Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Oscars: Is It Time To Introduce a Voice Over Category?

By Lin Parkin

April 4, 2011

Comments (28)

Glamorous celebrity feet stepping on the red carpetA few weeks ago we posed this question on Voices.com's Facebook page and received some incredible feedback.

That got our wheels turning.

Do you think there ought to be categories at the Oscars that recognize voice actors for their roles and contributions to film?

Perhaps the time has come!

Learn more about how you can help out by reading today's Vox Daily.

A Little Background Information

We first looked at this concept when we heard that Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy received critically acclaimed reviews for their performances in the animated feature 'Rango' and that the film could be a possible Oscar contender but despite that, the actors themselves will not be seeing any Oscar love for their work in the film.

That's because, unlike the Emmys, the Oscars have not introduced a category for voice over performances. In 2009 the Emmys changed their voice over award from "juried" to a "category," with five nominees and one winner for Outstanding Voice Over Performance.

Why Should the Oscars Give Credit to Voice Over Performances?

Animated features are one of the most successful genres in filmmaking. Pixar Animation Studios has made over $6.3 billion worldwide and four of their films have been included in the 50 highest grossing films of all time.

Animated characters are transformed into relatable beings thanks to the outstanding voice over performances of the actors and actresses in these films.

But with just four acting categories out of two dozen, will the Oscars ever embrace a Voice Over Performance category?

Let's Find Out!

When we posed the question "Do you think the Oscars should introduce a voice over performance category?" on our Facebook page the vast majority who responded emphatically said "yes!" they would love to see the Oscars make this change.

In light of this response (61 comments and 100 Likes), we have created a petition. If we get a 2000 signatures on the petition we will present it to the Oscars organizers and the press.

Will You Sign?

Simply go to this web page and sign the petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/oscarspetition/

We hope you'll consider adding your name to the list!

Lin

©iStockphoto.com/Angelika Schwarz

Related Topics: acting, animation, Celebrity, film, Oscars, petition, Pixar, reading, talent, voice actors, voiceovers


Comments


    The Kids Choice awards, a terrific awards show developed by Nickelodeon, has the Voice Over category. Eddie Murphy won for his role in Shrek II, or III, or whatever the Shrek it was.

    Posted by:

      While I whole heartedly agree that a category for voiceovers (both for animation and narration) is long overdue, I wonder if this petition would have any legs at all if major stars were not now commanding all of the biggest animated roles. Will unknowns (or people who are "just voice actors") be given any chance at all of winning these awards if they do happen to get cast? Will unknowns be given any chance of being cast at all if studios know an Oscar is on the line, or will it increase work for professional voice actors because so many stars are bad at VO? Will Oscar recognition drive up the price that stars demand to do voiceovers and possibly open the door to more unknowns who will work for less? Lastly, will voters be able to separate the VO from the animation?

      Posted by:
      • Jerome Santucci
      • April 4, 2011 9:58 AM

        Thanks for the comment Dan. We agree, the Nickelodeon Awards is a wonderful program that honours voice over performers. We’re hoping that the Oscars will follow suit with them and the Emmys.

        Posted by:

          Thanks for your thought provoking comments, Jerome!

          We believe that the overall outcome would be beneficial to the voice over industry and will trickle down positively to the everyday voice actor. While there are other awards such as Annies, Emmys, Voiceys and so on that do formally recognize voice talent for their performances, a nod from the Oscars would be taking recognition of the voice acting art form in film to another level.

          Posted by:

            Of course, voice acting is an art and deserves recognition. Voice over artists play a big part in the movie industry! After all, be it an animation or short film, a voice over is crucial in the marketing of a Hollywood blockbuster, so yes I think voice over performance should be an Oscar category.

            Posted by:
            • Karl Webb
            • April 4, 2011 1:21 PM

              I was just thinking that when I watched them!!

              Posted by:
              • Kimberly Ann Klasnic
              • April 4, 2011 1:24 PM

                On it. And signed.

                Posted by:

                  I want to get into voice acting, for work I'll go door to door with a petition.

                  Posted by:
                  • Justin Tabernacki
                  • April 4, 2011 1:25 PM

                    Signed & sealed...

                    Posted by:
                    • Nyoka Brooks
                    • April 4, 2011 1:27 PM

                      I signed it!

                      Posted by:
                      • Maggie Mustico
                      • April 4, 2011 1:28 PM

                        Just signed, wow that would be so exciting!!!

                        Posted by:
                        • Chuck Burden
                        • April 4, 2011 1:29 PM

                          Done! Long overdue.......

                          Posted by:
                          • Lisa Foster
                          • April 4, 2011 1:30 PM

                            Most definitely!

                            Posted by:
                            • Vox Box
                            • April 4, 2011 1:30 PM

                              "The Trailer Awards."

                              Posted by:
                              • Vinnie Vinson
                              • April 4, 2011 1:31 PM

                                Without the voice, there is no character! Duh! Of course there should be a voice over category. It's a shame there has to be a petition for something that is obviously such an important element of such a vital genre to the success of the animation industry.

                                Posted by:
                                • Rhonda Alexander
                                • April 4, 2011 1:31 PM

                                  Signed and shared - this is bound to raise awareness about what we do, and not only in the film industry. Most people are not even aware that our job exists although they hear us everyday so letting them know that there are professional people behind the voices they hear everyday can only be a good thing for us!

                                  Posted by:
                                  • Pierre Maubouché
                                  • April 4, 2011 1:33 PM

                                    Heck yea! The time has come, and for all the right reasons, Voiceover has come into its own. Thank you for starting this petition.
                                    All The Best,
                                    Bobbin Beam

                                    Posted by:

                                      I so agree. My only hesitation would be that most of the awards are likely going to go the movie stars that do VO,
                                      Not complaining, that just seems to be the academy's pattern.

                                      Posted by:

                                        Well done Lin for your lead. "Voice technique is as important
                                        as the picture" - Walt Disney

                                        Posted by:

                                          Hello, Stephanie and Lin!

                                          Thanks for forwarding that Oscar VO petition to me! I've just signed it. To me, bringing animated characters to life with a only distinctive voice is more of a challenge than being a screen actor. I agree that there should be an Oscar category for VO achievement!

                                          Cheers,

                                          Michael

                                          Posted by:
                                          • Michael Miro
                                          • April 4, 2011 5:05 PM

                                            You want recognition and adoration...get a dog. There are more than enough award shows and competing categories out there with more coming every year. (I'll spare you the list) Should the VO get a Clio for 'comm'l excellence'? Best VO in an off-year election, political candidate, non-issue, campaign spot? Best performance in a radio spot with only one line of dialogue? Where does it all end? For those of you who do not narrate audiobooks, the most prestiegous awards are the Audies. They are presented each year in NY in early or mid May. This year there were over 1,100 submissions and five 'Finalists' were chosen in approximately ten categories. That's fifty out of 1,100. The Finalist list is glutted with stars, either contemporary ones or names from previous decades. Here's three: Richard Gere, Johnny Depp, and, astoundingly, Laura Bush. No matter what you think about these three, I will wager that not one of them has ever narrated an audiobook in their lives. And it doesn't end here either; it will only get worse. I love the VO world. I work in just about every major area. And it's been quite good to me, for which I am eternally grateful. I just hate to see it cheapened.

                                            Posted by:
                                            • Anonymous
                                            • April 4, 2011 11:44 PM

                                              To Anonymous,

                                              Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this. It is true that an Oscar in a voice acting category is likely to go to a celebrity but not all who stand to be nominated for their roles will necessarily fall under that banner, leaving room for the truly talented voice actors who are not a household name. Not everyone will be in support of this petition or is in favour of the Oscars in general and you are entitled to covey your opinion too.

                                              Posted by:

                                                We believe that having a voice acting category at the Oscars will shine light on the unique set of acting skills required to convey memorable, emotional characters using only ones voice. Animated films are eligible for nomination in Best Picture and Animated Feature Film of the year. Many of the live-action actors in those films are nominated for Actor/Actress in Leading or Supporting Role. We feel that the outstanding voices over performances from the films in those categories are just as deserving of recognition as the on-camera performances. We hope that the petition will encourage the Academy to recognize them as well and that they will ultimately introduce an acting category specific to voice over performance.

                                                Posted by:

                                                  Thank you for supporting the petition and adding your signatures!

                                                  Posted by:

                                                    I was just thinking the same thing while watching the Oscars this year and the animated feature category..."why aren't voice over actors recognized?" So, I signed the petition!

                                                    Posted by:
                                                    • Shannon Loughead
                                                    • April 5, 2011 1:55 PM

                                                      Yes there are a Ton of Categories in the Academy awards, which in my opinion gives more reason to add Voice Overs to it. It's not adoration so much as accomplishment. There are so many who give their voices who are eternally ingrained into our Psyche, but so many folks either hardly know who they are or not at all. But truly it would be a recognition of your peers. I could name a Book load of fantastic Voice Over Artists who I feel would deserve such a recognition, but I think, in my opinion, that it should be added. So many great V.O. talents,.....So little time!

                                                      Posted by:

                                                        While this may seem like a boost to our segment of the profession in reality it will only provide more work for overpaid (and yes, sometimes talentless Hollywood types). It will also mean that more of us will be forced to join unions and fees will get out of control for smaller businesses and production companies. Some of the best films these days are made by independents.

                                                        So no, I don't want voiceovers to be a category of the Oscars. I don't think our egos are worth more than steady work. Thanks.

                                                        Marilynn

                                                        Posted by:
                                                        • Marilynn
                                                        • April 6, 2011 2:25 PM

                                                          Thank you for your comment Marilynn and for sharing your thoughts. You make some interesting points about the unions and independent producers that bears more consideration. I agree that a lot of wonderful work is produced independently.

                                                          Another aspect of this topic to pursue!

                                                          Best wishes,

                                                          Stephanie

                                                          Posted by:
                                                          • Stephanie Ciccarelli
                                                          • April 7, 2011 2:38 PM

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