The ‘Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ (©A.M.P.A.S.®), publicly known as the ’Academy Awards’ is a professional organization that represents members of the motion picture industry, both technical and artistic. The organization consists of more than 6000 members and has 14 branches, which are writers, directors, actors, producers, film editors, cinematographers, sound, visual effects, animation, art directors, executives, music, short films and documentary.
To be a member of the Academy, sponsorship of minimum two members of the same branch is required and the candidate must have ‘achieved distinction in the motion pictures arts and sciences’. The revenue of the Academy comes from the member dues. Additional income comes from theater rentals and publication of Players Directory’. More than 120,000 union actors from all over the world are listed in the Players Directory. The Academy sells the rights to telecast the annual Academy Award ceremonies and this makes the main financial source.
A.M.P.A.S. does not only distribute Oscar statues to people but supports training and technological advancements in motion picture industry. Academy organizes seminars for training. It has a huge library and film archive as a resource for researches. Academy encourages educational activities in several ways as well as the promotional activities.
SHORT HISTORY OF ACADEMY AWARDS
History of Academy Awards goes back to 1926 when a Studio Basic Agreement was signed by labor unions and workers of some Hollywood studios such as carpenters, technicians and musicians. However the actors, directors and writers still had no union. In 1927, the Academy Carter was established. The first Academy Awards were announced in 1929 in 12 branches. The first Oscar winners were as follows:
Best Picture – Wings
Best Actor – Emil Jannings
Interest of media in the Academy Award ceremonies emerged in 1930 with a live radio broadcast and in 1953, first TV presentation took place. The presidents, Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan also showed their interests in the award ceremonies and their greetings. For the categories of best documentary and the best foreign language film, different nomination procedures are applied. New categories of Academy Awards were added in time. The most recent category was Animated Feature Film, which was added in 2001. Shrek has been the first winner of Animated Feature Film.
Since 2005, the nominations are announced in January. The winners are kept as secret until they are announced during the ceremony. The results are known only by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm working for the Academy and keeping the winners as confidential. Actually, the winners were announced to press before the ceremony in the past but today press learns the results together with public. Only a privileged group is invited for the ceremony.
What is known as Oscar statue by the public has the offical name ‘Academy Award of Merit’. The statue was designed by the art director of MGM, Cedric Gibbons. He wanted the sculptor George Stanley to make a statue of a crusader holding a sword and standing on a film reel with five spokes which symbolize the five branches of the Academy; actors, directors, writers, producers and technicians. The model of the Oscar statue was Emilio Fernandez, a Mexican actor. Emilio Fernandez was not so willing when being a model was offered but later he accepted to pose naked. The sculptor was paid $500 for this legendary statue. The statue sightly changed and several materials were used in time. In the recent years, nickel, copper, sliver and gold plating are used. The statues are produced in a factory in Chicago. The statues pass through a strict quality control and if they do not meet the standards, they are melted down.
It is not exactly known where the nickname Oscar comes from. One of the several stories is that it comes from the name of husband of Bettie Davis, Harmon Oscar Nelson. She claimed that the statue reminded her husband. The name Academy Award of Merit has lost its popularity by time and the Academy officially accepted the name Oscar in 1939.
ACADEMY AWARDS CATEGORIES
The Oscar goes in the following categories:
Academy Award for Best Picture - since 1928
Academy Award for Best Actor – since 1928
Academy Award for Best Actress - since 1928
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor – since 1936
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress - since 1936
Academy Award for Best Animated Feature – since 2001
Academy Award for Best Art Direction – since 1928
Academy Award for Best Cinematography – since 1928
Academy Award for Costume Design – since 1948
Academy Award for Directing – since 1928
Academy Award for Documentary Feature
Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject
Academy Award for Film Editing – since 1935
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film – since 1947
Academy Award for Makeup
Academy Award for Original Music Score
Academy Award for Best Song
Academy Award for Animated Short Film – since 1931
Academy Award for Live Action Short Film
Academy Award for Sound
Academy Award for Sound Effects Editing – since 1963
Academy Award for Visual Effects
Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay – since 1928
Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay – since 1940
Scientific or Technical – since 1931
Academy Award of Scientific or Technical Merit
Academy Award for Scientific and Engineering Achievement
Academy Award for Technical Achievement
Academy Award for Best Picture is presented as the final award during the oscar award ceremonies and collected by the producers. Most of the best picture winner films also win the award of film editing. Therefore, film editors have very important role for the achievement of a film. Most of the winners of Academy Award for Best Picture were in drama genre.
In history, only three movies got the top five awards (best picture, actor, actress, director and screenplay). These are ‘It Happened One Night‘ (1934), ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest‘ (1975) and ‘The Silence Of Lambs‘ (1991). Two movies received 14 nominations until now and these are ‘Titanic‘ (1997) and ‘All About Eve‘ (1950). Audrey Hepburn received four Best Actress awards and Jack Nicholson won the Best Actor Award for three times. A few times, the legendary award was refused. Marlon Brando was one of those who refused the Best Actor Award. However receiving such an award is a dream of most of the actors and actresses.Tags: first oscar awards, Score Academy Award, Harmon Oscar Nelson, the Oscar, Janet Gaynor Interest, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences