Sydney, 18 February 2009
What is the riskiest movie of this year’s crop of Oscar nominated films?
According to Allianz’s US property and casualty insurance subsidiary, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, the leading insurer of films developed by Hollywood production companies, this year’s winner is perhaps an obvious choice.
Honours go to “The Wrestler,” an emotional drama about Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a once popular pro wrestling star, now aging and down on his luck, who battles both personal and health issues. As an insurance risk, the film wins “most risky production” primarily because lead actor Mickey Rourke did much of his own stunt work in the film.
Rourke executes extremely physical wrestling scenes—even deliberately cutting himself to draw blood during a fight. In one scene, Rourke has an especially brutal match involving glass shards, staples and barbed wire.
“The Wrestler was considered a major risk because of the factors related to the stunt work: the physicality and quantity of the stunts. Even young actors have difficulty with physically challenging stunts,” said Nicholas Scofield, General Manager Corporate Affairs at Allianz Australia.
“As the lead actor in this film, if Rourke had a serious injury it could have resulted in a delay or even halted production. Fortunately, he trained and practiced for months, and our Fireman’s Fund colleagues worked with the production company to make sure adequate precautions were in place to mitigate the risk,” said Scofield.
Among other insurance covers for films, cast insurance covers a variety of possible scenarios that could happen to an actor where production would be affected. These can include illness, injury, medical issues – even death.
Not all films present sizeable risk factors. The least troublesome movies among the nominees are “walk/talk” productions where the actors are shot in simple scenes and don’t engage in activities much beyond dialogue. Of this year’s nominees, “Frost/Nixon” fell into that category.
There are a total of 79 Oscar nominees this year and Allianz Group company Fireman’s Fund insured 46 – which is an accurate representation of the approximately two-thirds market share the company commands. Insured nominees include “Milk,” “Frost/Nixon,” “The Reader,” “Changeling,” “Iron Man,” “Defiance,” “In Bruges,” “The Visitor,” “Frozen River,” “Wanted” and “Hellboy II” in addition to “The Wrestler.”
Fireman’s Fund also insured “The Dark Knight”, the last film made by Heath Ledger before his untimely and tragic death on 22 January 2008.
Best General Insurance Company 2006*
Best General Insurance Company 2007*
A member of the worldwide Allianz Group, Allianz Australia operates in Australia and New Zealand. It is one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and also provides life insurance.
Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. AAL is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.
Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff. In 2007, the company achieved a gross written premium exceeding AU$2.4 billion and investment assets of approximately AU$5.5 billion. Allianz Australia Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.
Allianz’s commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability has been acknowledged internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognised Allianz as the most sustainable general insurer in the world in 2007. In Australia, Allianz is a member of the Greenhouse Challenge Plus program, which is a cooperative partnership between industry and the Australian Government that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
*Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards
About Fireman’s Fund
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company is a premier US property and casualty insurance company providing personal and commercial insurance products nationwide. Fireman’s Fund is a member of the Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest providers of insurance and financial services. For additional information, visit www.firemansfund.com
With an over 80-year history of insuring Hollywood productions, Fireman’s Fund Entertainment is dedicated to helping producers and studios achieve the artistic results they are seeking, yet also ensure they are filmed safely, finished on time and on budget. Its 40-member team includes specialized underwriters and loss control experts who each have about 20 years of experience in the entertainment field.