The 94th Academy Awards is returning to the Dolby Theatre this Sunday, and Swarovski has teamed up with Emmy-award creative director and designer David Korins (“Hamilton”, “Dear Evan Hansen”) to provide 90,000 Swarovski Crystals for the stage design.
Perhaps the most dazzling aspect to Korins’ staging is the crystal curtain, which is made from Swarovski Crystals. “The beautiful thing about working with Swarovski Crystals is that you use them just the way they are. They shine and sparkle the way you want them to,” Korins tells Variety. “With Swarovski Crystals, there’s no need for scenic enhancements, what you want to do is accentuate what they are already meant to do and that is capture and reflect light beautifully.”
Korins’ stage design will also feature a dome, two floating orbs illuminated with strands of Swarovski Crystals and a swirling design. Producers Will Packer and Shayla Cowan wanted a design that felt modern and fun.
Korins wanted the stage design to have an aesthetic that is based on inclusivity, community and a world that boldly and unapologetically glows with positivity from the inside. He said, “Our design is incredibly future-forward, and one that feels like it’s positive and light-emitting. It’s fair, bold, muscular, and it’s masculine and it’s feminine.”
A three-time Tony nominee, Korins won an Emmy for his work on 2016’s “Grease Live” and also designed the set for the 2019 Academy Awards. For this year’s stage, Korins assembled an all-star team of art directors, illustrators and craftspeople to add in bold gestures of “things that felt implicitly dynamic with an immersive feel.”
Elsewhere, Korins incorporated LEDs to create an optical illusion of shape and depth to his stage.
Korins hopes his immersive and mesmerizing design will invite viewers to sit up, take notice and invest in a visual world about hope, unity and togetherness — tying into the show’s theme of “movie lovers unite.”
As previously announced, fans have been allowed to vote on their favorite movie of the year on Twitter to help attract more viewers and make the Oscars telecast a more audience-friendly experience. As part of that effort, a special award, dubbed the Oscars fan favorite prize, will be handed out on Sunday.
“It just helps to augment what is already a show that’s all about elevating the best of community building,” Packer said in a press conference Thursday of the fan favorite prize. “It creates a two-way dialogue and is more inclusive because the Oscars always felt so stuffy and so one-percenter.”
Korins acknowledged that this year, the ceremony feels different. “We have an opportunity as creators to make up what the narrative is of the evening… this show feels even more poignant,” Korins said. “I feel like acknowledging that in the environment of the show felt important.”