Oscars Review: Event Producers Give 2016 Show a “B”
Industry professionals from across the country discuss what they liked and disliked about the 88th annual Academy Awards.
BizBash, February 29, 2019 by Ian Zelaya
Russell Holt, co-owner and lead designer of Got Light:
“The 88th Oscars should be commended for tackling the racial backlash head on. From the opening remarks to the video skits and the varied presenters, the show was threaded with the same statement of unity. Unfortunately that aspect got a little too heavy handed at times and had an obvious rushed-to-completion components that broke up the overall flow of the show into choppy segments, which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t.
Minor audio technical issues peppered the production, crowned with a drop out during the presentation of best audio design. I’m still questioning if that was scripted. On a plus note, the Oscars’ new format of text info boxes for presenters as well as the scrolling thank you bar appears to have helped keeping acceptance speeches in check.
The design and production hit the mark of upholding the classic Hollywood grandeur of the Dolby Theatre, and weaved in the Oscars tagline of ‘dream in gold.’ The set utilizing a traditional approach of hard set, fabric, video, and dazzling crystals all crafted to maintain the sunburst design. The set design was smart in creating depth by incorporating pieces broken up with video and elements that fly in and out. Once again, the naked Edison bulbs were heavily featured, demonstrating that the soft warm golden glow of light emitted will continue to be used as a lighting designer’s controllable golden sparkle.
While everyone involved with the production knows how to seamlessly move sets and props, choosing to keep the traditional theatrical method of a stagehand’s setting and striking components was a refreshing touch. It demonstrates that all of the magic is still made by hand for others to enjoy.”
Letter grade: B