Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oscar set revealed in NYT article

I opened my Sunday New York Times with much surprise. Were my eyes seeing what I thought...? It was not a dream. There was the set for Sunday's 81st Annual Academy Awards ceremony, pictured grandly on the Arts&Leisure cover. Here are the details extracted from the 1,900-word article, which can be read if full here:

This year's set is designed by none other than the architect of the Kodak Theatre itself - the very place designed for the ceremony: David Rockwell. (Note NYT, its theatre, not theater.) Rockwell said he is out to "redefine the show's DNA," trying to tame the beast - "a show on television celebrating the movies in a theater," as writer Patricia Leigh Brown describes it. "It's about celebration," said Rockwell, 52. "We want to make it less a big, pre-taped package and more a live show."

Rockwell designed the set with all this in mind. The set includes a 92,000-Swarovski-crystal curtain, fluted crystal chandeliers, shifting patterns of light on the stage floor, the orchestra out of the pit and onto the stage and a "new, curvaceous thrust" (think small peninsula jutting into the audience). Presenters will have LED screen behind them creating a "visual sensation," as the write describes it:
Screens will also appear in unlikely places. In the presentation on film editing, for example, LED screens will be deployed in a kinetic, architectural way. Nineteen of them, each with a different film image, will “fly dimensionally in space,” Mr. Rockwell said, an experience meant to suggest “being in the mind of someone editing.”
This year's mantra: "More intimacy. Less multiple layers of lamé." Look for a rich, deep blue color scheme.

This set sounds and looks very intriguing. Come Sunday we'll see just how intriguing it really is.

My favorite Oscar set in memory is from 2001's ceremony, which took the theme of science-fiction film "2001: A Space Odyssey." The theme music was used and the set appeared to be a cylinder, with a huge Oscar statuette in the center.

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