Let's Meet Oscar's Parents

Have you ever wondered just what actually is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and how you can become a member? Well, here's a brief nuts-and-bolts guide to the 71-year-old organization:

Purpose: The academy is a professional organization of more than 6,000 motion picture professionals. It was founded to "advance the arts and sciences of motion pictures; foster cooperation among creative leaders for cultural, educational and technological progress; recognize outstanding achievements; cooperate on technical research and improvement of methods of equipment; provide a common forum and meeting ground for various branches and crafts; represent the viewpoint of actual creators of the motion picture; and foster educational activities between the professional community and the public-at-large."

Organized: May 1927. The academy's 36 original members consisted of production executives and well-known film luminaries.

First president: Douglas Fairbanks.

Current president: Robert Rehme.

Headquarters: 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. Opened in 1975.

Membership: By invitation of the Board of Governors and limited to those who have achieved distinction in the arts and sciences of motion pictures. Those members represent the 13 branches--actors, art directors, cinematographers, directors, executives, film editors, music, producers, public relations, short films and feature animations, sound, visual effects and writers.

The board can also invite to membership members-at-large who are people involved in theatrical film production but whose craft has no separate branch. Members-at-large have all the privileges of the branch members but can't be represented on the board.

Associate members, also invited to join by the board, are closely allied to the industry but are not actually engaged in movie production. Associate members cannot vote for the Academy Awards.

Management: Executive Director Bruce Davis and his staff of 112 conduct the day-to-day business of the academy. Administrative activities are conducted under the supervision of an executive director appointed by the Board of Governors.

Financial support: Operating revenues come from membership dues, publication and program ticket sales, theater rentals and sale of the rights to telecast the Academy Awards.

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