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A Brief Insight Into Oscar Awards | Fact Drive

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

The Academy Prizes, sometimes known as the Oscars, are film industry awards for creative and technical achievement. Many consider them to be the most prestigious and significant prizes in the global entertainment business.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) presents the awards each year as an international acknowledgement of excellence in cinematic achievements as determined by the Academy's voting membership.

The award was originally sculpted by George Stanley from a design sketch by

Cedric Gibbons (an american actor).

The Academy Awards ceremony was initially aired on radio in 1930, and it was first televised in 1953. It is the world's oldest entertainment awards show, and it is currently telecast live across the world.

The statuette stands 131/2 inches tall and weighs a robust 81/2 pounds. The design of the statuette has never changed from its original conception, but the size of the base varied until the present standard was adopted in 1945.

The 15 statuettes presented at the initial ceremonies were gold-plated solid bronze. Within a few years the bronze was abandoned in favor of britannia metal, a pewter-like alloy, which made it easier to give the statuettes their smooth finish.

Because of the metals shortage during World War II, Oscars® were made of painted plaster for three years. Following the war, all of the awarded plaster figures were exchanged for gold-plated metal ones.

The next year's cargo of Oscars was stolen from the overland carrier's loading port just a few weeks before the presentation date, in 2000. They were rescued a week later, but not without some tough days in between.

Since then, the Academy has kept an extra set of statuettes on standby for future ceremonies.

How Did The Oscars Started ?

The inaugural Academy Awards ceremony took place on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner gathering at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for around 270 attendees.

The Mayfair Hotel hosted the post-awards celebration. Guest tickets for the night's event were $5 ($79 in 2020 dollars). Fifteen statuettes were given out, recognising artists, directors, and other members of the cinema business who worked during 1927 and 1928. The ceremony lasted around 15 minutes.

Winners were announced to the media three months before to this first presentation. The results of the second ceremony in 1930, as well as the remainder of the first decade, were supplied to newspapers for publishing at 11:00 p.m. on the night of the awards.

The Los Angeles Times disclosed the winners before the ceremony began in 1940; as a result, the Academy began utilising a sealed envelope to reveal the names of the winners the following year.

Why Is The Academy Award Called 'Oscar" ?

The most popular explanation, and one generally given by AMPAS officials, is one that goes back to 1931. The story goes that when an Academy Awards librarian named Margaret Herrick first saw the golden figures she exclaimed that the blank face and stern eyebrow reminded her of her Uncle Oscar.

How does Academy Award voting work ?

Only members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may nominate and vote for candidates for the Oscars. The academy is divided into various branches of film production, and the nominees in each award category are chosen by the members of the corresponding branch. The entire academy membership nominates the candidates for best picture and votes to determine the winners in most of the categories.

How are the nominees of the Oscars chosen ?

The following is a detailed and yet hopefully clear description of exactly how the Oscar nominees are determined:

(1) The Academy is made up of approximately 6,000 members. Each member belongs to a branch — the directing branch, the writing branch, the cinematography branch, etc. You can’t belong to multiple branches.

(2) Each branch votes within its own category: Actors vote for all the acting categories; directors vote in the direction category; and so on. Everybody gets to vote for Best Picture.

(3) Voters are asked to list up to five names, ranked in order of preference. The Academy instructs voters to “follow their hearts” because the voting process doesn't penalize for picking eccentric choices, as we will see. Also, listing the same person or film twice doesn't help their cause — in fact, it actually diminishes the chance that the voter’s ballot will be counted at all.

(4) A “magic number” is devised for each award category. This number is calculated by taking the total number of ballots received for that category and dividing it by the number of possible nominees plus one. So, for Best Actress, say that 600 ballots were received. There are always five nominees chosen for Best Actress, so you divide 600 ballots by six (five potential nominees plus one), which equals 100. That’s your magic number.

(5) The magic number is important because as soon as a potential nominee reaches that number, they automatically become an official nominee. And so, the counting begins…

(6) The ballots are sorted into piles based upon each voter’s first-choice selection. A nominee must have at least one first-choice vote to be eligible. If any nominee reaches the magic number based solely upon first-choice selections, they’re in. So, for the 1939 race, let’s say Bette Davis received 125 first-choice votes. She’s now an official nominee, and all the ballots that listed her as a first-choice are set aside — those ballots are done.

(7) We now have four nominee slots left to fill. The actress who received the fewest first-place votes is eliminated, and those ballots are redistributed to the other piles based upon those voters’ second-place selections and another round of tabulations begin. Let’s say Vivien Leigh started out with 98 first-choice votes, and now has received two more votes from ballots that were redistributed. She has reached the magic number (100) — she’s in! All the ballots in Vivien Leigh’s pile are set aside.

(8) This process is continued. The actress who has the fewest ballots in her pile has those ballots redistributed to other piles based upon the voters’ second-choice selections, and if need be, their third-choice, fourth-choice, and fifth-choice selections. If a ballot runs out of selections, that ballot is voided and is no longer in play, which is why it’s important for voters to list five different nominees.

(9) The magic number will drop as ballots are voided. For instance, if 12 ballots are voided, the new magic number becomes 588 divided by 6 = 98.

(10) Actresses continue to be eliminated and ballots redistributed until five nominees reach the most current magic number, OR until there are only 5 nominees left in the running.

And there you have it. What this process means is that it’s better to have a small but passionate group of voters who love your film than a larger but less passionate group. And it explains how a small foreign movie such as City of God was nominated in four major categories — it inspired enough supporters who most likely placed it No. 1 or No. 2 on their ballots to let it squeak into the final five.

Having a lot of No. 4 or No. 5 votes isn't as advantageous because most of those ballots will have already been counted toward another film.

Procedure for Oscar winner:

And in case you’re wondering, the procedure for choosing the Oscar winner is much simpler. Once the nominations are decided, the entire Academy can vote for every category. Each member gets one vote per category, and the nominee that receives the most votes wins. It takes the accountants only three days to determine those winners.

What is the significance of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag?

The hashtag was created in 2015 by activist April Reign in response to the Academy Awards' 20 acting nominations all going to white actors.

The hashtag's popularity has drawn attention to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as the greater American film industry, for a history of racial and ethnic diversity in award recognition and representation.


Winners are chosen from the following 24 categories: best picture, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, directing, original screenplay, adapted screenplay, cinematography, production design, editing, original score, original song, costume design, makeup and hairstyling, sound mixing, sound editing, visual effects, foreign-language film, animated feature film, animated short, live-action short, documentary feature, and documentary short.

To be eligible for an award in a given year, a film must be publicly exhibited for paid admission for at least one week at a commercial theatre in Los Angeles county between January 1 and midnight of December 31 of that year.

Exceptions to this rule include foreign-language films, which are submitted by their country of origin and need not have been shown in the United States.

Documentaries and short films have different eligibility requirements and are officially submitted by their producers, whereas music awards require the musical artist to file a submission form.

The Best International Feature Film award does not require a theatrical distribution in the United States. It is necessary for the film to be submitted as the official selection of its nation.

The Best Documentary Feature award requires either week-long releases in both Los Angeles County and New York City during the previous calendar year, or a qualifying award at a competitive film festival from the Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival list (regardless of any public exhibition or distribution), or submission as its country's official selection in the International Feature Film category.

Producers must submit an Official Screen Credits online form before the deadline; if not, the picture will be ineligible for Academy Awards in any year. All associated categories' production credits are included in the form. The forms are then verified and added to a Reminder List of Eligible Releases.


It is 13.5 in (34.3 cm) tall, weighs 8.5 lb (3.856 kg), and portrays a knight in Art Deco style clutching a sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. It is made of gold-plated bronze on a black metal base. The five spokes reflect the Academy's founding branches: actors, writers, directors, producers, and technicians.

How many actors have refused an Oscar ?

In the history of the Oscars, there have only been 3 people who refused their awards: actors George C. Scott (best actor in 1970 for Patton) and Marlon Brando (best actor for 1972, Godfather), and screenwriter Dudley Nichols (best writting in 1934 for The informer).

Who is the youngest person to win an Oscar?

The youngest ever Oscar winner is actress Tatum O'Neal who was only 10 years old when she won Best Supporting Actress for the film 'Paper Moon'.

Can I buy an Oscar ?

In fact, according to the Academy's official regulations, winners are not allowed to “sell or otherwise dispose of the Oscar statuette ... without first offering to sell it to the Academy for the sum of $1.