If you are a fan of the movies, you may be wondering about the process that’s involved in selecting the best actors that are awarded Oscars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Indeed, the manner in which the best actors and actresses are chosen for Oscars is a rather complicated process on some level. With that said, the nomination and election process for movies, actors, actresses and the like within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been in place for years. The process seems to work well although some recent complaints have been voiced in regard to the advertising campaigns that now surround the awards process following the announcement of nominees.
The first step in selection the best actors in movies as part of ultimate awarding of the Academy Awards or Oscars is the nomination process. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is made up of men and women who are professionals in fields related to the making and production of movies. A slate of nominators is appointed by the Academy to come up with the names of the actors and actresses who will be put before the enrolled members of the Academy as nominees for Academy Awards. The actors and actresses are nominated for their work in movies that were produced and that were presented in theaters during the preceding year. Needless to say, a nomination for an Academy Award is one of the highest honors that a person who works in the movies can receive at any time in their lives.
Following the nomination process, voting by select members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences occurs. The voting process employed by the Academy when it comes to rewards for movies is rather interesting and unique. For example, all of the actors who are enrolled members of the Academy vote on the slates of best actors and best supporting actors who have been nominated for Oscars for their roles in movies. Likewise, directors vote on the directors prize, screenwriters on the screenwriters prize and so forth. All members of the Academy are able to vote on those movies nominated for best picture.
Prior to the actual voting process, a very active promotional campaign takes part on behalf of the nominated actors from various movies. In recent years, significant advertising campaigns have been mounted in support of the different actors, actresses and other professionals involved in movies. Ads are taken out in the trade publications. Banquets are held promoting different movies. Thousands and thousands of dollars are spent promoting the nominated movies, the actors, the actresses and the nominees in a variety of other categories. Indeed, the campaigning for Oscars has become one of the most competitive ventures in all of Hollywood — even more competitive than the scrapping and clawing for roles in movies.
Once the voting deadline passes in regard to selecting the best actors in movies for the year, the ballots are tabulated by an independent accounting firm. As each vote is cast for the movies and professionals under consideration, the ballots are sent to an accounting firm that holds them in a secure location. The accounting firm tabulates the votes relating to the various movies in secret. For years, the accounting firm that handled these magical movie awards was the venerable agency of Price-Waterhouse. Not even the men and women who serve as officers of the Academy know who the winners are in advance of the award ceremony itself.
On the night of the televised awards, the winners from the various movies in the best actor, best actress and other categories are announced. Essentially no one knows who the various winners are prior to the announcement of the various awards during the award show presentations for the various movies, performances and the like.
In conclusion, and as an interesting aside, the Academy Award statuette was not always known as “Oscar.” In fact, it was screen legend Bette Davis who dubbed the Academy Award statuette “Oscar.” During an Academy Awards ceremony some years back Bette Davis remarked that the statuette looked exactly like her husband … who was named “Oscar.” Oscar stuck.