Academy Awards are the main national film awards in the United States of America. Known as the Oscars, the awards are now awarded by the Academy in Los Angeles, California, an organization which in 2002 included over 6,000 members, all professionals in various domains of the film, namely producers, directors, actors, image directors and many others.
Oscar statuette was designed by Cedric Gibbons and sculpted in Los Angeles by George Stanley. Each statuette is made of nickel alloy, silver plated 24-karat gold and is produced by the company RSOwens from Chicago. Its dimensions are 34.5 cm in height and 3.8 kg in weight. The statuette represents a knight with a sword, standing on a reel of film. On the roll of the film there are five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy: actors, playwrights, directors, producers and technicians.
It is not sure where the name of Oscar comes. The most widespread story is that Margaret Herrick, an Academy employee, and later executive director, noted that the statue looks very much alike with her uncle Oscar, thus the academy members began to call it this way. Whatever the true origin of the name is, it is clear that it was used in public for the first time by Walt Disney at the acceptance speech that year. Although journalists used the nickname of the statuette by 1930, it was the 1939 that the Academy officially used the name Oscar. Award ceremonies were held for the most times in Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Pantages Theatre, but the most famous place remains to be the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium.
By Maria Morari
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