The Academy Awards usually take place in late February, but they have been moved to March 4 so that they don’t conflict with Winter Olympics broadcasts. The 90th version of the awards, honoring the best films of 2017, will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles at 5 p.m. (PST). Comedian Jimmy Kimmel will host the production just like he did last year.
(Pixabay / DWilliams)
A record 341 feature films will be contending for the Best Picture award, and even though the ceremony is a few weeks off, the pundits are busy predicting the winners. Though Americans love to watch the iconic Oscar statuettes being handed out to luminaries in the film industry, there’s a lot that they don’t know about the famous awards.
Here are some answers to common questions about one of America’s most coveted statues:
Q: What are the statuettes made of?
A: The earliest iterations were solid bronze plated with gold. Within several years, a pewter-like alloy was used for the core metal. It was coated with copper and nickel silver, then plated with 24-carat gold for a dazzling finish. The latter design has endured through today, with the exception of a few years during WWII when a metal shortage necessitated painted plaster statues. After the war, trophy winners were able to trade their plaster versions in for gold-plated metal versions.
Q: Who won the first Oscar?
A: That award went to Emil Jannings in 1929. He was named Best Actor for his roles in two movies: “The Last Command” and “The Way of all Flesh.”
Q: How many Oscars have been given out?
A: 3,048 statuettes have been awarded since the program’s inception. There’s no telling exactly how many awards the Academy will give out this year. Though the Academy plans to give a designated number of awards, there are often ties and multiple recipients. The Academy keeps extra statues on hand just in case. If they aren’t used, they will be locked up safely until the following year’s competition.
Q: Why do we call the award “The Oscar?”
A: If we called the trophy by its real name, we would refer to it as “the Academy Award of Merit”—but that’s not nearly as catchy. The legend goes that Margaret Herrick (who later became the executive director of the Academy) said that the statue reminded her of her Uncle Oscar. The name was officially used starting in 1939 and lives on today.
Q: How big is the statue?
A: The Oscar measures just over a foot tall (13.5 inches) and weighs in at 8.5 pounds.
The famous Oscar awarding ceremony is often watched out all over the world. This is the time when all of those famous celebrities, producers, and even the elites would gather together and decide who among them is the best in the field of filmmaking and acting. The rich history of Oscar is featured in this infographic.