06 March, 2010

Origin of the Oscar statuette

After the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 1927 was formed one of the most important decisions that was made by them was picking a trophy that symbolized an outstanding moviemaking achievement. The drawn concept of a knight standing on a film reel gripping a crusader's sword was pitched by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons and, in turn, Los Angeles based sculptor George Stanley created actual 3D statue as the world knows it now. Officially the statue is named the Academy Award® of Merit but it's commonly know it by its nickname, Oscar. The nickname is commonly credited to one of the Academy employees who remarked that the knight resembled her uncle Oscar. And so the name was unofficially used until 1934 when the press started referring to it as such. 
Oscar aka Academy Award® of Merit Facts 
Height: 13.5" or 34.5 cm
Weight: 8.5 lbs or 3.9 kilos
Plated with 24-karat gold
Manufacturing Time: 3-4 weeks for 50 trophies
Oscar went through few "body" changes. Original statues were made of gold-plated solid bronze, then alloy and nickel silver and finally 24-karat gold. During the war they were made out of painted plaster and after redeemed for gold-plated ones. 
Since every year there are new achievement categories are being added and the number of recipients sharing the prize is not know until the envelope opening extra statues are being made by Chicago's R.S. Owens and Company. Any surplus awards will be stored in the Academy's vault until next year's ceremony. 
You've come a long way Oscar...

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