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Accents in Hollywood


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#1 Dominic Case

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 11:04 PM

Did anyone else get a sense of the high proportion of British accents in particular, and non-American accents in general, at the Oscars last week?

It seems that even if it was an American film that won, there were internationals working on it and getting the award. And plenty of award went to non-US films.

I guess my starting point was the host - and my amusement that even though Baz Luhrmann didn't get the hoped-for nominations for Australia (just one, for CM) he still got a big slice of the action, with his production of the big song and dance number, and "his" star as compere.

But in general, it seems to have been a trend over the years that the Oscars are a more and more internationally-flavoured awards night.

All to the good, I say. It's truly an international industry now, and much the better for it. People can still make films that reflect their own region's cultural values, but they can get world perspectives involved in making it - and thereby reach a world audience.


Just a thought anyway . . .
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 11:31 PM

I see it in exactly the opposite light - with the significant exception of Slumdog, it seems to me to be simply that nobody can get any joy anywhere else, as the entire industry has been hijacked to one country. Foreigners are winning American awards because America is the only place where anyone gives a damn.

This is all in perspective, of course; oscars seem to be bought and sold.

P
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 11:52 PM

I'm an Oscar voter... where's my cut? ;)

Well, if you believe that the U.S. film industry dominates all others, then it make sense that it attracts a number of foreigners to work in it. But this has been true since the 1920's... there has always been a certain international element to it. I've worked with a couple of directors from the U.K., particularly in television, my last show had a lead actress from Australia and another major player from Canada (in fact, it seems almost a given that at least one actor in my movies is always from Canada), the last studio feature I did was shot in Canada with mostly Canadian crew members...

And I've had crew members from different parts of the world - my 1st AC on my last two shows is from Germany, I recently had a 2nd AC from Japan, a grip from Poland, I recently worked with a production designer from South Africa, another one from Austria, and another from India.
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#4 Richard Boddington

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 12:03 AM

Are you implying Dominic that Australians contributed any thing of significance to the Hollywood film industry? BAH! Canadians have been kicking ass in Hollywood longer than any group of "feriners." :lol:

The Oscars are still very much an American Award. The Americans are however gracious enough to allow the world to compete in THEIR award show. This is in sharp contrast to the Canadian movie awards, The Genies, where only Canadian films and Canadian citizens can win. This of course is a major embarrassment considering the high number of Canadians that have won Oscars.

The problem the Oscar organizers face is that so many stars Americans fawn over and love are not Americans, but Americans think they are Americans. So to exclude these actors from Oscar contention would really baffle the American public. Charlize Theron is from where????????

Oddly Phil film workers in LA make the exact opposite observation that you do. They will tell you that their industry has been hi-jacked by feriners (yes Bush is gone but it's still fun to make fun of him) with what they call "run away productions." Movies that originate in Hollywood but end up being shot in Canada or yes even the UK and Australia.

R,
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#5 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:47 AM

I'm an Oscar voter... where's my cut? ;)


Oscar buying? :rolleyes:

How does one become an Oscar voter, anyway? By virtue of being a member of motion picture professional associations like the ASC?

Apropos of the unfortunately always present conspiracy theories such as Oscar buying _or more apropriately, how the Oscar winners are determined_ I found this article:

http://online.wsj.co...2673155403.html
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:21 AM

I was invited to join AMPAS -- I assume some AMPAS member nominated me and there was some sort of vote on it. I also assume that my name was submitted by the Cinematography committee, but I actually don't know all the details. I got a letter one day saying that I was invited to join. It's quite an honor considering that not that many cinematographers join each year, just one or two I think.
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#7 Dominic Case

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 02:40 AM

Are you implying Dominic that Australians contributed any thing of significance to the Hollywood film industry?


No Richard, I'm not implying anything of the kind, I don't think there is any significance in the Hollywood film industry :blink:

I was just wrily amused that Baz and his team still got work even though his film (which is breaking box office records here in Oz) was generally dissed in the USA.

And I did notice lots of Brits/Poms and quite a few Germans up there gettng their statues. Yes, Phil, it IS almost the only place you can make big budget films,though clearly not the only place you can make good ones, OR the only place you can make the sort of film to win an Oscar.

And I agree with David (as always, hell will freeze over before he gets something wrong ;) ) that Hollywood has always attracted (and benefitted greatly) from attracting furriners.

But I also tried to make a point that some of the films in the "minor" award categories were not Hollywood films (as well as Slumdog of course). It seems to be increasingly common that there is a place for "heart on sleeve" docos from anywhere in the world - as well as shorts, animations etc. Whereas traditionally, I get the impression that the Oscars were only for American films.

By the way, it's odd that the only two actors to have won posthumous Oscars were both Australian.
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 12:06 PM

I was just wrily amused that Baz and his team still got work even though his film (which is breaking box office records here in Oz) was generally dissed in the USA.

By the way, it's odd that the only two actors to have won posthumous Oscars were both Australian.


I'm stealing the idea for my next feature called, "Canada."

It's the incredible love story of two semi attractive people who must drive their dog sleds across the frozen Canadian tundra in search of a better life. Forced to survive on nothing but baby seal meat and caribou. Then there are these huge war scenes where the Americans bomb the tundra in a merciless attack to spread their ideology around the world. Our two heroes have steamy love scenes in their igloo, fully clothed of course, it's damn cold!!

Oh BTW I had the honour of meeting Heath Ledger a few years back at the Toronto film festival. I spoke with him briefly and shook his hand. He was very nice to me as a total stranger who just walked up to him.

R,
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#9 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:30 PM

my last show had a lead actress from Australia and another major player from Canada (in fact, it seems almost a given that at least one actor in my movies is always from Canada)

Of course, that's nothing new - in 1985 the CBC made a mockumentary about Canadians infiltrating the U.S. entertainment industry, called The Canadian Conspiracy. The conspiracy goes all the way back to Mary Pickford :-)

--
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#10 K Borowski

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 10:10 PM

The problem the Oscar organizers face is that so many stars Americans fawn over and love are not Americans, but Americans think they are Americans. So to exclude these actors from Oscar contention would really baffle the American public. Charlize Theron is from where????????


I don't know, but boy, there must be something in the water :wub:
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#11 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 07:10 AM

She's from South Africa. Benoni which is part of Joahannesburg to be exact. Charlize Theron is one of my favorite hobbies along with Kate Beckinsale and Nicole Kidman. I'm actually enjoying this particular foreign invasion myself :wub: :wub: :wub:.

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 03 March 2009 - 07:13 AM.

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