How An Oscar Statuette Is Made & Other Facts About The Academy Award
In honor of tonight's 82nd Annual Academy Awards, here's a look at how the coveted statuette is actually made, from start to finish.
The exterior of R.S. Owens in Chicago:
Casting, Buffing and polishing:
The metal is heated to 960 degrees before pouring into the cast.
The Oscar, removed from the cast, and ready to be polished and buffed:
The rough seams are sanded:
And the statue is polished:
being dipped into the nickel (the second step, it's first dipped into copper):
Dipped into the 24k plate, the fourth step (the third step is dipped into silver):
Engraving and Mounting:
Affixing the engraved plate to the base:
a close up look at base:
Placing the felt pad on the base:
Oscar Fun Facts:
• The official name of the statuette is the Academy Award® of Merit
• Oscar is 13½ inches tall and weighs 8½ pounds
• The First Recipient was Emil Jannings, named Best Actor for his performances in “The Last Command” and “The Way of All Flesh” in 1929
• Number of Awards Presented to date as of 2010: 2,701 statuettes
• It was designed by Cedric Gibbons, chief art director at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and sculpted by Los Angeles artist George Stanley.
• The Oscar statuette depicts a knight holding a crusader's sword, standing on a reel of film. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy (actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers.)
• How Oscar received his nickname is not exactly clear.
The most popular story is that Margaret Herrick, an Academy librarian and eventual executive director, remarked that the statuette resembled her Uncle Oscar, and the Academy staff began to refer to it as Oscar. Although the nickname was used with increasing frequency during the late 1930s, the Academy didn't officially use the name Oscar until 1939.
• The Oscar statuette hasn't been altered since his molten birth, except when the design of the pedestal was made taller in 1945.
Official Oscar site.
images and info courtesy of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences