Going for Gold: Creating the Oscar statuettes

BySandy Kenyon via WABC logo
Saturday, March 3, 2018
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The Academy Awards are handed out in Hollywood, but the coveted statues are finished in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, New York -- And the Oscar goes to...

The Academy Awards are handed out in Hollywood, but the coveted statues are finished in Brooklyn at Epner Technology.

Anyone who is fortunate to hold one usually has the same reaction -- it's heavy and built to last. Each one costs about $1,000 to make, and that won't seem too costly when you hear the story behind the statue.

And when it comes to one of the world's most famous trophies, all that glitters is not solid gold. Oscars are made of bronze, and they are cleaned and coated with copper, nickel and then 24 carat gold that is so hard and so pure that it is used by NASA in outer space.

"Gold is soft. This gold is three times harder than normal 24-carat gold," Epner Technology president Dave Epner said. "This Oscar coating will take anything you can give it, and it will outlast your lifetime and mine."

The journey of the iconic trophy to the stage at the Dolby Theater begins at the Polich Tallix foundry in upstate New York, where the Oscars are cast. Before coming to Epner Technology, where a serious of tanks apply the various metals, Oscar takes a bath next to a top secret part for the Defense Department.

The factory gives new meaning to "Going for Gold." The company may have bigger contracts than this one, but none have quite as much prestige.

"We make a lot of statues all over the world," Polich Tallix's Dick Polich said. "None has the recognition factor and the testament of accomplishment than the Oscar...and everyone in the family stands a little straighter and walks a little taller."

The Oscars come with blank name plates, and the Academy offers the winners onsite engraving at the Governor's Ball after the show.

The 90th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, air on ABC on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST.