is an obstacle to success.

4. slot (n.) [slot] – a specific position in a group or a series
Example: I reserved you the second slot in the program.

5. animated movie (n.) [an-uh-mey-tid] [moo-vee] – a movie made from drawn figures
Example: Disney is famous for making animated movies.

Read the text below.
Hollywood stuntmen are hoping to be awarded and be recognized in the Oscars soon after years of being ignored in the prestigious awards show.

Five years ago, the board denied their appeal on adding another award for stuntmen because special effects threatened to replace stuntmen. Surprisingly, more stuntmen are actually being hired today because of their important part in movie making. In addition, more action movies are using live stunts as movie goers prefer real over fake ones.

Journalist Tom O’Neil sees a number of obstacles  in adding an award for stuntmen: first, they need to add representatives to an already crowded board; secondly, they will probably not get the vote of representatives from other departments like make-up and sound effects who avoid losing their slots in the ceremony; and thirdly, producers of the show think that giving an award to stuntmen might bore TV viewers who watch the show for the famous actors.

Jack Gill, a stuntman for 32 years, explained that stuntmen matters to movies. Stuntmen put their lives at risk to create exciting scenes and even in movies that don’t require stuntmen stunt coordinators are still necessary. Stunt coordinators ensure that actors are safe by guiding them with what they should and should not do. Nowadays, movie makers demand more from stuntmen as they create more dangerous stunts.

Aside from stuntmen, voice actors who give life to animated movies, and casting directors, who choose the actors for a movie, are also unrecognized. Fortunately for stuntmen, the organization Screen Actors Guild has recently added an award for best stunt group.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think stuntmen should be given awards even if viewers do not know them?
·         Which part in movie making do you think is most important? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What is the advantage of using special effects in movies?
·         What can real actors do which special effects cannot achieve?

June 13, 2011