Last weekend the movie event of the year took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. Its is one of most watched events on television every year, there is no doubt that every detail has to be carefuly prepared before the event. Today we will get you behind the scenes of the design set of the Oscars, and show you how the design of the event is made.
First presented in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Academy Awards, or the Oscars, is an annual awards ceremony that recognizes excellence in cinematic achievement.
24 hours before the telecast to over 225 countries, inside the Dolby Theatre, the stage is almost entirely set. Steadicam operators roam around the theater, ready to catch all the action. Set pieces have been placed on wheels and wires. The different screens play clips from all the relevant films of the year. All that’s missing, is the audience, 3400 seats are marked with seat placards reserved for A-listers guests.
The Extraordinary Production
Before all the glamour and luxury, workmen have spent days fitting the expanse of red carpet which covers Hollywood Boulevard, stretching to more than 900 feet. Technicians spend the week before the event fitting lighting, painting scenery and setting up crowd control and staging to hold the fans and world’s media.
While the several hundred million people watching at home will be focused on what’s happening onstage, the real show takes place in the days leading up to the event. On a normal day, the Dolby Theatre, is equipped with 215 speakers, 115 of which are surround-sound. For the Oscars, however, the theater only uses 84 surround-sound speakers, providing a seamless and enjoyable experience for the orchestran and other musicians.
All of this is controlled from a command center deep in the bowels of the theater, there the directors, producers and sound mixers work to ensure the show’s broadcast goes off without a hitch. In all, there are over 50 sound experts and audio engineers who ensure audiences get the best sound experience possible.
The Dolby Theatre doesn’t get transformed just for the Oscars. At any given time throughout the year, the venue is used for live-events, movie premieres and more, and is capable of being transformed in just 14 hours.
In the case of the Oscars, it takes much more planning due to rehearsals and sound check, but it was built and optimized to be adaptable to the occasion.
A One of Kind – Green Room
Designed by its sponsor, Rolex, has been since 2016, the Green Room has channeled themes of exploration, expeditions, and discoveries, both below the sea and up in the earth. This year and keeping with the famed Swiss watchmaker’s Perpetual Planet, a initiative to protect the planet and combat the climate change, the room transports their visitors to the glacial landscape of the North Pole. From the vantage point of a cozy, wood-paneled observatory, the celebrities will gather there and gaze upon a white panorama, modeled with foam, where lighting changes to simulate passage from daylight to dusk.
The Grand Stage
Jason Sherwood designed this year’s Academy Awards stage, it’s an Oscar first for the New Jersey native whose curriculum vitae includes work for pop concerts, off-Broadway productions, and new musicals.
When it’s time to head to the stage, presenters and winners alike will find themselves enveloped in Jason’s dazzling set formed by 40,000 Swarovski crystals, the brand has been sponsoring the stage since 2007.
Sherwood told to the Interior Design website “I wanted to explode the format, making it more provocative and experiential. The sculptural cyclone element surrounds the stage and audience and says, ‘complexity and diversity.’”
Sherwood’s design also addresses the technology aspect. “It’s a TV show taking place in a theater, about film, and features music perfomances,” he noted.
The big challenge aside the tight timing, is “Creating something genuinely new but with the DNA of what people expect and what the Oscars are about.” In other words, play a gracious supporting role to the honorees of the evening.
Host the Oscars at Your Home
Now you know the story behind Oscars, how the glamour and luxury is born and prepared. With all that you can now host your own award show and just a watch party in your own home.
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