And while most will hope there is no repeat of Gwyneth Paltrow’s tears and that Tom Hanks remains seated when the ‘Best Actor’ award is announced, two accountants at PwC will already know in advance who will receive a famous golden statue.
The balloting process will be headed by Greg Garrison, the managing partner at PwC’s Hollywood office, and Lisa Pierozzi from Century City, a partner with 17 years experience in the entertainment sector.
Garrison, who is on the ballot team for the sixth year, is particularly proud of his firm’s relationship with the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences and the intricate process involved in determining winners.
‘We are meticulous about ensuring the secrecy and accuracy of these important results,’ he says.
Garrison and Pierozzi will oversee a low-tech and labour-intensive process, little changed since PwC first began counting in 1924.
All votes will be counted in a secret location, with all ballots and voting materials kept under lock and key. Just before the ceremony takes place, Garrison and Pierozzi will each be handed a complete set of nominees, and will then place the winning nominee in the famous foil-covered, sealed envelopes, before being escorted to the Shrine Auditorium under armed guard, via separate, secret routes.
‘It is a thrill to safeguard the Academy Award winners – Hollywood’s biggest secret,’ says Pierozzi.
No doubt she will be looking forward to opportunity of handing over the envelopes to the rich and famous, safe in the knowledge, that she and Garrison are the only people on planet earth who know in advance who rules the roost in Tinseltown.
The 73rd Academy Awards take place on 25 March in Los Angeles.
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