The stage has been set for this
year’s 86th Annual Oscars, held on February 28th. This year’s nominees
will face steep competition to take home the gold they all have been
Some big questions of the year include: How will the new addition to
the Star Wars movies compare to past ones? How did Mad Max get ten
nominations? Is The Martian a comedy? and most importantly will Leo
finally win an Oscar?
While these questions won’t be answered until the 28th we do have
some answers for you if these are the questions you are asking: Where do
these screenwriters, actors, composers and producers come from? Is
there a secret training camp for Oscar nominees? Is there Oscar winners
in my midst?
Well here’s the answer folks- these
top ten schools have historically produced the most Oscar winners. Is
there gold in the drinking fountains?
The University of Southern California system clearly stands out as a
powerhouse from this research. With a total of 34 winners broken down
between the general campus programs and more specifically the USC School
of Cinematic Arts , USC takes the lead in most Oscar winners to walk
Not surprisingly New York University (NYU) ranks high overall in
Oscar winners. It is known for its star producing qualities with 25
Oscar winners having graced its hallowed halls. While many of these
schools making it on the top ten are commonly known for the stars they
produce, lesser known Colleges or Universities include the University of
Vienna, located in Austria and City College of New York.
Its a tight competition between the top three schools of NYU, UC
Berkeley and USC. Who knows what the 2016 awards will bring, only time
will tell who will stay on top.
Fingers crossed for all the nominees this year. We might even see a new university rise to the top!
Editorial Note: Here are University of California Oscar recipients:
Mark Berger, B.A. 1964 – recipient of four Academy Awards for sound mixing and adjunct professor at UC Berkeley.
Paul E. Debevec, Ph.D. 1996 – Associate Director of Graphics Research at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies, recipient of a Scientific and Technical Academy Award in 2010 for work used on the James Cameron film Avatar, the Sam Raimi film Spider-Man 2, and the Peter Jackson film King Kong.
Tony DeRose, Ph.D. 1985 – Senior Scientist and leader of the Research Group at Pixar Animation Studios, recipient of a Scientific and Technical Academy Award in 2006 for work on surface representations
Charles H. Ferguson, B.A. 1978 – recipient of an Academy Award for Best Documentary for Inside Job (2010), Academy Award nomination for the documentary film No End in Sight (2007), former fellow at the Brookings Institution, lifelong member of the Council on Foreign Relations, co-founder of Vermeer Technologies Incorporated (acquired by Microsoft for $133 million), founder and president of Representational Pictures
Edith Head, B.A. in French 1918 – costume designer, recipient of eight Academy Awards and nominated for 34 Academy Awards
Chris Innis, B.A. (film studies) – recipient of the Academy Award for Best Film Editing (for The Hurt Locker (2010))
Joe Letteri, B.A. 1981 – recipient of four Academy Awards for Best Visual Special Effects in films directed by James Cameron (Avatar) and Peter Jackson (King Kong, The Two Towers and The Return of the King).
Freida Lee Mock, B.A. 1961 – documentary filmmaker, recipient of the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1995 (for Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision)
Gregory Peck, B.A. 1942  – actor, recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actor for portrayal of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), nominated for the Oscar four other times; served as president of the Screen Actors Guild
Walter Plunkett, B.A. 1923 – costume designer, recipient of the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for the 1951 film An American in Paris starring Gene Kelly
Loren L. Ryder, BA (physics and math)1924 – audio sound engineer, recipient of six Academy Awards, nominated for another twelve more Academy Awards
Will Vinton, B.A. Architecture 1971 – pioneer of ClaymationŽ (clay animation), co-recipient of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1974 (Closed Mondays), namesake and founder of Will Vinton Studios (known for The California Raisins and the Domino's Pizza Noid), recipient of two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animation programs (A Claymation Christmas Celebration and A Claymation Easter )
Petro Vlahos, BS Eng 1941 – pioneer in traveling matte (blue-screen and green-screen) visual effects technology (used in films such as Ben-Hur, Mary Poppins, and the first Star Wars trilogy), recipient of five special Academy Awards and an Emmy Award
Michael Wilson, BA 1936 – screenwriter, recipient of two Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay ( for the 1951 film A Place in the Sun and the 1957 film The Bridge on the River Kwai); nominated for the Academy Award for three other films (for the 1953 film 5 Fingers, the 1956 Academy Award nominated film Friendly Persuasion, and the Academy Award winning 1962 Best Picture film Lawrence of Arabia); also co-screenwriter for the 1968 Academy Award winning film Planet of the Apes