Many of us from the 60’s and 70’s polished our English language skills and learned etiquette watching the wide variety of movies made in the English Language. As early as 1929, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) instituted the Academy Award of Merit recognizing achievement in different categories of film making. The academy selects the winner through a process of voting by its members and tabulated by the audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The number of members (rumoured to be approximately 6,000) and their details are extremely confidential.
You may be watching the event now or planning to watch the repeat telecast in the evening. But let me share with you some very interesting things about the Awards.
Who is Oscar in AMPAS – The Academy officially started calling the Trophy an Oscar from 1939, 10 years after it started. The most popular legend behind the Oscar name is that of Academy’s Executive Secretary, Margaret Herrick, saying “it reminds me of my Uncle Oscar” when she first saw the trophy in 1931.
How heavy is the Trophy – You would have noticed that after receiving the trophy immediately the winner feels its weight and holds it in both hands. That’s because it is reasonably heavy at almost 4 kg.
The Red Carpet – The Academy really values its history and the Red Carpet at the Dolby Theater reflects this. The 500 foot red carpet where the stars walk have two pillars bearing the name of each one of the Best Picture award winners from 1929. (Pic Courtesy : Getty Images)
Getting a Seat at the Oscars – No matter how rich you are, you can’t buy a ticket at the 3,400 seater Dolby Theater. However, if the lucky stars are smiling on you and you know someone who matters at the Academy or at PriceWaterhouseCoopers then you can be a seat filler.
The Missing Oscars – In the year 2000, 55 of the trophies were robbed. A few years later these were discovered behind a trash box (image courtesy :Telegraph.co.uk)
The Most Awarded Movie – The credit is shared by three movies all of which won 11 awards in all in a year. The movies are Benhur (1959), Titanic (1997) & The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). (Image courtesy : Goldderby.com)
The Unfortunate Most Nominated Never Won – Yes, we keep talking about Leo not winning (This year he will make it up). However, there are several legendary actors who got multiple nominations but never won. (Infographic courtesy : Business Insider)