The Oscars, what lies beneath!

By Sergio González | 12:06

Welcome to Hollywood!

24th of February 2013, the chosen day for annual Oscar’s gala, is right around the corner. The little golden figures are being polished and the bespoke red carpet is almost ready but all that glitters is not gold; not even in glamorous Hollywood.

Hollywood was founded as late as 1857 over a family ranch named so and it wouldn’t become part of Los Angeles until the first decade of 20th century, as Hollywood was desperately looking to improve its water supply.

Around the same time, filmmakers started moving from New York and New Jersey to sunny California, as days are longer and brighter. Electric lights already existed at that time but it wasn’t powerful enough for filming so the studios changed their location reshaping Hollywood forever.

However, rumor points out another reason for this flee. Thomas A. Edison held the patents for almost everything related to the film industry and independent filmmakers were often sued by The Wizard of Menlo Park. In Hollywood, filmmakers could escape royalties and runaway to Mexico if Edison’s agents were after them

We all have heard at some point that relationships between films stars and the studios they worked for weren’t always the best. Nowadays, start-system actors are considered a treasure to fuss over but it wasn’t so at the beginning of Hollywood film industry. The Academy Awards, aka the Oscars, were Mayer’s idea (from Metro-Goldwyn Mayer) to act as a go-between actors and producers. On May 16th 1929 a brunch for less than 300 guests took place in Blossom Room at Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

As for the most famous sign in the world, we should know that it’s incomplete; Hollywoodland’ was the original pray in 1923. It was a real state agency idea to promote Hollywood hills and as soon as they sold out every condo and apartment, they forgot about it, letting the sign to wear out. In 1949, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce offered to restore it and drop the ‘land’ part, polishing the sign we all know nowadays.

And what about Hollywood Stark Walk? Well, this is another Hollywood oddness, followed by lots of controversy due to the way stars are granted.

The Walk of Fame came to life in 1957 but to avoid starting with too many blank stars (nowadays, there are around 500 ones waiting to be carved) they traced entertainment business history back to 1912. Posthumous stars are still granted but under the accomplishment of a five-year time considered since the passing away.

Any fan can nominate his or her favorite artist for any of the five categories included: films, TV, radio, live performances and music, but the star-to-be must meet some requisites to be taken under consideration. They must have been in the business for more than 5 years and they also have to agree to be nominated and pay the 25,000$ fee, which doesn’t happen as usually as you might think. For instance, no matter how hard you try, you won’t find any star honoring Julia Roberts, George Clooney or Woody Allen, but there is one for Victoria Secret’s Angels. Anyway, if you want to peek a little bit, take Los Angeles Times virtual tour.

Scarlett Johansson, Walk of Fame

Scarlett Johansson got her Walk Fame star in May 2012

Hollywood is a fierce and competitive land where mistakes are neither forgiven nor forgotten. You‘re contending not only for a role in a film but for the whole world’s attention. If Oscars honor the best in filming industry, Razzies dig into the very worst of every film season.

Just one day before the Oscars, the Golden Raspberries Awards gala (named after ‘blowing a raspberry’ gesture) takes place, honoring the same categories, but for the worst performances. It started in the early 80’s as a home fun contest but nowadays it tries to imitate the most glamorous film gala, but in the tackiest way possible. Obviously, most laureates don’t come to get the prizes though some actually do, like Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck. Needless to say is Affleck’s huge success as Argo’s director and Bullock herself, she accepted her Razzie in 2010; the following night she won the Best Actress Oscar. 

Photo credit: bdearth

Photo credit: mbtrama


Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *