The Oscars is the biggest and best known awards show on the planet – but there’s a lot more to it than just the 3 hours you see on TV.
With, the 88th annual Academy Awards returning to Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles next month, we take a look a some aspects of the iconic awards show that you don’t see and what goes into organising the biggest night in Hollywood.
1. Pre-Show Events
First of all – it’s not just one night. It’s a full time job being an event manager for the Oscars. Year round, the Academy hosts special events like panel discussions and private parties for Hollywoods elite. In the months before the big night, the Academy also host film screenings honouring that year’s biggest nominees – each one a huge production, costing upwards of $1 million each.
As you may have guessed, with the biggest awards show on the planet comes virtually the biggest budget on the planet. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the ceremony costed a whopping $42.8 million to stage last year. Where does the money go?
$250,000 alone goes on hiring security, $25,000 to pay the host, $1 million on stage set and $50,000 on the statues themselves – each of the 50 mini-men plated with 24-karat gold. No expense is spared, with each winner’s envelope costing $200 each.
From Wednesday, the host of the Oscars will be practicing their musical numbers and joke delivery around the clock before Sunday’s big night. But it’s not just the host that has to fine tune their performance. In the week running up to the big ceremony, every single actor, musician and industry head taking part in the awards will visit Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles to rehearse their teleprompter lines or soundcheck their performance to ensure everything runs smoothly on the night. Of course, as John Travolta proved in 2015, mistakes can still be made.
4. Stage Design
Some of the most respected production designers in the business have brought their vision to life on the Oscars stage – and the sets have glitz and glam than the stars themselves. In 2016, Swarovski Crystals partnered with production designer Derek McLane in his third year designing the look of the show, and provided 200,000 crystals for him to use in set production. The results was one of the most impressive Oscar stages in its 88 years.
5. Red Carpet
Before the ceremony, some of the biggest names in Hollywood will be gracing the famous red carpet at the Dolby Theatre. The tradition sees countless members of the media, photographers and fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the stars. It’s not just any carpet! The 500 foot carpet is reportedly worth $30,000 – and that’s before setup fees! In the days before the ceremony, a section of Hollywood Boulevard is closed off to the public so that event managers and crew can get everything in place for the event. This means a spotless carpet, flawless lighting (for those ever important red carpet pictures) and a huge amount of security personnel and ushers.
What’s an event without a nice take home for attendees? Well, the Oscars “swag-bag” (which is given to all nominees) is legendary, and last year’s was worth upwards of $200,000 dollars each. Each gift package is put together by marketing agency, Distinctive Assets, and includes lavish holidays, beauty treatment vouchers and the latest trendy products. Last year’s swag bag contained a 10 day all expense paid trip to Israel worth $55,000! While most can’t afford a big budget gift like this, giving guests a little piece of branded merchandise can be great exposure for your brand. Be creative and give guests something they will use. Mobile phone charging banks, USB keys and other practical items are cost affective and useful, keeping eyes on your brand long after the event is over.