This Article is From Mar 03, 2014

Oscars 2014: 10 things you didn't know about the awards

Oscars 2014: 10 things you didn't know about the awards

Every Oscar statuette has a unique serial number engraved in its base

Highlights

  • Oscar day is almost here and this is your time to rise and shine among your friends with a display of some impeccable 'Oscar IQ'. While almost all your fellow Oscar-philes will know that the Academy Awards got their 'Oscar' branding from the remark by the Academy's executive secretary that the statue looked like her "Uncle Oscar", not everyone will know that this name wasn't used till 1939, a decade after the first awards were handed out. Check out some more interesting facts about the Oscars.
  • 1. The first Academy Awards ceremony, which was held in a banquet room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1929, was also the shortest in history. It only lasted a meagre 15 minutes as all the winners had been notified beforehand. The longest Oscar ceremony was that of 2002, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, which ran for 4 hours and 23 minutes.
  • 2. The 50 Oscar statues which are made for each ceremony take nearly a month to complete. Though they are often referred to as the 'golden trophy,' they are not made of gold. The metal used for the trophies is 'britannium' which is an alloy made of 93 per cent tin, 5 per cent antimony and 2 per cent copper. It is then plated with gold.
  • Every Oscar statuette has a unique serial number engraved in its base.
  • But there were times of plaster and wooden statuettes too. During the World War II for three years, Oscar statuettes were made of painted plaster. This was due to the shortage of metal. Once the war was over, the Academy asked the recipients to exchange their plaster figures for brittanium ones.
  • There was only a single wooden statuette ever presented and this was the Honorary Oscar given to the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy in 1938.
  • 3. The biggest loser(s) in film terms are The Turning Point and The Color Purple which both received eleven Oscar nominations each in 178 and 1986, but failed to win even one award.
  • In contrast The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won all 11 Oscars it was nominated for in 2004. It is also the most decorated sequel in Oscar history and also the film which won the most Oscars without a single one in the acting categories.
  • 4. Master animator and Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney is the most honoured person in Oscar history. He received 59 nominations for his work of which he won 26. He also received four honorary Oscars. Walt Disney holds the record for the most number of Oscar wins in a single evening, winning fours awards has also won four Oscars in a single night at the 1954 ceremony.
  • In contrast, sound mixing maestro Kevin O'Connell has the unfortunate record of being nominated 20 times without a single win. The late Peter O'Toole- nominated eight times - holds the inglorious distinction of being the most nominated actor without a win. He received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2003.
  • 5. Oscar winners are forbidden from selling their prizes. Since 1950, winners are legally only allowed to sell their wards back to the Academy, and at a mere $1 at that.
  • But you can always trade the Oscars presented before the 1950. For example, in 1996, Steven Spielberg bought Clark Gable's 1934 Best Oscar for It Happened One Night at an auction. The director bid either 550,000 or $607,500 (according to different reports) and then returned it directly to the Academy who had tried to block the sale claiming first right to buy.
  • 6. There are many rules for the Academy but in order to even enter the race to be nominated for an Oscar your film needs to meet these criteria.
  • It must be 40 minutes long. It must be shot on 35mm or 70mm film or 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format at a minimum resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels and must be screened for paid admission in Los Angeles for at least a week.
  • 7. Entries from outside USA must have released in their home countries no later than the September before the awards ceremony - a fact that disqualified French film and Cannes winner Blue Is The Warmest Colour this year which released in October 2013. 7. The Academy zeroed in on the current location of the Oscars ceremony, the Dolby Theatre (formerly Kodak Theatre) in Los Angeles, only in 2002 and this was the first permanent residence for the Academy Awards. The theatre only has a seating capacity of 3,332 which means it can accommodate only half the Academy's membership at once.
  • But still not everyone shows up for the show and there are always vacant seats. It is a known fact that seat-fillers make almost $125 an hour making the place look jam packed.
  • 8. We all look forward to the emotional award winning speeches at the Oscars. We all expect honest emotions and tears and what not but for the Oscar producers, rambling winners are the worst nightmare.
  • When endless speeches seemed to be fast becoming an Oscar tradition and after the freakishly long show in 2002, The Academy finally enacted the notorious '45 Second Rule' in 2003 where speeches hitting the 45 second mark were cut off by the orchestra.
  • Thriller king Alfred Hitchcock must have foreseen this when he limited his acceptance speech to just "Thank you", the shortest Oscar speech ever, in 1941 while accepting the award for Best Picture Rebecca.
  • 9. So what happens to the nominees who don't win? Well, they just have to act like it's all fine. In 1989, the Academy decided to make them feel better by replacing the presenters' phrase "And the winner is..." with "And the Oscar goes to..." because if you are a nominee, then you are already a winner.
  • 10. So much effort is put into winning an Oscar. Obviously, this must mean that they will be forever cared for and treasured. Wrong!
  • Oscars are routinely returned to R S Owens & Co, the Chicago trophy maker who has been creating these statuettes since 1982, for repairs. The complaints range from small dents and scratches to cases of headless trophies and even one Oscar half-melted.
New Delhi: Oscar day is almost here and this is your time to rise and shine among your friends with a display of some impeccable 'Oscar IQ'. While almost all your fellow Oscar-philes will know that the Academy Awards got their 'Oscar' branding from the remark by the Academy's executive secretary that the statue looked like her "Uncle Oscar", not everyone will know that this name wasn't used till 1939, a decade after the first awards were handed out.Check out some more interesting facts about the Oscars.

1.The first Academy Awards ceremony, which was held in a banquet room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1929, was also the shortest in history. It only lasted a meagre 15 minutes as all the winners had been notified beforehand. The longest Oscar ceremony was that of 2002, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, which ran for 4 hours and 23 minutes.

2.The 50 Oscar statues which are made for each ceremony take nearly a month to complete. Though they are often referred to as the 'golden trophy,' they are not made of gold. The metal used for the trophies is 'britannium' which is an alloy made of 93 per cent tin, 5 per cent antimony and 2 per cent copper. It is then plated with gold.

Every Oscar statuette has a unique serial number engraved in its base.

But there were times of plaster and wooden statuettes too. During the World War II for three years, Oscar statuettes were made of painted plaster. This was due to the shortage of metal. Once the war was over, the Academy asked the recipients to exchange their plaster figures for brittanium ones.

There was only a single wooden statuette ever presented and this was the Honorary Oscar given to the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy in 1938.

3.The biggest loser(s) in film terms are The Turning Point and The Color Purple which both received eleven Oscar nominations each in 1978 and 1986, but failed to win even one award.

In contrast The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won all 11 Oscars it was nominated for in 2004. It is also the most decorated sequel in Oscar history and also the film which won the most Oscars without a single one in the acting categories.

4.Master animator and Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney is the most honoured person in Oscar history. He received 59 nominations for his work of which he won 26. He also received four honorary Oscars. Walt Disney holds the record for the most number of Oscar wins in a single evening, winning fours awards has also won four Oscars in a single night at the 1954 ceremony.

In contrast, sound mixing maestro Kevin O'Connell has the unfortunate record of being nominated 20 times without a single win. The late Peter O'Toole- nominated eight times - holds the inglorious distinction of being the most nominated actor without a win. He received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2003.

5.Oscar winners are forbidden from selling their prizes. Since 1950, winners are legally only allowed to sell their wards back to the Academy, and at a mere $1 at that.

But you can always trade the Oscars presented before the 1950. For example, in 1996, Steven Spielberg bought Clark Gable's 1934 Best Oscar for It Happened One Night at an auction. The director bid either 550,000 or $607,500 (according to different reports) and then returned it directly to the Academy who had tried to block the sale claiming first right to buy.

6.There are many rules for the Academy but in order to even enter the race to be nominated for an Oscar your film needs to meet these criteria.

It must be 40 minutes long. It must be shot on 35mm or 70mm film or 24- or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format at a minimum resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels and must be screened for paid admission in Los Angeles for at least a week.

7. Entries from outside USA must have released in their home countries no later than the September before the awards ceremony - a fact that disqualified French film and Cannes winner Blue Is The Warmest Colour this year which released in October 2013.7.The Academy zeroed in on the current location of the Oscars ceremony, the Dolby Theatre (formerly Kodak Theatre) in Los Angeles, only in 2002 and this was the first permanent residence for the Academy Awards. The theatre only has a seating capacity of 3,332 which means it can accommodate only half the Academy's membership at once.

But still not everyone shows up for the show and there are always vacant seats. It is a known fact that seat-fillers make almost $125 an hour making the place look jam packed.

8.We all look forward to the emotional award winning speeches at the Oscars. We all expect honest emotions and tears and what not but for the Oscar producers, rambling winners are the worst nightmare.

When endless speeches seemed to be fast becoming an Oscar tradition and after the freakishly long show in 2002, The Academy finally enacted the notorious '45 Second Rule' in 2003 where speeches hitting the 45 second mark were cut off by the orchestra.

Thriller king Alfred Hitchcock must have foreseen this when he limited his acceptance speech to just "Thank you", the shortest Oscar speech ever, in 1941 while accepting the award for Best Picture Rebecca.

9.So what happens to the nominees who don't win? Well, they just have to act like it's all fine. In 1989, the Academy decided to make them feel better by replacing the presenters' phrase "And the winner is..." with "And the Oscar goes to..." because if you are a nominee, then you are already a winner.

10.So much effort is put into winning an Oscar. Obviously, this must mean that they will be forever cared for and treasured. Wrong!

Oscars are routinely returned to R S Owens & Co, the Chicago trophy maker who has been creating these statuettes since 1982, for repairs. The complaints range from small dents and scratches to cases of headless trophies and even one Oscar half-melted.