Sunday, February 26, 2012

fields of gold

With just a little over an hour until the Academy Awards (otherwise known as Oscar Sunday), I thought I'd do some investigative reporting. While the broadcast focuses on honoring outstanding filmmaking, gawking over fabulous dresses, and excellence in all things related to motion pictures, I am most interested in the traditions of this entertainment milestone. 

While cheesy trophies seem so 4th grade soccer team party at the pizza parlor, this one is a keeper. It's the most recognized trophy in the world and has been on display on bookshelves and mantles of the greatest filmmakers since 1929.

Here are some facts about the beloved, gold fella:

Official Name: Academy Award of Merit, but the statuette is better known by its nickname, Oscar.
Height: 13½ inches
Weight: 8½ pounds
Number of Awards Presented: 2,809
First Recipient: Emil Jannings, named Best Actor for his performances in “The Last Command” and “The Way of All Flesh” in 1929
Design: A knight holding a crusader’s sword, standing on a reel of film. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy (actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers).
Designer: Cedric Gibbons, chief art director at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Sculptor: Los Angeles artist George Stanley
Manufacturer: R. S. Owens & Company in Chicago
Manufacturing Time: 3–4 weeks for 50 statuettes
(Audrey, a big ol' pile of nerves, via Pinterest)

I'd like to thank The Academy...
So how does this whole voting thing work? Each November a campaign begins to get an Oscar nomination. Publicists send out invites to screenings and DVDs to make sure that each (nearly 6,000) of the voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sees their film. Nomination ballots are mailed to the Academy's active members in late December and are due back to PricewaterhouseCoopers, an international accounting firm, in January. Final ballots are mailed to voting members in late-January and are due back the Tuesday prior to Oscar Sunday for final tabulation.After the final ballots are counted, only two partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers knows the results until the envelops are read onstage during the award ceremony. 
(the morning after the Oscars via Pinterest)

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