LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - This year's Oscar winners won't have to put up with delayed gratification.
Breaking with tradition, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plans to attach the winners' engraved nameplates to their statuettes at the Governors Ball immediately after the ceremony, which will be broadcast live by ABC on March 7 from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
The Academy hands out unmarked Oscars to the winners onstage. In previous years, winners had to bring their trophies to the Academy so the personalized nameplates could be attached.
This year, R.S. Owens, the company that manufactures the Oscar statuettes, will create 197 nameplates in advance, factoring in all the potential winners. Each engraving will include name, category, film title and year.
At the ball, which takes place at the Hollywood & Highland Center next door to the Kodak Theater, the winners will be invited into a specially designed area, where technicians will affix the nameplates to each Oscar.
The unused nameplates will be recycled.
"An Oscar statuette just isn't complete until a nameplate is attached," Academy president Tom Sherak said. "The Governors Ball is the perfect place for Oscar winners to add that final touch as they celebrate their accomplishment and the year's movies."
Jeffrey Kurland, an Academy governor from the art directors' branch and an Oscar nominee for costume design for "Bullets Over Broadway," is chairing the ball, which attracts 1,500 guests.
In his first stint in that role, he will oversee decor, menu and entertainment planning and design attire for the evening's performers and selected staff.
Special events producer Cheryl Cecchetto will produce the event, for the 21st consecutive year, along with her Sequoia Prods. team.
For the 16th straight year, Wolfgang Puck will create the menu, working with fellow chefs Lee Hefter and Matt Bencivenga.
Diners are being promised "a new twist on a classic entree," signature dishes such as smoked salmon Oscars and garden spring vegetable salad, and pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted chocolate Oscars.