SenovvA was proud to be part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 91st Annual Academy Awards live broadcast from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on February 24, 2019. SenovvA has a long history supporting the Academy Awards beginning at the time of the company’s inception in 2005. In his role as Project Manager/Lead Projectionist, SenovvA’s Executive Producer Dave Taylor, along with SenovvA’s President Frank McMinn, together contribute an abundance of experience to Hollywood’s biggest night with 30 and 26 years respectively. The wealth of knowledge and proficiency Dave and Frank bring to the Oscars has not dampened the duo’s enthusiasm for the show. “This year was one of my favorites,” Frank said. “Every year it looks totally different. Plus, I actually saw every nominated movie this year, so that made the Oscars personally special. And I loved the graphic Art Deco looks on stage.”
The Oscars wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of talented men and women who work behind the scenes. “Many SenovvA team members have done this event for more than a decade,” Frank said. “Even though it’s a lot of work, these guys love this gig.” 2018 marked the 11th anniversary of Swarovski’s design collaboration with the Academy Awards, and in his sixth year as Oscar’s Production Designer, Derek McLane utilized SenovvA’s projection expertise to make more than 300,000 crystals shine throughout the night. Furthermore SenovvA collaborated with Alana Billingsley in her first year as Oscar’s Art Director and Rob Paine in his first year as Oscar’s Supervising Producer to bring the event to fruition. SenovvA was pleased to continue a long partnership with Rob Paine that includes the Kennedy Center Honors and the recent gala opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
SenovvA was tasked to design, implement, and execute the video display systems for the Oscars’ broadcast. One challenge for SenovvA every year is to create a visual LED and projection environment that is as stunning for the live audience in the Dolby Theater as it is for millions viewing the show at home. SenovvA’s projection designers spend months of research and development to utilize the latest in technology. Frank and Dave were excited to use the new Panasonic PT-RZ31K Laser Projectors for this year’s show. The Dolby Theatre’s projection booth housed seventeen of these, seven of which created the Deco Towers set look onstage with projection mapping and five responsible for the onstage scrim/fan scenic look. The rest were dedicated to the large front projection screen used by the Academy for film clips and the In Memoriam montage. “These are the latest and greatest,” Dave said. “Older projectors tend to make the image brighter in the middle and darker at the edges whereas these projectors give a totally flat image. It’s a beautiful projection system when you need to converge and blend images.” The choice of the Panasonic 31K has as much to do with SenovvA’s commitment to conservation and energy efficiency as with the resulting image. “These projectors are very quiet and require less power than a standard large-venue projector,” Frank said, “putting out a quarter of the heat that other projectors do. It can get a little toasty with seventeen projectors running but because we chose this technology there wasn’t a need to install additional HVAC into the projection booth this year.”
Onstage, the SenovvA team installed six pivoting LED legs consisting of 494 tiles of ROE Black OnyX 3.4mm LED. Upstage they assembled a 36’ x 70’ LED cyc wall containing 346 panels of Oracle Black Widow 5.9mm LED. SenovvA digitally linked the 840 panels together to produce a massive and seamless, camera-ready image. “Between the pivoting LED legs and the giant cyc wall, we created a totally immersive LED environment onstage,” Frank said. “It takes tremendous effort to achieve an astounding and visually stunning Oscars production, but knowing that millions of people are watching our craft and creativity, it’s humbling and thrilling every time!”
Watch Highlights from the 2018 Oscars
Photos © 2017 Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences