The eye popping stage design for the 88th Annual Academy Awards has finally been revealed.
Created for the fourth year in a row by Tony Award-winning designer Derek McLane, this year’s sparkling set was inspired by 1970s Hollywood glam.
“My inspiration really came from the fabulous films of the 1970s, which is always one of my favorite times,” McLane told PEOPLE in the Dolby Theatre Lounge on Wednesday. “I really had fun playing with that design for the show.”
The center piece to this year’s design is the massive, oval shaped proscenium. “I love the shape of it, it’s very contemporary but also has these thousands of radiating crystals on it and that to me feels glamorous, it feels like Hollywood, and it feels like the 1970s to me,” McLane explained.
Over 1,600 man hours were spent creating the crystal stage décour, which includes an amazing 200,000 Swarovski crystals and 35 design elements. The massive crystal focal piece weighs more than 20,000 pounds, and the the crystal center centerpiece weighs over 7,000 pounds.
Several large, strategically placed digital screens will keep the design moving throughout the evening. “We have altogether 12 big LED screens, with one large screen and then more slender screens placed around,” McLane said. “But we also have lots of physical scenery, so we’re almost always combining the physical and the digital.”
With four years of experience designing Oscars sets under his belt, McLane said he’s always learning new tricks to enhance the visuals. For instance, he explains that, “Digital cameras love things that light up, so light bulbs always look good on camera as long as they’re sort of dim.”
He’s also learned “how incredibly subtle color nuances need to be, because digital cameras magnify differences in color tone and temperature so much.” For this reason, a set might look much different to the naked eye than it does on camera.