This is a perennial story which never fails to thrill us. Two years ago, we noted that PricewaterhouseCoopers PwC USA managed the balloting process for the upcoming Oscars for the 75th year in a row, a worthy diamond jubilee celebration.
And now for the 77th year, the firm will be tabulating final ballots for 83rd Academy Awards®, continuing a tradition of guarding hollywood’s best kept secrets
The client – the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy) has had to be ultra satisfied with PwC’s work, note some key facts:
450,000+ number of ballots counted by PwC in 77 years on the job.
2,575 number of winners’ envelopes stuffed since the envelope system was introduced in 1941.
1,700 “person-hours” it takes the PwC team every year to count and verify the ballots by hand.
77 number of years PwC has conducted the Oscar® balloting.
24 number of awards categories to be tabulated for the 83rd Academy Awards
7 days it takes to count the ballots for nominations.
3 days it takes to count the final ballots.
Final ballots were mailed recently to 5,755 voting members of the Academy on Monday, December 27, 2010 and are due in on 5pm Tuesday, February 22, 2011. And the results will not be known until the 83rd Academy Awards live telecast on ABC at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) on Sunday, February 27, 2011.
PwC’s partners Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas, will be the only two people to know the identities of the Oscar winners before they are revealed to everyone else. Winner’s identities are completely confidential; and in 77 years, PwC has continued to keep Hollywood’s best kept secrets without a single security breach.
Oltmanns and Rosas manage a secretive set of PwC accountants who work on the project at a secret location, where the PwC team hand counts every single ballot to ensure the highest level of accuracy, objectivity and confidentiality.
To ensure the utmost secrecy and security, PwC prepares two briefcases with a complete set of envelopes bearing the Oscar winners’ names. Both briefcases are then transported to the ceremony via separate, secret routes with each of the PwC balloting leaders. As a second precautionary measure, the PwC balloting leaders also memorize the names of the award winners. At the show, Oltmanns and Rosas remain backstage and hand each envelope to award presenters before they walk onstage.
And as the famous saying, “And the envelope please…..” is read out, the only two folks who know the answer will remain tight-lipped until it is revealed to the entire world at that time!