Vinyl hijackers known as the Popcorn Snobs are catching up on their theme, ‘The Taking of April A-Z,’ as they run this blog for the next 12 (or so) days.
It’s Reese here and I’m back to discuss the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. These coveted honors, given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, come with prestige but prestige doesn't pay the bills. The golden trophies would look (and probably feel) much better if they were accompanied by some type of useful bonus such as a monetary prize or guaranteed job on an upcoming movie.
Financial rewards obviously may not be a big deal for certain Oscar winners who happen to also be top industry players; able to negotiate million-dollar contracts for their work. Still, cash can come in handy and make a significant difference in the lives of the men and women who win Academy Awards for their contributions to craft departments such as grips, makeup artists, gaffers, sound technicians, musicians, editors and set designers. There are times when even some A-list talent, including two-time Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank, can benefit greatly from monetary prizes.
Swank’s first Academy Award for Actress in a Leading Role came from her performance in the romantic drama Boys Don’t Cry (1999). She later found herself in a tough spot when her health insurance card was declined while trying to fill a prescription. The insurance company informed Swank that she didn’t meet a $5,000 minimum in annual earnings to qualify for health coverage.
At a day rate of $75 for her role in Boys Don’t Cry, the actress had made just $3,000 total, from working on this movie. “I had an Academy Award, and no health insurance…the life of an actor,” laughs Hilary Swank in a 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace.
This is a prime example of how great the Oscars would be if they came with cash prizes. While this may seem expensive, there are ways the Academy could share the wealth among all the many difference awards given out each year. Film studios could designate a percentage of profits to a general pot that gets divided up among all categories at the Oscars. It would also be neat if philanthropists and estate planners gave funds to be designated as prize money for select Academy Awards. The bottom line is this…. Oscars should pony up the dough!
Why do YOU agree or disagree with Reese's outlook regarding adding financial bonuses to Oscar winnings?