Lights, Camera, Oscar!
Tonight is the Academy Awards, “Hollywood’s biggest night of the year”. It’s probably going to be 3+ hours, but it’s an event and one in which I look forward to. Not only about the dresses and what everyone is wearing, but I do love to see who wins, love the jokes and enjoy the speeches (the short ones). My friend Alexandra has a friend who tweets about the Oscars and I followed him last year and plan on following him this evening, because he is absolutely Hilarious! @AndrewRossi. I probably won’t be able to stay up past 10, so most likely won’t see who wins Best Picture, but sure by that time I will have had my fill of all things Oscar. I’m sure tomorrows news will be chock-full of all the winners. This year I’ve seen at least a few of the Best Picture nominees: The Theory of Everything and Boyhood. I guess that makes a couple, not a few. Plus, since Neil Patrick Harris is hosting and I think he’ll knock it out of the ballpark, it should be an entertaining evening. So I’ve penned this blog, all things Oscar!
1. It cost peanuts to attend the first Academy Awards
The Oscars are Hollywood’s glitziest and most exclusive star-studded event, but the very first ceremony in 1929 was a private affair held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – and a ticket cost just $5.
(Sorry Oscar buffs: The awards show is still a private event, and tickets are not available for sale to the public.)
2. The Academy Award trophy has an official name – and a mysterious nickname
Everyone knows the statuette as “Oscar,” but it actually has an official name: Academy Award of Merit.
So how did it get to be called Oscar? According to the Academy, the origin story can’t be confirmed, but it’s widely believed that the trophy received its nickname from Academy librarian Margaret Herrick, who said that the little gold man looked like her Uncle Oscar.
3. The Academy likes to hand out fake Oscars before the show
Prior to the Oscars, rehearsals are held where celebs show up to practice their lines, announce the winner and present an award.
Five sets of dummy envelopes with each nominee’s name is prepared to be used during the rehearsals. And since there are dummy envelopes, there are also dummy Oscars made of plaster to hand out to the “winners.” (For those curious to take a peek, producer Neil Meron tweeted a photo of the fake awards from this year’s rehearsals.)
4. The Oscars red carpet showcases the event’s history
For the past 14 years, the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles has hosted the Academy Awards, which seats 3,400 people. All of them will walk the show’s red carpet to reach the venue, which stretches a whopping 500 feet (beating out the Golden Globes’ red carpet, which extends to around 437 feet).
To spotlight the event’s long-running history, the red carpet is flanked by two pillars that bear the name of every Best Picture winner since the show’s inception. Incredibly, there’s enough room for the Academy to keep adding winners through 2071.
5. Want to be a seat filler? Too bad!
The only way for a regular Joe to score a seat to the Oscars is to work as a seat filler. But even then, he or she can’t be that “regular”: According to a seat-filler who worked at the 2003 show, the only way to score the (unpaid) gig is to know someone who works at the Academy or to be an employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm entrusted with tallying the votes.
6. Bob Hope is the Oscar emcee for the ages
Legendary entertainer Bob Hope holds the record for hosting the most Academy Awards, having emceed 19 ceremonies between 1940 and 1978. Hope began hosting prior to when the show was televised, and closed out his run on Oscar’s 50th anniversary.
On the opposite spectrum, this year’s host Neil Patrick Harris hopes to avoid the One and Done Club, the celebs who haven’t been asked back to host after their first time. Stars who have membership in this dubious club include Chris Rock, Seth MacFarlane, Anne Hathaway, James Franco and “Crocodile Dundee” star Paul Hogan.
7. Oscar winners used to be announced in advance of the ceremony
In the early days, the Academy kept a lid on the results, making an exception for newspapers so that they could publish the list of winners at 11 p.m. on the night of the event.
Then The Los Angeles Times published the results in advance of the 1940 awards show, spoiling the winners before the ceremony got underway. The Academy responded the following year by sealing the results in envelopes, with their content kept secret until they are opened on stage.
8. There’s a contingency plan if the wrong winner is announced on stage
Remember those folks from PricewaterhouseCoopers? As part of being the only people on the planet who know the results prior to the show, the firm’s partners memorize the winners in all 24 categories. So if the wrong person is announced as the winner, they are authorized to go out onstage and stop the show. (Luckily, this has not yet happened at the awards show to date.)
9. The Oscar weighs more than you think
When someone wins an Academy Award for the first time, the winner usually comments on heavy the statuette feels. There’s a reason for this: It stands at 13.5 inches and weighs 8.5 pounds. To give some perspective, clutching an Oscar feels like holding a gallon of milk.
10. The Academy Awards was robbed – literally
When a front-runner loses the Academy Award, there are often cries that he or she was “robbed.” But the Academy was actually robbed in 2000, when two men stole packing crates filled with 55 Oscar statuettes. All but three of the trophies were recovered after the crates were found in the trash. (The third one was eventually discovered by FBI agents during a drug investigation three years later.)
Source: New York Daily News
All About the Dress
Some of My Favorites
This is really hard to read.
More Oscar Stuff
Through the years…
Facts and Stats
Printable Oscar ballot
You can right click on the above, save it to your computer and print it for your viewing party…even if your viewing party is a Party of One. 🙂
Song of the Day: Glamorous Life by Sheila E. Because tonight is all about the Glamour. And speaking of Mecedes sedans… 🙂
She’s got big thoughts, big dreams
And a big brown Mercedes sedan
What I think this girl, she really wants
Is to be in love with a man
I’m pulling for Eddie Redmayne, for his portrayal of Steven Hawking in Theory of Everything. Amazing performance. Also pulling for Theory of Everything to win for Best Picture. Long shot, but I loved the movie. Tracy saw it yesterday and said, “I may have sobbed”. Me too.
Speaking of movies…and one that is not nominated for an Oscar…McFarland, USA. Fabulous! Kevin Costner. Sports movie. What’s not to love? Nothing… My new favorite movie!!
I am what you call, “Indoorsy”. 🙂
Well done (again) and just in time! THanks, T! PS — McFarland missed the ‘opened by’ date in order to be nominated for a 2015 Oscar. Perhaps in 2016??