Set Designer Tom Scutt Helps MTV Video Music Awards Reinvent Itself

Like the artists it celebrates, MTV’s Video Music Awards show is in a constant state of reinvention.

For the 2015 version, legit set designer Tom Scutt is in charge of the show’s look. Known for his work on “King Charles III,” “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” and “Constellations,” the latter two of which won him a Whatsonstage best set design award in the U.K., Scutt has enjoyed the challenge of switching gears.

“With a play, you are providing a set that has a narrative — a linear movement from start to finish,” Scutt says. “Each act and song is a little play in itself. You’re trying to make a statement piece, while also trying not to tread on the toes of the artists who will perform. (For the awards show), it’s been a quite difficult balancing act in comparison to doing a theater show.”

In a program that honors video as a medium, Scutt is taking his own approach to the ceremony. “I’m interested in the liveness, the three-dimensionality of it all. I try to encourage a much more in-the-room, tactile performance that doesn’t rely on video so much.”

MTV’s Video Music Awards will air live on Aug. 30.

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