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The Oscars; A Journey Since 1927!

Written By Sonali Chowdhury, Hollywood Story

It’s that time of the year again! The countdown to the most prestigious award ceremony in the world of Cinema has come to an end. Everyone eagerly waits for the Oscars; for a night that is full of pomp, show, glamour and surprise, and before we bring to you this year’s winners, Rockying is here to take you through the evolution of this grand award ceremony, it’s amazing history and everything that you always wanted to know about it.

Did You Know?
The individual who has been awarded the most number of Oscars was our very dear Walt Disney, the voice and creator of Mickey Mouse, Snow White and many such cartoon characters, who took home 26 Academy Awards over his lifetime.
(22 regular Oscars and four honorary ones.)
He had been nominated for a total 64 times.

So, What is the Oscar?

The Academy Awards, popularly known as Oscars, are given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences every year. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a professional honorary society, was set up in the US in 1927, and is dedicated to promoting excellence in film-making. The society comprises of members from various fields of cinema. The Academy started with five disciplines: producers, actors, directors, writers and technicians and has spread its root to 15 branches now.

Did You Know?
The male actor with the most Oscar nominations is Jack Nicholson, who has been nominated for a total 12 times. (He has won three times: twice for Best Actor and once for Best Supporting Actor.)

And Who Started this Whole Thing?

The idea was conceived by MGM's studio chief Louis B. Mayer, actor Conrad Nagel, director Fred Niblo and producer Fred Beetson. They thought of creating an organization that will work towards the development of the entire film industry and also decided to host a grand party once a year where they would hand out all those nifty little golden statuettes. Once the Academy was granted a status of non-profit organisation in 1927, a party was thrown in which 230 members joined the league by paying $100 each.

Did You Know?
Meryl Streep holds the record for the most total Oscar nominations for acting, with 17 nominations.
(She has won thrice: twice for playing Best Actress in Sophie's Choice and The Iron Lady, and once for Best Supporting Actress in Kramer vs Kramer ).

What Do they do Apart from Handing out Statuettes Annually?

The Academy, other than recognising achievements for cinematic brilliance in film-making, carries out various other activities. Since its inception the Academy has played a vital role in the world of art by supporting research and education for the improvement of film technology, preserving and documenting the history of motion pictures, publishing reference materials, encouraging film-study programs, sponsoring vocational scholarships, fostering cooperation among the creative members of the industry etc.

Did You Know?
The actress with the most Academy Awards for "Best Actress" is Katharine Hepburn.
She has won four of the golden statuettes in 1934, 1968, 1969 & 1982 for Morning Glory,Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter and On Golden Pond respectively.

Who runs the show?

Unlike our movie awards, the Academy is professionally governed by a board, which comprises of members from each branch of the film-making fraternity. These members represent 15 fields of motion pictures– actors, animators, short film makers, art directors, costume designers, cinematographers, composers, songwriters, documentary film-makers, directors, executives, film editors, make-up artists, producers, public relations specialists, sound artists and engineers, visual effects experts and writers. Each of these branches has their own standards of eligibility for potential members. Members usually get an invitation from the Academy to become part of the society.

Did You Know?
The actor to have won most awards for playing "Best Actor" is none other than Daniel Day-Lewis.
He has won three Academy Awards for playing "Best Actor", for "There Will Be Blood", "My Left Foot" and this year's "Lincoln".

And How does this lot Decide Upon the Awards?

The Academy Awards are presented for outstanding individual or collective efforts in up to 25 categories. It is the members who select winners from as many as five nominees in each category, which are determined by members of the relevant Academy branch. (For instance, only film editors may nominate movies for the Achievement in Film Editing award.) The only exception to this rule is in the categories for Best Picture and Best Foreign Language films where nominees are selected by a committee of members drawn from all branches. They hold the whole show in two parts: the first, called the technical awards is held a week or so prior to the main show. The second part is the main shows; which is what we see every year and call the Academy Awards.

Did You Know?
The youngest person to ever receive an Oscar was 5-year-old Shirley Temple - in 1934. (However, Shirley's Oscar was an honorary one.)
The youngest actress to win a standard Oscar was Tatum O'Neal, who was 10 years old when she won the Best Supporting Actress award for "Paper Moon" in 1974.

Hey! What About the TV show?

The first Oscar ceremony was held in May 16, 1929 at a brunch in Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The ceremony was witnessed by around 270 and ticket for the event cost $5 each. In the first award ceremony 15 statuettes were awarded for honouring achievements between August 1, 1927 and July 31, 1928. But it was in as late as 1954 that the ceremony was televised for the first time throughout the United States and Canada. It was during the 38th Awards in 1966 that viewers first experienced the dazzling red carpet event in its full coloured glory. Since 1969, the Oscar show has been broadcast internationally, now reaching movie fans in over 200 countries.

Did You Know?
Christopher Plummer became the oldest person to win an Oscar. He won the award for the Best Supporting Actor in 2012, at age 82, for his performance in "Beginners".
The oldest actor to win the Oscar for Best Actor was Henry Fonda, for "On Golden Pond" in 1982, at age 76.

What’s with that Statue of a Golden dude with a Sword?

MGM art director Cedric Gibbons was the man who first designed the statuette of a knight standing on a reel of film gripping a crusader’s sword. The Academy contracted Los Angeles sculptor George Stanley to realize the design in three dimensions – and the world-renowned statuette was born. The statuette is 13½ inches tall and weighs 8½ pounds. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy. The statuettes are cast, moulded, polished and buffed by R.S. Owens & Company, a Chicago-based awards manufacturer.

Did You Know?
The three movies to have won the most number of Oscars are "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" (2003), "Titanic" (1997) and "Ben-Hur" (1959).

Each of those movies won 11 statuettes."West Side Story" stands at the second place winning a total ten Oscars.

Why the “Oscar”?

The award is officially named the Academy Award of Merit while it is more recognizable by the nickname given to its statuette- Oscar. While the origins of the moniker aren't clear, a popular story has it that upon seeing the trophy for the first time, Academy librarian (and eventual executive director) Margaret Herrick remarked that it resembled her Uncle Oscar. The name caught on and even the Academy adopted the nickname officially in 1939.

Now that you are armed with all the Oscar trivia that you need, all you have to do is sit back and get to know with us the most popular technicians that took the golden knight home this year. And the winners are...

Daniel Day Lewis for being Best Actor playing the title role in Lincoln.

Lincon Daniel Day Lewis

Jennifer Lawrence for playing the Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook.

Jennifer Lawernce

Christoph Waltz, Best Supporting Actor for Django Unchained

Anne Hathaway, for being the Best Supporting Actress in Les Miserables.

Anne Hathaway

Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney for producing the Best Picture of 2012, Argo.

Argo Winner Producers

Ang Lee,Best Director for Life of Pi.

Amour, from Austria, the Best Foreign Language Film.

Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman for directing the Best Animated Feature Film Brave.

Claudio Miranda, Best Cinematography for Life of Pi.

Caludio Miranda

Jacqueline Durran for designing the Best Costumes for Anna Karenina.

Anna Karenina Best Costume

William Goldenberg, Best Editing for Argo.

Best Editing William Goldenberg

Mychael Danna, Best Music (Original Score), for Life of Pi

Mychael Danna

Visit here for further details on the nominees and winners this year. We will catch you next year with a fresher set of movie achievers and the most awesome movies made at no where else but HOLLYWOOD!

About the Author: Keeping her eyes closed, with long breaths and a gentle sound many mistake for snoring, actually helps Sonali think better. Or so she says. People question about these daily “thinking sessions”, mostly conducted on a comfortable couch or bed, while she claims that the long overdue best-seller she’s been working on (for quite some time now) will silence all the cynics. Till then she dreams on...

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