In honor of tonight’s 85th Annual Academy Awards, here’s a reprise of a post that looks at how the coveted statuette is actually made, from start to finish.
How The Oscar Statuette Is Made
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:
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 2011: 2,809 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.
The 85th Oscars airs tonight at 7pm Eastern time and 4pm Pacific time