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David Sonntag
CEO
28 Sep 2015

Decibel Event Wrap Up: Mighty Morphin’ Backdrop at the 67th Emmy Awards

If you’re in the advertising industry, you don’t watch the Superbowl for the football. You watch it because every single one of those 30-second spots cost like, 4 million dollars, and you wanna see how the big boys are spending their money. And if you’re in the event production industry, you don’t watch the 67th Emmy Awards for the Tracy Jordan speech (though, hey, welcome back, man), you watch it for the audio-visual and stage design goodies.

For those of you who didn’t catch the full show, here it is:

The Emmys aren’t known for their over-the-top production, focusing more on the classic award presentation, and the set designers tend to go less for distracting wow-factor and more for subtlety that supports the content of the show: TV clips, frequent on-off staging by a rotating roster of presenters and winners. That being the case, there’s really only one thing to talk about from this year’s Emmys: that mighty morphin’ door-portal fabricated backdrop thing.

This is a great example of a single static set piece that is all things to all people, appearing to seamlessly evolve through the clever use of LEDs. We get our first glimpse of this baby as soon as the curtain goes up at 00:00:00, with the undulating side-wall of LED and red-tone lighting, and it spends the rest of the show doing a chameleon thang:

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The main wrap-around presentation screen is actually a construct of panels that all work in concert to display award category banners (00:09:10) or separately to display video feeds from the audience (00:23:13).

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Set designers for heavily-televised events also must take into account close-ups on each speech, taking care to create a pretty background that’s TV-friendly, that varies without becoming distracting, and that works from any possible camera angle. Again, good job on that one, guys.

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So, Emmys #67: glitzy, classic, simple.

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