‘Rating the Oscars: Event Producers Give the 2015 Academy Awards a B+‘
Some of the country’s top industry professionals discuss what they liked and didn’t like at the 87th Academy Awards.
February 23, 2015
by Claire Hoffman
Jon Retsky, co-owner and lead designer of Got Light:
“While slightly and possibly a bit too reminiscent of last year’s Oscars (I’m still not sure what the intention was behind recycling bits and pieces of 2014), this year did offer a dynamic new level of design and production that was refreshing to see. When the show wasn’t being upstaged by Lady Gaga performing The Sound of Music (shocking) or Neil Patrick Harris in his tighty whities (refreshing), it offered a dynamic and layered design, bringing together lighting, video, and scenic in a way that nearly fooled the eye—in a good way! There were many moments where it was difficult to discern what was scenic and what was video. Frankly, I enjoyed the fact that even I was tricked and couldn’t make the distinction at times. While last year offered simple and classic elegance, this year built upon that by adding in an industrial and futuristic layer, bordering on some new hybrid form of steampunk? I think it’s fair to say that the antique Edison lightbulb in all its exposed, raw glory isn’t going anywhere soon! Clearly this look is still very much the trend. The fluid movement of flying the bulbs in and out during transitions was a sexy and smart move. The opening number (which, let’s face it,is the most important moment in the entire show) was smart. Very smart—and super high-energy from a design standpoint. It offered scenic video in multiple layers and in a way that created an ever-changing depth and fluidity. What more perfect a way to ‘fall in love with moving pictures’ again then to embody that very element.”
Letter Grade: A-