Rockwell's rendering for the set of the Academy Awards.
Photos: Darren Decker / ©A.M.P.A.S.
Okay, well, maybe David Rockwell's Oscar "moment" was less of a moment and more of an entire evening virtually spent center stage...in a way. If the man himself was never seen on stage (although he was featured on ABC's broadcast minutes before the ceremony commenced discussing some of the changes for this year's awards), the set Rockwell created for his first time as production designer of last night's 81st Annual Academy Awards had more air time than any star, and according to a few, deservedly so.
Danny Boyle, who snagged the Oscar for direction Slumdog Millionaire, said toward the beginning of his acceptance speech, "You've been so generous to us this evening, and I wanted to thank you for that and also for an extraordinary--what a beautiful show you've done. I don't know what it looks like on television, everybody, but in the room, it's bloody wonderful, really. So, well done, everyone."
And Rockwell should know the venue pretty well, since his firm. The Rockwell Group, designed the 3,332-seat theatre that opened in November 2001 and is considered the first ever permanent home of the Academy Awards. For last night's stage, Rockwell framed it with a huge curtain of Swarovski Crystals backlit by moving lights, and I thought lighting designer Bob Dickinson's color-changes came across beautifully on screen. Some interesting use of curtains framing doorways and as cutouts around video screens also looked striking.
For more info check out the David Rockwell Reveals Set Design Elements Of The 2009 Oscars.