Millions of people around the World will watch the Oscars on Sunday, it is one of the World’s largest recognition events. It means a lot to people working in the Film Industry and a lot to their customers i.e. anyone who has seen a movie. As huge as it is now, as an event, it’s worth remembering it started with a single thought inside one person’s mind, sitting at a desk: “let’s recognize the achievements of the people working in our business”.
That person was Louis. B Mayer, the head of MGM at the time. The first awards were presented over a brunch at a local hotel, the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood. 270 people turned up and it cost $5 to attend. 15 statuettes were awarded, the names of the winners were announced 3 months prior to the event. Later they were announced in the Los Angeles Times and then via sealed envelopes at a live venue, since 2002 – the Kodak Theatre.
Since that first moment of recognition the Academy Awards has grown massively. Of course there are now huge financial and business benefits supporting this but at the heart of it’s success is that fragile and most human of thoughts “let’s recognize the achievements of the people working in our business”.
Of course we can analyze all of this rationally in correlation to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Or we can smile at the thought of Abraham Maslow being named, in 1967, the Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association. It must have felt good, as it will on Sunday for everyone involved in the 83rd Academy Awards.
Not only will it feel good, it will inspire the World.
Good thing Mr Mayer didn’t instead decide to polish his desk.
The 83rd Academy Awards: