Oscars 2016: Sets Get 1970s Glam

Production designer Derek McLane previews "crystal waves," LED screens

The Oscars love to keep the look and feel of each telecast under wraps until showtime. The sets and even the show order are closely held secrets until shortly before the broadcast starts.

For 2016, though, production designer Derek McLane offered a sneak peek at this year’s show, and promises something new and different from recent years with new producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin in charge.

“I think the show will feel probably a little more modern,” McLane told Variety. “There’s greater use of LED technology. There’s more video footage incorporated into the show.”

The main architectural influence is “1970s glam.” He is using some 100,000 Swarovski crystals to create a crystal proscenium and “crystal waves.”

McLane has designed the Oscars for four years running. He won an Art Directors Guild award and an Emmy for his sets for the 2014 Oscars, and an ADG award for the 2015 Oscars. Both shows were produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

McLane said this year’s show will also try to tell the story of how movies are made. That echoes the approach of the 2009 ceremony, which was produced by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark and was acclaimed at the time as one of the best shows in recent memory. For that year, the awards were presented roughly in the order of the stages of creating a film: writing first, then cinematography and editing later, for example. Might we see something similar for 2016?

“We might,” teased McLane.

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