ABOUT THE ACCOLADE
The Academy Awards are the longest running award ceremony in the history of Hollywood. Actors, directors and writers compete for the top prize - the golden statuette also known as an Oscar. Every January, critics come together to choose the best productions from the previous year and rate the performance of the people who stand in front of or behind the silver screen.Once the nominations are announced, the only thing left is the final vote that will determine the winners in each of the 24 categories. Afterwards, the winners become clear at the glamorous ceremony in February. Getting nominated means a lot to them but there’s nothing like claiming the grand prize. Therefore, on the night of the Oscars, the nominees walk the red carpet with the hope to hear their name as the recipient of the award.
Over the years, many have earned the golden trophy and some of them have set memorable records. According to the rules, the best movies can be nominated in several categories, which is why they can win numerous awards. That way everybody who took part in one production gets a chance to claim an Academy Award. Although a single picture is allowed to appear only once at the ceremony, that doesn’t apply to the people. The best workers get to compete for the prize over and over again. In order to pay our respect to both nominees and winners, we have prepared the following article. Read about the records held by the staff of the film industry, as they describe the most interesting achievements in regards to the Oscars. If you like the content, check the other Academy Award accolades listed on out blog
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PRODUCING A FILM
This Oscar points out that no picture can reach the silver screen without a production team. Just like every form of creative work, the good selection is the basis of the movie making process. That is why it is the duty of the producers to find the best components (including the screenplay, the cast and the camera crew) and pay to every individual who takes part in the picture. Afterwards the director takes control over the filming process and the studio monitors the development. Once everything is complete, the producers organize the distribution of the final product and collect the income. In the end, the studio in charge of the movie takes responsibility for its failure or success, so the production team receives the Best Picture Award.
Since 1929, over 560 films have competed for the Oscar but the winners, including this year’s, are only 92 - less than one sixth. With his 10 nominations, Steven Spielberg is the most nominated producer for the accolade. The movie "Schindler’s List" (1994) earned him his only Oscar for Best Picture.
The most wins in the category belong to Saul Zaentz and Sam Spiegel. Each of them has earned the grand prize on three occasions. Sam Spiegel did it thanks to the movies "On the Waterfront" (1954), "The Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957) and "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), while Saul Zaentz produced "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), "Amadeus" (1984) and "The English Patient" (1996).
Aside from the individuals, the companies they represent must be mentioned too. The production studio holding the record for most nominations for the Award is 20th Century Fox, winning on nine out of sixty occasions. Columbia Pictures is a 56 times nominee and with its 12 accolades has more wins than any other company in the category. Walt Disney Pictures on the other hand has thirteen nominations - the most without winning the Oscar.
LEADING ACTOR & ACTRESS
The Academy Awards for a leading role stands for excellent acting skills. After all, in most cases the sole performance of the main character defies the whole movie. Getting a leading role in a film is a great opportunity for a talent to shine, so there is no room for mistakes in the quest for the top prize. The responsibilities are many and the experience can be stressful but it does have its benefits. By winning an Oscar, rookies make a name for him/herself, while veterans solidify their career in the film industry. To achieve that, they just need to focus on the quality of their acting - the better they perform, the more nominations and awards await them. Several people were quite successful in proving that on their own.
Each of the following two actors has earned a record setting 9 nominations for a leading role. First to do so was Spencer Tracy. He is also the first person to win the award in two consecutive years for starring in "Captain Courageous" (1937) and "Boys Town" (1938). Laurence Olivier won the Oscar only one time for "Hamlet" (1948). Since he was also the producer of the film, he became the first non American to win the Best Picture Award. The person with most Awards for Leading Actor is Daniel Day-Lewis. He earned three accolades for starring in "My Left Foot" (1989), "There Will Be Blood" (2007) and "Lincoln" (2012).
As a Leading Actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated 17 times - more than any of her colleagues. Yet, her only Oscars are for "Sophie’s Choice" (1982) and "The Iron Lady" (2011). In addition, she has four nominations for supporting roles. Last but not least, Katharine Hepburn holds the most Awards for Leading Actress thanks to her appearances in "Morning Glory" (1933), "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967), "The Lion in Winter" (1968) and "On Golden Pond" (1981).
BEING A DIRECTOR
Filming is the most important part of making a picture. Arranging the components and applying the right techniques to bring the movie to life is what makes directing an Oscar worthy achievement. When making arrangements the director has to use the full potential of the material base provided by the producers. If he doesn’t find the perfect balance between the components, they won’t work well together. The technical job is about retaking shots, fixing the flaws, rearranging scenes, cutting out unnecessary details and assembling the picture. Therefore the Academy Award for Directing evaluates the craft behind the construction of the final product. On 65 occasions, the film who took the accolade was also the Best Picture.
John Ford has won the Academy Award for Directing a record 4 times because of the movies "The Informer" (1935), "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), "How Green Was my Valley" (1941) and "The Quiet Man" (1952). In comparison, William Wyler has the most Nominations. Out of the twelve nominated films, the three that won the Oscar were "Ben-Hur" (1959), "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946) and "Mrs. Miniver" (1942).
Only two directing teams have won the Award for Best Director. The first to do so are Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, while the second are the Coen Brothers. The winning films are "West Side Story" (1961) and "No Country for Old Men" (2007) respectively. In regards to female directors, Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to win the award by filming "The Hurt Locker" (2009).
WRITING A SCREENPLAY
The key to winning an Oscar for script writing is literacy and erudition. The writers deserve recognition for their work, because coming up with a good story is the basis of every movie. The plot has to get the attention of the audience members from the start and keep them entertained until the end. The public won't pay attention to a plain story without any sense. At the same time the writers have to invent the lines of the characters. As good as the plot may be, the bad dialogue can ruin it. What we want to say is that the award for Best Original Screenplay recognizes the creativity and intelligence of the writer.
With his 16 nominations Woody Allen has been a contender for the accolade more times than anybody else. He also has the most wins thanks to the films "Annie Hall" (1977), "Hannah and her Sisters" (1986) and "Midnight in Paris" (2011) - the first one of these three was even awarded the Oscar for Best Picture. However, this year Quentin Tarantino might even up the record if he wins another award in the category.
In addition to original work, the Academy presents an Oscar for adaptations too. Although making a movie based on a book sounds like an easy job for the writer, it takes time to convert the given text into a script. Many parts of the original material have to be rewritten and sometimes the plot has to be extended.
Billy Wilder holds the most nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay with seven. He got one Oscar for adapting "The Lost Weekend " (1946) as well two more for his original scripts in "Sunset Boulevard" (1951) and "The Apartment" (1961). An interesting fact is that "Shrek" (2001), winner of the first Oscar for Best Animated Feature, is the first animation to be nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Award.
HAVING MULTIPLE WINS
The greatest achievement for a picture is not winning the most Oscars but the BIG FIVE. This is a sign of excellence earned by the film that managed to please the critics in each of the most important categories. The five accolades at the Academy Awards that stand above all others are the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Director.The performance of the main actors, the entertaining plot, the filming technique and the significance of the movie are the five elements a producer must take into concern to create a masterpiece.
Since the criteria is high, winning the Big Five is almost impossible. Many movies have been nominated in each of the categories but only three features in the history of cinema have managed to make the achievement. These are "It Happened One Night" (1934), "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) and "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991). The four pictures that came only one award short from winning the feature are "Gone with the Wind" (1939), "Mrs. Miniver" (1942), "Annie Hall" (1977) and "American Beauty" (1999).
Just like a movie can be nominated in several categories, one individual can also be a contender for several awards. Some people have more than one talent and like to develop themselves in more departments of the film industry. That gives them a chance to win several Oscars for different achievements. In Hollywood one individual can be not only a director, a writer, a producer or an actor in the same picture. Yet, there are other categories that give such an opportunity too.
The record for most nominations in the history of the Oscars is 59. It is held by the late Walt Disney who has also won 22 Academy Awards - more than any other person. All of his accolades are in the categories Best Documentary - both Short and Feature, Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short. The third achievement made by Disney is being the person with most awards won in a single year. In 1954 he received four awards, one in each of the mentioned categories.