The story behind the Golden Man

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2011, 16:07 PM IST

The Film fraternity across the globe dreams to win the Oscars. And it is a matter of great pride and honour indeed to be the owner of the coveted trophy.

What is equally interesting is to learn the history behind the trophy.

The concept behind the Academy Award of Merit or Oscar (as it is popularly called) was devised immediately after the setting up of the Academy in the year 1927. Cedric Gibbons, production company MGM’s chief art director wanted the figure to be nude. His then wife Dolores del Rio introduced him to Emilo ‘El Indio’ Fernandez, a famous Mexican filmmaker. After a lot of persuasion Emilo agreed to pose as a model for the trophy.

The trophy is 13.5 cm long, weighs 8.5 pounds and is made of gold-plated britannium. The figure portrays a knight carrying a sword and is mounted on a film reel with five spokes. Each of the spokes represents Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers and Technicians.

Gibbons made a lay out of the trophy by printing it on a scroll. George Stanley gave Gibbons’ idea a visual representation by sculpting a clay trophy and Sachin Smith cast it in tin and copper with a golden covering.

The first ever Oscar mould was made in 1928 at the CW Shumway & Sons Foundry in Batavia.

The story of the prestigious trophy is fascinating as it shows the intense passion of the creative brains behind “the most desired trophy”. And why not, at the end, the one who receives the ‘Golden Man’ knows what it feels like to own him.

Collated by: Gayatri Sankar