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The Long and Short of Oscar Success

Michael Dudok de Wit — the best animated short Oscar-winner who was awarded a $2,500 high-definition TV set for delivering the shortest acceptance speech — insists that he was not gunning for the high-priced prize. "When I was informed about the TV set, it sounded more like a joke than something serious," the Holland-born filmmaker tells TV Guide Online. "When you're on-stage, you don't time [your speech]. Someone asked me if there was a clock. There definitely wasn't a clock, or if there was I didn't see it." De Wit's brief remarks — in which he thanked his two producers and his wife — clocked in at a mere 18 seconds. "It felt like I was doing a standard speech," he says. "It just so happened that all of the [other winners] had speeches that were longer than standard." (He means you, Ms. Roberts.) As TV Guide Online reported Wednesday, de Wit elected to donate his state-of-the-art tube to the Los Angeles children'

Michael Ausiello
Michael Dudok de Wit — the best animated short Oscar-winner who was awarded a $2,500 high-definition TV set for delivering the shortest acceptance speech — insists that he was not gunning for the high-priced prize.

"When I was informed about the TV set, it sounded more like a joke than something serious," the Holland-born filmmaker tells TV Guide Online. "When you're on-stage, you don't time [your speech]. Someone asked me if there was a clock. There definitely wasn't a clock, or if there was I didn't see it."

De Wit's brief remarks — in which he thanked his two producers and his wife — clocked in at a mere 18 seconds. "It felt like I was doing a standard speech," he says. "It just so happened that all of the [other winners] had speeches that were longer than standard." (He means you, Ms. Roberts.)

As TV Guide Online reported Wednesday, de Wit elected to donate his state-of-the-art tube to the Los Angeles children's home Hollygrove, despite the fact that he currently owns just "a very standard, average family-size television." If anything comes from his unprecedented double-win, he hopes it's a greater awareness for the short animation industry — not to mention his eight-minute Academy Award-winning film, Father and Daughter.

"Short animated films are notoriously difficult to make because they're not lucrative and there's very, very little money for it," says de Wit, who doesn't expect the cash crisis to end anytime soon — his newfound celebrity notwithstanding. "A nomination or even an Oscar help create confidence, but basically, I still have to stand in the same pew again to see if I can find money for future short projects."