The first Oscar Awards were presented on May 16, 1929. It was not a televised ceremony and had an audience of only 270 people. Only fifteen awards were awarded, honoring artists, directors, and other personalities of filmmaking. Winners of the first Academy Awards were announced three months earlier, but regulations changed a year later. The Oscar Statuette is known world- wide. It is made of gold-plated Britannia metal on a black metal base. Its height is 13.5 in (34 cm) tall, and weighs 8.5lb (3.85 kg). It displays a knight rendered in art deco style holding a crusader’s sword, while standing on a reel of film with five spokes. The five spokes represent the original branches of the Academy: actors, writers, directors, producers, and technicians. You may wonder, why is the award named Oscar? One biography by Bette Davis, an American actress, claims that she named the Oscar after her first husband, bandleader Harmon Oscar Nelson.
Since 2004, Academy Award nominations have been released to the public in late January. The voting process of nominators requires about 6,000 members from the professional honorary organization, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. These members are privately invited to join by the Board of Governors. Additionally, AMPAS has strict rules for nominators. Rules include: the movie must be at least 40 minutes in length and it must exist either on a 35mm or 70mm film print.
2012 Oscar Awards
The 84th Academy Awards was aired live on Sunday, February 25th at 4pm (PST) and 7pm (EST), at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, and was televised live in the United States on ABC. It was hosted by Billy Crystal, his ninth time serving as host. For a full list of nominations, make sure to visit www.oscar.com. Tune in on Sunday to watch the annual Academy Awards!