Oscars: Inside the Workshop That Makes the Statuettes (Video)
Chicago's R.S. Owens & Co. workshop has produced the prize since 1982.
Oscar may end up in Hollywood, but he is a Chicago man at heart.
For its Oscars issue, The Hollywood Reporter goes inside Chicago's R.S. Owens & Co. workshop, where the coveted golden statuette is painstakingly made. The company has been responsible for making the statuettes since 1982.
"As soon as I tell someone what I'm doing, [they say] 'Oh yeah, we know that,' and 'Can we have one?' " says one employee.
The video above shows how Oscar begins as a mold, is polished and deburred, is then plated in copper, nickel, fine silver and 24-karat gold, and polished some more. Employees add a serial number on the rim of the film reel at the figure's feet, and then attach the statuette to its base, which is plated in black nickel. Oscar is then put in a black bag and a Styrofoam case for shipping to the Academy.
For more on the making of Oscar, check out behind-the-scenes photos of how Hollywood's favorite leading man goes from pewter to gold in three weeks every January, plus five things you didn't know about the statuettes.