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Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Oscars

The Academy Awards are an interesting concept.

It’s not unusual for participants in an individual industry to receive awards for outstanding work in their respective fields. Web Watch is no stranger to this, having received a few well-deserved (if we do say so ourselves) awards ourselves over the years.

But the Academy Awards – the Oscars  – and its brethren the Emmys, Tonys, and to a lesser extent the Grammys – that EGOT quad-award — are as unique an award presentation as any.

Not because there is such a thing as recognition of an acting job done better than others, but it’s the sheer over-the-top spectacle of a single industry celebrating the “art of making movies” (or TV shows, or Broadway productions, or music) where they believe that the entire world wants to see them present each other with awards for being able to cry convincingly on camera under a set of hot lights.

80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards
80 Years of the Oscar:
The Official History of the Academy Awards

Middle America may love watching movies and TV shows, but sometimes the over-the-top production of “here’s your acting award” being the highlight of an award ceremony really leaves out the huge amount of work and effort that goes on behind the scenes to make that acting work.  Movies are more than just an actor in front of a camera, the director, the producer.

And yet, we seldom hear thank you’s for the “amazing crew” or “Bob, in catering”. While the celebrities who receive their nominations and awards are highly likely to thank individuals in person during a production, the award ceremonies make it look like the movies “made themselves”.

How does Web Watch know all this about who was thanked and who wasn’t?

It’s all compiled into easy-to-read chunks over at THANK THE ACADEMY, a project being run by Rebecca Rolfe and three Georgia Tech professors to really dig into the details of what individual winners said in their speeches.

Harvey Weinstein is the most thanked person.  Glad to know.  What about the crew?

  • 31% of Best Actors, 36% of Supporting Actors thanked the crew in their acceptance speeches
  • 56% of Best Actresses, 31% of Supporting Actresses did
  • And just 55% of directors bothered to thank the film crew that they had worked with.  They do say that winning filmes don’t direct themselves… but winning films also need a crew.

As for speeches? You’re better off winging it (or at least memorizing what you have to say). Speeches from recipients who have to look at their notes run almost 40 seconds longer than the more professional versions.

There’s a ton of other interesting breakdowns over on the site.  With it being awards season right now, it might be worthwhile to pop over and take a look at what else you can cull from that data.