On the Eve of the Oscars

New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve both fall on the night before a big event and yet both have become their own holiday. Just as these evenings now have their own style and traditions, so it is with the night before the Oscars, Hollywood’s biggest event. In fact, the event has even come to be called “The Night Before.”

Started 16 years ago by Hollywood insiders as a casual party between friends, the event has grown to 1,200 attendees. It’s a way for industry insiders to come together casually, to celebrate the industry and the Oscars, and to raise money for MPTF (Motion Picture Relief Fund), a cause that has helped thousands of industry members in need since 1921.

This year the event was held at a soundstage at Fox Studios. The vision was a simple, yet architectural space in which the guests could enjoy one another’s company, dine on a menu by Caramelized Productions, and experience goods and services from a number of presenting sponsors.

This year there were 11 ranging from transportation to lifestyle goods. The sponsors help raise funds for MPTF and also raise the level of fun and excitement at the event. For instance, Ford gave away a Mustang, and guests could win trips on Delta Air Lines.

The soundstage was set up with the sponsor booths arranged on the perimeter of the space. These booths were also constructed by Silver Birches and lighted by Ray Thompson from Images by Lighting. Here, specific lighting needs of each sponsor were taken into consideration such as finding just the right amber lighting for the Ford Mustang on display.

Overall, the space was centered by a large wooden “chandelier” flanked by two smaller ones. This brought the high, open ceiling of the soundstage down to a more intimate level. A symmetrical sculptural treatment of the same wood was used in the seating area, further closing the gap between the event space and open ceiling. The lighting was designed with extensive energy-saving LEDs to shine on and through the wooden structure creating more design texture with artistic shadow play.

The overall effect of the team’s efforts was a space that was gracious, comfortable and relaxing … all elements that one would want the night before a big day of lights, camera, action, and awards.