Tonight, millions of people will be celebrating the biggest movie event of the year…The Academy Awards.
As a Clay Aiken fan, I wish that Clay was going to be there, singing one of the nominated songs. I do believe that within the next few years, that wish will come true. No one can sing a song better than Clay Aiken. I hope that Clay goes home with one of those beautiful statues within the next few years.
Speaking of the golden statuette, his given name is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science Award of Merit, but most people know him by his nickname, “Oscar”. Legend has it that the Academy film librarian, Margaret Herrick, commented back in 1928 that the gold statuette looked just like her Uncle Oscar. The statue’s catchy nickname has prevailed, and almost everyone uses that name.
The statues were first awarded in 1929. Since that time, 2,701 Oscars have gone home with actors, directors, writers, producers, and the technical personnel that have made their mark on the world of film. First time winners often comment when first handed their statue how heavy it is. It is eight and a half pounds of solid metal and makes for a handful. The statues are just over a foot tall, and are currently molded from an alloy called Britannia metal, which is made of tin, copper, and antimony. Britannium is also used in the manufacture of kitchen cutlery and trophies, such as the Americas Cup.
Over the base material, Oscar is plated first with copper, then nickel silver, and finally, twenty-four carat gold. The first Oscars used bronze, but the material was quickly abandoned for the lighter and cheaper tin alloy. During World War II, when metals were in short supply for the war effort, winners received a plaster statue. Once the war was over, these were exchanged for the real thing.
Oscar has not changed his look since 1945. The standing male figure holds a downward pointing sword in front of him, to signify a knight. He stands on a base which is a reel of film. The current figure was sculpted by Los Angeles artist George Stanley. R.S. Owens & Company in Chicago has manufactured Oscars since 1982.
According to a Bloomberg News report, it costs about five hundred dollars to make an Oscar statuette.
According to Wikipedia:
Since 1950, the statuettes have been legally encumbered by the requirement that neither winners nor their heirs may sell the statuettes without first offering to sell them back to the Academy for US$1. If a winner refuses to agree to this stipulation, then the Academy keeps the statuette. Academy Awards not protected by this agreement have been sold in public auctions and private deals for six-figure sums.
The highest price paid for an Oscar at auction was the $1.54 million dollar winning bid by the late Michael Jackson for David O. Selznick’s Best Picture Award. Selznick originally won the award in 1939 for producing Gone With The Wind.
Have fun watching the Academy Awards tonight and lets all hope we see Clay there soon, singing and accepting his Golden Statuette.
In the meantime, watch this wonderful video of Clay sing Proud of Your Boy.