The clock is ticking.
On Sunday, March 7, 2010, ABC will televise the 82nd annual Academy Awards from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, beginning at 5 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. ET with hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.
If you find yourself away from your television set and still want to catch the live experience of Hollywood's big night, don't stress, there's plenty of available options to you online. This is the age of the Internet, after all; when all things are possible as long as you have access to a computer or a smart phone.
At Oscar.com , for instance, the official site for the 82nd Academy Awards, users will be provided with an interactive Red Carpet experience through ``Facebook Connect'', beginning Sunday from 3:00 to 5:00 pm PT, an online event which will be hosted by Lisa Guerrero and Brett Chukerman, along with "Modern Family" star Rico Rodriguez ('Manny'), who will be reporting live from the Red Carpet Bleachers waiting anxiously for the arrivals and the crowds' reactions.
In addition to watching stars parade down the Red Carpet, users will be able to read what other viewers are saying about the event through a Facebook's Connect application, while sharing their comments with other Facebook members.
And during the Sunday night ceremony, those logging on to Oscars.com will be able to view exclusive footage of backstage coverage of the night's events from the "Backstage Cam," capturing behind-the-scenes action; a "Thank You Cam'' which allows Oscar winners an opportunity to thank their supporters immediately after they've left the stage; along with the "Press Room Cam," featuring winners in the press area after they leave the stage.
As usual, the New York Times has rolled out a banquet of online coverage for viewers to feast on.
For beginners, The Carperbagger, Melena Ryzik is out in LA, and will be blogging throughout the weekend; as will A.O. Scott and others; and just on Friday, The Times launched an impressive interactive graphic that shows users all the major winners stretching back to 1975.
For those who like to compete, The Times has posted an interactive ``Oscar Ballot'' , that let's viewers see how they're doing with their picks compared with other Times' users.
The Times also will be featuring their robust Twitter module in which staffers like David Carr, Dave Itzkoff, Ryzik, Scott and others will providing up to the minute updates, comments, and observations.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Times has raised the curtain on a new celebrity blog, "Ministry of Gossip'' in which a group of bloggers provide users with the latest from the Red Carpet, inside tips during the ceremony; and slices of gossip from the Oscar parties.
The Times additionally unveiled a new film blog ``24 Frames'', which features the latest Hollywood news, videos from staffers, Oscar predictions and a ton of other informative tidbits.
The Times has assembled a striking blog `Gold Derby'' in gathering links to some of the best Oscar reporting from not only the Times but from other national publications as well. Viewers will also want to pop in on Pete Hammond's ``Daily Dose of Awards'' for the latest Oscar buzz.
The Washington Post will be feeding readers with Red Carpet updates and chime in about things as they happen on their Celebritolgy blog
And for those who only watch the Oscars to see which designers the celebrities chose, both The Washington Post and L.A. Times will be featuring fashion galleries on Sunday night.
While Hulu.com won't be providing live streaming, they do have a collection on of ``Oscar Picks'' on their homepage; and on Monday they will feature Barbara Walters Oscar special, including Red Carpet footage provided by E! and TV Guide as it comes in. A small collection of short clips will be streamed live on Hulu as early as Sunday night; with the longer versions available on Monday.
E! Online have a fun new gallery, Real Men Take (Red Carpet) Risks; and a Prediction Quiz, which allows the user to find out if they're a Box Office Brainiac, Red Carpet Rebel or a Total Indie Nut . And beginning Sunday, E! Online will begin posting their TwitPics.
Finally, the popular entertainment blog, Gawker will be blogging away beginning on Friday night.
If you're miffed I missed pointing out any other major Oscar night blogs, write your Congressman or Congresswoman; I did my best.
Enjoy the show!
- Douglas Fairbanks Sr. served as host when the first annual Academy Awards was held at the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929.
The winners had been announced three months prior to this black-tie awards ceremony, where approximately 300 guests were in attendance.
- In the 3rd year of the Academy Awards (November 5, 1930), a new selection criterion for selecting nominees had been established: winners would now be chosen by the full members of the Academy, numbering over 400, instead of a handful of judges. This policy would continue until 1936
- Song and Film Editing were introduced as new categories beginning with the 7th annual Academy Awards (February 27, 1935).
- Cinematographer Hal Mohr became the only write-in Academy Award winner during the 8th year of the awards (March 5, 1936). Write-ins on the ballot were discontinued the following year.
- Best supporting actors were recognized for the first time during the 9th annual Academy Awards (March 4, 1937) --but the awards came in the form of plaques, not full-sized statues. The first winners were Walter Brennan in Come and Get It and Gale Sondergaard in Anthony Adverse. Full-sized statues for supporting roles would not be handed out until 1943.
- Beginning with the 13th annual Academy Awards (February 27, 1941), the winners were not made known to anyone in advance, except a select few from the certified public accounting firm of Price Waterhouse & Co, until the envelopes were unsealed on the night of the awards. Thus, the Oscar tradition: ``The envelope please!'' came into being.
- During the 13th annual Academy Awards presentation (February 27, 1941), FDR addressed the Academy through a piped in radio address that lasted 6 minutes, making him the first U.S. president to address the academy.
NOTE: In order to give the Republicans equal time, Wendell L. Wilkie, the Republican nominee during the 1940 presidential election, was the principal speaker at the Academy Awards the following year.
- On March 13, 1947, for the first time in the Academy's history, the general public was allowed to buy tickets and attend the awards ceremony, which was held at the Shrine Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles.
- During the Academy's 25th Anniversary show (March 19, 1953), the awards were broadcast on television for the first time.
- Sophia Loren earned an industry milestone during the 34th annual Academy Awards (April 9, 1962), when she became the first Hollywood actress to win an Oscar in the best actress category for a non-English speaking film, for her role in the Italian film (Two Women).
- Make-up artists were recognized in a new category beginning with the 54th annual Academy Awards (March 29, 1982). The first film honored in that category was An American Werewolf in London.
- April 9, 1962: During the 34th annual Academy Award ceremony, Stan Berman, a notorious gatecrasher, managed to slip past 125 police guards and presented MC Bob Hope with a hand-made Oscar.
- March 27, 1973: During the 45th annual Academy Awards, a shocked worldwide television watched as an Indian woman: Sachen Little-Feather (later identified as actress Maria Cruz) stepped to the podium and informed the audience that Marlon Brando, whose name had just been announced as best actor for his role playing Don Vito Corleone in the Godfather, was turning down the award due to the film industry's distorted depiction of American Indians.
- April 2, 1974: During the 46th annual Academy Awards, Ropert Opal, 33, came on stage directly behind presenter David Niven and dashed naked across the stage in front of an astonished auditorium and live television audience. As if on cue, Niven shot back in what is considered to be one of the best ad libs in Academy history, when he replied: ``Isn't it fascinating, to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off his clothes and showing his shortcomings.''
NOTE: Opal was found murdered five years later in a paraphernalia sex shop in San Francisco.
Crimes and Misdemeanors
- When Zbigniew Rybczynski won an Oscar during the 55th annual Academy Awards (April 11, 1983) for an animated Short Film (Tango), he became the first Oscar winner to spend time in jail the night of the Oscars. Rybczynski got into a fight with security guards after he tried to re-enter the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion after stepping out for a cigarette break. He was arrested and sent to jail. It was a brief stay. Once he was identified, charges were dropped.
- The 60th annual Academy Awards (April 11, 1988), made history for having a nominee on the ballot, who was actively being sought by police for grand theft involving an extensive collection of library books. Gustav Hasford, who was nominated but didn't win in the screenplay division for Full Metal Jacket, was either a no-show or he didn't make his presence known.
- On March 20, 2000, two employees of the Roadway Express Co., in Bell Ca., Anthony Keith Hart and Edward Ledent, both 38, were arrested for stealing 55 Oscar statutes. Willie Fulgear, a junk salvager, eventually found 52 of those statutes as he sifted through a garbage bin in L.A.'s Koreatown.
Other Oscar Records:
- Wings is the only silent film to win an Academy Award (1927-1928).
- Cimarron (1930-1) was the only western ever to win best picture.
- It Happened One Night became the first comedy to win best picture; and additionally became the first motion picture to sweep all 5 major awards.
- Gone with the Wind (1939) was the first motion picture in color to win an Oscar.
- Haitti McDaniel became the first African American to win an Oscar (Gone With The Wind, 1939); and Rita Moreno, the first Latina to win an Oscar (West Side Story. 1961).
- The only person to actually go home with an Oscar for playing a character who lost at the Academy Awards was Maggie Smith for California Suite (1978.)
- Ben Hur (1959) became the only remake to win Best Picture.
- The Apartment (1960) was the last black and white film to win an Oscar.
Note: Schindler's List (1993), another Oscar recipient, was partially shot in black and white
Who makes the Oscar?
R.S. Owens Co. of Chicago
Dodge Tropy Co., in Carson Calif., about 20 miles from Hollywood, originally began manufacturing the statutes in 1931 until it closed its operations in 1984.
How big is the statue?
13 and one half inches tall; it weighs 8 pounds and one half pounds
What is it made of?
The exterior is gold plated.: 92.5 percent tin and 7.5 percent copper
What happened to the statutes George C. Scott and Marlon Brando refused?
In reality, their names were never engraved. They were immediately returned and put back in stock.
Are the statues copyrighted?
Yes. As of September 2, 1941, when the statute officially became copyrighted, Oscar winners were prohibited from selling their statute without first offering it back to the Academy for $10.00.
Also, since 1949, the statutes were issued a number, which started with the number 501.
Source: ``70 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards'' By Robert Osborne
Follow Bill Lucey on Twitter: