Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Oscars - How It All Began

By Danny Hoover

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science started the award ceremony known as the Oscars back in 1929. Also known as the Academy Awards, this annual event quickly grew in popularity and as a result, the balloting for the awards was taken over by PricewaterhouseCoopers who is still handling the balloting today. The infamous secret envelop system that is used today was introduced in 1941 by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

There are 15 categories in the Academy Awards and the members of the organization are invited to join by the Board of Governors. The awards that are handed out every year weigh 8 pounds and stand 13 inches tall. They feature a black base plate and a gold plated statuette that features a knight with a sword and a 5 spoke film reel.

It was George Stanley along with Alex Smith who created the original Oscar statuette and since this time the figure has only been revised once. Each and every single year, these awards are given out to the best in the film industry and there are only 40 of them created for any given ceremony.

The eligibility for a film to be nominated for an Oscar requires that it has been made in the previous 16 month period before the show. It was originally supposed to only be 12 months, however in 1932 because of the war the ruler were changed and have not been reversed. There is a minimum of 40 minutes in length as well as a resolution of 1280 by 720 in order for a film to be eligible for the awards.

Unlike the Grammy Awards, the Oscars have been in many different venues since its establishment and have been hosted on varying months of the year as well. Until 1954, the awards were always held on Thursdays after which they were moved to Mondays until 1999 and now are held on a Sunday.

The movie industry and the Oscars ceremony were surrounded by glamour and mystique since they first began. One would never have dreamt back then that we would have the ability to indulge ourselves in movie magic in the comfort of our own homes with the introduction of cheap dvd rental.

In the beginning, the Hotel Roosevelt would be called home to the ceremony. This was to be the venue for only the first Academy Awards and after that the Biltmore and Ambassador Hotels became the venues until the 1940s.

Then the venues would be changed to the Grauman's Chinese Theater, followed by the Shrine Auditorium and then in 1949, the Academy Award Theater. The Pantages Theater would stay the home for the next decade after which the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium would become its home. Until 1988, the Los Angeles Music Center along with the Shrine Auditorium would become the place for the awards here it was finally moved to the Kodak Theater.

Worldwide, more then 1 billion people annually tune in to the Academy Awards as everyone wants to see what the world thinks is the best films of the year. Whether the selections coincide with their personal preferences or not, there is still excitement in all of the glamour and action that make up the annual Academy Award Ceremonies. - 16651

About the Author: