Oscars 2007: Behind-the-Scenes Preparations

Estimated number of global viewers … several 100 million.

Number of countries watching … 106.

Number of high-definition cameras at the telecast … 34.

Lights, camera … Oscars!

The 79th annual Academy Awards, set to air on ABC Sunday, Feb. 25, is a massive and expensive undertaking, with preparations that begin more than a year in advance.

The total cost of the Oscars is a whopping $30 million. The hefty price tag includes the balloting process, membership screenings, pre-Oscar events in Los Angeles and New York, production costs, the nomination announcements, the nominees' luncheon, the science and technology awards dinner, the governor's ball -- and the list goes on.

It's all in the details for the biggest night in Hollywood, and the conductor at the helm for the second time is accomplished producer Laura Ziskin. The woman calling the shots has produced such hits as "Spiderman," "As Good as It Gets" and "Pretty Woman."

Ziskin tells ABC News, "the theme is to really focus on the nominees -- 'The Road to the Oscars.' Who these people are and how they got there. We looked at a lot of Oscar shows from the past and decided we wanted to be glamorous and not high-tech -- more a throwback to old Hollywood, with beautiful fabrics and lighting and textures."

A more modern approach, though, was taken by Ziskin for the host of the show. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres will have the honor of making the world laugh this year.

Ziskin says DeGeneres was an easy choice. "I had seen her do the Emmys live in 2002, right after 9/11, and thought she was spectacular -- and [thought] if I ever did the show again, I would go to her. Ellen is going to be different than any host we have had in the past -- more entertaining and more involved and engaged with what happens, live. There is a lot, really a lot, of entertainment planned."

After the host is chosen, generating buzz in the days and months leading up to the Oscars is also a huge undertaking.

Teni Melidonian, publicist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, tells ABC News, "this year's marketing campaign is rooted in the spoken word -- the unforgettable movie lines that have infiltrated pop culture and our everyday dialogue. We've got a terrific campaign which features dozens and dozens of the most memorable, and used, movie quotes.

"'Stella!' 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' 'Snap out of it!' 'You had me at hello.' This campaign celebrates the movies. The Oscars celebrate our love of movies," Melidonian says. "The public will see the quote campaign around town, online, on TV and on mobile devices. It's a great way to remind us that some of our favorite lines come from the movies."

Alongside the campaign, the Academy team slowly releases details of the show to the public. The road to Oscar gold kicked off on Jan. 23, with the nomination announcements made by Academy president Sid Ganis and past Oscar nominee Salma Hayek, who couldn't help but cheer for best friend Penelope Cruz, who's nominated for best actress for "Volver."

Many were also cheering for one best supporting actress nominee in particular. "American Idol" finalist and "Dreamgirls" star Jennifer Hudson has become America's favorite underdog.

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