Academy Awards

By: Kianna Collins

The Academy Awards began as a small gathering of 275 people on May 16, 1929. Tickets were five dollars per person, and the attendees already knew of their victories.

This event also was not televised, which makes it completely different from what the Academy Awards are now.

Winners of the awards are kept in total secrecy until they are announced. This policy was changed the year after the first Academy Awards occurred.

Awards were originally made out of solid bronze and were gold-plated. But, here’s some trivia: The awards were made out of painted plaster for three years during the second World War.

The statuettes went through a series of metal changes before finally settling on 24 karat gold. Now isn’t that spiffy.

The golden statuette is officially named The Academy Award of Merit, but it is widely known as the Oscar. The true origin of this alias is unknown, but some stories say that Margaret Herrick, an Academy librarian, stated that it looked like her Uncle Oscar.

Thus making the Academy Award and the Oscar the same award. The Academy Award just acquired a nickname that was easier to say.

The Academy Awards features up to 25 different categories. This ranges from individual to group awards.

All of the nominations are sent to Academy members in December and are sent back to the auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers in January. Everyone doing the nominations votes for their category; actors vote for actors, directors for directors, etc.

The category for Best Picture is voted on and nominated by everyone, however.

Ballots are sent out again for the final votes, and when the final votes are tallied only two people in the world know the outcome. These two people are the only individuals that know until the climatic opening of the envelopes at the ceremony.

Some of the categories that the members of the Academy vote on are: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Comedy Direction, and Original Music Score. Some categories have been omitted from selection since the conception of the Academy Awards such as the Best Short Film category and the Best Short Film – Color category.

Others that have been added are: Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Animated Feature, which was added recently in 2001, and Best Art Direction.

The very first Academy Award presented was for Best Actor and it was given to Emil Jannings. He actually could not make it to the awards show, and the Academy had to give him his award early.

Other winners of the same award include Bing Crosby for his role as Father O’ Malley in “Going My Way” and Sean Penn for his leading role as Harvey Milk in the film “Milk.”

People who have not won this award: Leonardo DiCaprio.

Some of the past winners of the Best Actress Award were Elizabeth Taylor for her role in “Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?” as Martha, Audrey Hepburn as Princess Anne in “Roman Holiday” and Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy in “Blindside.”

The Academy Awards show is something to look forward to every year. Even if Leonardo DiCaprio wins absolutely nothing.

Every time.

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