NEW YORK, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Internationally acclaimed architect and designer David Rockwell, who was selected by Academy Awards producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon to design the sets for this year's Oscar telecast, is now revealing select design elements of the 81st Academy Awards ceremony, airing February 22, 2009 at 8:00pm EST on ABC. The first architect to design the sets, he took his creative cue from the Kodak Theatre, which he also designed, to craft an immersive environment evocative of an intimate club.
Together with the producers, Rockwell took a fresh look at the award ceremony, and developed sets that create an atmosphere of an elegant party rather than a formal gathering. The theater and sets will be reorganized and re-envisioned to concentrate the energy for the live and broadcast audiences, powered by a visual narrative that will unfold through twelve transforming sets throughout the night.
"We created a spatial and architectural solution for the 2009 Oscars that is based on storytelling, spectacle, and community," explained David Rockwell, founder and CEO of Rockwell Group. "We wanted to use a surprising and dramatic integration of technology and movement to celebrate the awards ceremony, which has become one of the greatest shared rituals of our time."
Although most of the design will be kept a secret until the live event, there are some details that can be revealed. Rockwell created a new proscenium curtain comprised of approximately 100,000 Swarovski crystals in a variety of shapes and sizes, a nod to the high-profile fashion associated with the event. Instead of one giant flat screen to show movie clips and montages, there will be five LED screens that will transform and reconfigure, as well as 20 other still LED screens, the appearance and movement of which will be based on the needs of the choreography of the show. An elaborate bandstand will be placed on stage for a full orchestra, with the capability to move up and down the stage, and then break apart and disappear throughout the night. Rockwell also added a thrust stage to the theater, with only four steps between the stage and seating level in an effort to bring the presenters closer to the audience. On the stage floor will be an abstract floral pattern referencing the curve of the thrust stage.
Please go to www.rockwellgroup.com/oscars09 for high resolution images.
About Rockwell Group - www.rockwellgroup.com
Rockwell Group is an award winning, cross-disciplinary 150-person architecture and design firm specializing in cultural, hospitality, retail, product, and set design. Based in New York, with satellite offices in Madrid and Dubai, the firm crafts a unique narrative and an immersive environment for each project. Rockwell's interest in theater has informed much of the firm's work, including: the W Hotel, Union Square; Adour Alain Ducasse at The St. Regis New York; the central Marketplace of the JetBlue terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport; Canyon Ranch Miami Beach; the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles; Nobu restaurants worldwide; set design for Broadway's "Hairspray," and the upcoming "Houdini" and "Catch Me if You Can;" The Elinor Bunin-Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center; and the Imagination Playground initiative. David Rockwell is the 2008 recipient of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum's National Design Award for Interior Design.