Oscars ceremony backstage from extra audience members to six figure goodie bag

The 94th Academy Awards, or Oscars, take place in Hollywood tonight (March 28 2022).

Hosted by Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer, many of the world's biggest stars of the silver screen will be walking the red carpet as they prepare to find out who has won some of the film industry's most prestigious awards.

However, the ceremony takes a lot of organisation – and there are many rules in place for stars on the night that they need to adhere to, in order to keep the event running smoothly.

There are also lots of surprises (and sometimes expensive treats) in store for attendees too.

From 'no food' rules to six figure goodie bags, Daily Star takes a look at some of the backstage secrets of the Oscars ceremony.

Not all the voters watch the films

The short list for the Oscars is voted for by members of The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), with an average 9,500 eligible voters on average.

However, it has been noted in recent years that many voters do not watch all the films, which is estimated to total over 60 hours of viewing across all nominated titles.

In 2015, a poll by The Hollywood Reporter also found that six per cent of voters admitted they did not watch all the Best Picture nominees in that year.

This has sparked an outcry from some celebrities, with An Education and Promising Young Woman star Carey Mulligan telling Variety: "Maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to vote unless you can prove you’ve seen every single one. There should be a test."

Hours of preparation goes into one joke

TV presenter Jimmy Kimmel revealed that hours of preparation goes into the jokes and speeches by Oscar hosts every year.

The star, who has hosted the ceremony twice, revealed on his talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, that hours of work went into the short joke that he made where he offered to give a jet ski to the star who delivered the shortest speech.

He said: "Once we decided to do it, because it was technically a contest, the legal department had to come up with rules and guidelines for it.

"Do we start the timer when the winner's name is called so they have to rush to the stage? Well we couldn't do that because that would be unfair to the winners in the back and people wearing heels, people wearing tight dresses and you do not want to get in a legal dispute over a personal watercraft. That's how people get killed.

"We had a whole team of lawyers with stopwatches painstakingly timing each speech to make sure the Jet Ski got to the right person."

There's a 'no food' rule at the ceremony

One of the things that stars at the Oscars have been vocal about it is being hungry during the ceremony.

However, despite the ceremony lasting anything between two and four hours, the audience are not allowed to eat in the auditorium or bring snacks in with them.

That doesn't mean that the stars haven't tried to navigate their way around the 'no food' rule in the past though.

In 2014, host Ellen DeGeneres famously ordered pizza to the auditorium and handed out slices to hungry stars including Jared Leto.

Even the star's own families get involved, with 2018 host Jimmy Kimmel revealing on his talkshow Jimmy Kimmel Live, that his mum made cookies in the shape of Oscars ahead of the ceremony.

She then sneaked them into the ceremony in a tupperware box, and began handing them out to hungry stars in the audience.

Jimmy said: "While the Oscars show was going on, my mother is in the audience passing cookies around to various people, including Steven Spielberg.

"It really goes to show that even when you're 50 years old and hosting the Academy Awards, you can still be embarrassed by mummy."

The year before, Jimmy had also given audience members a lunch box full of food each, with a donation for each box also going towards a food bank in Los Angeles.

The Oscars hire 'extra' audience members

One of the other rules at the Oscars is that there should be no empty seats – except for when a star goes onstage to collect an award.

Celebrities are not even allowed to leave their seats except for during allocated breaks.

To ensure that every seat in the auditorium is full, members of the public can apply for a space at the event, but there are strict requirements.

These include filling out an application form and attaching a photo of the outfit you are going to wear on the night, but even if you are successful in gaining a place, there are strict rules for 'seat fillers.'

While at the ceremony, you are not allowed to talk to anyone except other 'seat fillers' and you don't get paid for the role – but it is a once in a lifetime experience, which makes up for it being unpaid.

There are usually around 300 extra audience members hired through this process, but not everything goes to plan.

When one seat filler did not get back to her seat on time in 1996, she explained to Refinary29 that she accidently sat on Robin William's feet, saying: "I had to drop, and I happened to drop on Robin Williams’ feet.

"Robin thought was the funniest thing he had ever seen."

Expensive goodie bags

While not every celebrity will walk away with an award on the night, they will walk away with a rather expensive goodie bag.

The six figure goodie bags include highly expensive items that the stars can take away with them, and are a nice consolation prize if they do not win on the night.

Previous goodie bags have included a ticket to a 12 day Antarctic cruise and a smart bra in 2020.

In other years, the goodie bag has included a romantic Spanish get away, loungewear, sneakers, an ancestry DNA kit and a trip on a Butler serviced yacht.

There's emergency awards envelopes

Although previous ceremonies have included some surprising moments (for instance, the famous #Envelopegate La La Land and Moonlight mix-up in 2017), the organisers take huge steps to make sure that everything goes alright on the night.

This includes having three envelopes for each award – including two emergency envelopes in case one is misplaced.

Two the envelopes are sent to the ceremony, while a third envelope is kept in a secret location, in order to protect the security of the winner on the night.

Winners have to wait for the awards at the 'Oscars bar'

While you may think that the stars keep hold of their awards once they have won, in truth, they have to hand them back briefly at the event to the 'Oscars bar'.

Prior to the event, the organisers engrave the name of every winner and category onto a gold plaque.

The winner's plaque is then added onto the statue at the 'Oscars bar', where it is fitted, polished and given back to the star – all within five minutes backstage.

The plaque fitters even have some lovely memories of the stars who have waited for their awards to be handed back to them, with plaque fitter Alex Yust telling The Guardian: "One of my most memorable encounters was with Colin Firth, who had won best actor for The King’s Speech.

"He took my arm in his and asked if he could take a picture of me with his phone while I attached his plaque. He was so gracious and polite."

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