Derek McLane, Oscars, Academy Awards
In a stage design preview video posted just before last night's Oscars ceremony, Derek McLane shared a little bit about his process in designing the set. He talks about his desire to use Swarovski crystals, and what it took to bring that idea to life. Click below to watch the interview!
The Tony award winner studied past Oscars, "One of the first things Neil, Craig and I did was sit down and watch all the Oscar shows from the last 12 years. We looked at what was successful, and I learned things about scale and size and colors that worked well. The floor plan-the actual layout of the Oscars-has a lot to do with how to make the show flow well. That was really a preamble to actually getting started on the design."
He also drew from his own past Broadway sets to come up with something the Oscars has never seen before. "Neil and Craig wanted this to look like my work, and they cited a couple of shows I had designed on Broadway-33 Variations, I Am My Own Wife and How to Succeed. They wanted me to riff on those and make them appropriate to the Oscars, but they were very clear: We don't want this to be a Broadway musical. It is a stage show and needs to work as a stage show, not only for television but for the people in the room. The more we can make this a great show for them, that energy will translate onto television."
McLane has incorporated over 1,500 pounds of Swarovski crystal into the stage and auditorium design. It took over one month to realize his vision of a spectacular 80 feet wide and 40 feet high crystal curtain among other dazzling elements.
Production Designer Derek McLane commented: "I have always loved crystal chandeliers, and marveled at the amazing way they act like prisms and refract light when you turn them on. When I was asked to design the 85th Academy Awards, I immediately began to think of ways to use crystals to bring some of that magic to the stage. For me, Swarovski crystals have always represented the height of elegance and glamour. Their association with the Academy Awards show has become one of the signatures that defines the grandeur of the evening. This year we have an extraordinary guest performing on the show, and I have designed a crystal curtain as her signature environment."