It only takes about 13 seconds to make an Oscar. Make, not win.
And the 13 1/2 inch tall and 8 1/2 pound statuettes are made in Chicago. And just in case you wondered, they’re made of a gold-plated high-grade pewter alloy known as britannia. It only takes about 2 days to make the 50 or so Oscars that will be handed out tonight in Hollywood.
The place that’s been making the Oscar statuettes since 1983 is R.S. Owens & Company. The company was founded in 1938 by Owen Sigel and they now employ 175 employees and have a 82,000 square foot manufacturing facility. They also make the Emmy Awards, the MTV Music Video Awards, the NACAR Nextel Cup, and the AP College Football National Championship Trophy.
If any of the filmmakers of Slumdog Millionaire leave with any Oscars tonight it will be almost as odd as the protagonist in the story. The book that the movie is based on, Q & A, was written by 47-year-old Vikas Swarup who has a 22-year career as a civil servant. Today he is India’s deputy high commissioner to South Africa.
But tonight he will be in Hollywood for the Academy Awards, though he has no plans of being a full time writer. “Writing is a hobby, it’s not a career for me, I prefer the security of my day job.’ (Must be nice to write something on the side and have it be the birth of what would result in 10 Oscar nominations.)
Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who was nominated for an Oscar for his 1987 script The Full Monty was hired to write the script that became Slumdog Millionaire.
“You probably know it’s (Q&A) effectively a series of short stories some of which link up, some of which don’t, which you can’t really do in a film. You have to have a kind of narrative running like a train driving through a film, whereas Vikas’ book goes off into all sorts of different directions….I kept the central core, the central idea of a slum kid getting on the show, winning it, and getting arrested, and explaining his life’s story through the answers to the questions. So I kept that because that core is very good, but everything around it I had to reinvent. So it’s true if someone says the book’s not really like the movie, it’s kinda true because I had to invent a love story—I felt I had to override this game show narrative, ’cause I don’t think getting rich at the end of the film is nessecarily a great way to end a film.”
Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire)
Interview on The Angry Critics Corner
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