The BAFTAs were on last night, the grand film event hosted by the ever amazing Stephen Fry. It’s always a treat to watch, seeing as it’s basically our equivalent of the Oscars (sort of) and it’s great to see awesome films get recognition for all the hard work, blood and sweat that goes into them. The one aspect of award ceremonies that gets me, though, is when they pay tribute to members of the film industry that have passed away since the last awards. Of course, it’s always heartbreaking to remember who we have lost but it really got me thinking about how the film industry is an incredibly tight knit community, despite how vast and large it is. So many people are connected within the industry and particularly among the top names, everyone has worked with everyone.
It’s got to be one of the only industries where you can know a person without actually knowing them, either because they’re famous, or because they’re a friend of a friend. It’s difficult to be famous in film and not have people feel like they’re your buddy. But isn’t it wonderful that the film industry pays its respects to those who have contributed hours of their lives to film? The big one, Sir Richard Attenborough was heartbreaking to watch but it’s beautiful realising that his life is captured in films and that he has affected so many others, without even knowing them. Being in films as an actor means that audiences grow up with you, they see you develop and mature both mentally and physically and it truly is a beautiful thing.
One of the most shocking deaths has been Robin Williams who, especially amongst my generation has watched over us grow up in the shape of the Genie, Professor Brainard (Flubber) and Mrs Doubtfire. It’s impressive how a person that you don’t know or have never met can affect you in such a way when they die because it always felt as if they were there in your living room, with you, with a variety of voices and faces.
Of course, the BAFTAs and other awards ceremonies are for the purpose of celebrating, but the time that they give to people who have passed is equally as celebratory and important. Being in film ensures that your life is preserved forever and that is why I think the film industry is so beautiful. It’s so vast, yet it’s so close.