94th Academy Awards

March 21st, 2022 by Karen Burg

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The 94th Academy Awards honoring the films of 2021

Congratulations to Production Designer Patrice Vermette and Set Decorator Zsuzsanna Sipos, this year's Oscar recipients for DUNE!

Congrats to all of the Nominees for their outstanding work, and for the Academy's recognition and honor thereof!

The Academy Awards are considered filmmaking’s highest honor, held in recognition of the art of immersive storytelling...from visual to sound...which brings stories to life with such depth that an audience can vicariously experience those moments as if they were their own. 

Filmmaking is collaboration at its core. Production Designers and Set Decorators working with their teams, collaborate with Cinematographers, Costume Designers and their crews to establish not only the settings, the time and place, but also give background and backstory, visual clues to the characters and to the story. The sound teams enhance the journey, while editors make certain the story flows. It’s a world of collaboration to create the world of a film...a world that transports an audience beyond theirs.
The Academy Award for Achievement in Production Design is presented each year to the Production Designer and Set Decorator of the nominated films. 
Congratulations to the 94th Academy Award nominees:
DUNE: Production Designer Patrice Vermette & Set Decorator Zsuzsanna Sipos NIGHTMARE ALLEY: Production Designer Tamara Deverell & Set Decorator Shane Vieau
THE POWER OF THE DOG: Production Designer Grant Major & Set Decorator Amber Richards
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH: Production Designer Stefan Dechant & Set Decorator Nancy Haigh
WEST SIDE STORY: Production Designer Adam Stockhausen & Set Decorator Rena DeAngelo SDSA

Special congratulations to SDSA member Rena DeAngelo, Adam Stockhausen, and their teams, for the incredible look of WEST SIDE STORY and it’s immersiveness.

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WEST SIDE STORY...Doc's Drugstore...Rita Moreno as widowed owner and neighborhood matriarch. Inset: Ansel Elgort as Tony, Rachel Zegler as María. Photo by Niko Tavernise ©2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The WEST SIDE STORY sets ranged from the razing of neighborhoods, demolished and decrepit—they built a derelict pier sandwiched by abandoned warehouses, with the accompanying detritus; a huge “salt shed” facility housing mounds of salt stored for use on winter snow became the atmospheric site of the murderous rumble; skeletons of buildings, single standing walls lining the streets, with shredded wallpaper and remnants of the lives lived there—to a small tenement apartment reflecting youthful energy and hope.

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WEST SIDE STORY...Photos by Niko Tavernise ©2021 20th Century Studios. Images courtesy of 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

In great contrast, we had the upscale Gimbel’s department store, and the hero set: an old neighborhood corner drugstore, the worn anchor of the disintegrating community. There’s the ubiquitous police precinct station with set elements specially designed for major choreography and theatrics. The song and dance “America” spills out into the streets, exuberantly covering several blocks, each of which reflects the changing neighborhood.

[See WEST SIDE STORY article in our Film Décor section] Thank you, Director Steven Spielberg and the entire team, for bringing even more relevance to this now classic American tragedy. 

The Oscar Luncheon
The traditional Oscar luncheon, held before final voting begins, is a favorite of the nominees and the Academy governors. A truly egalitarian event, as the Academy Awards should be, it offers an informal atmosphere for intermingling and conviviality.

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Oscars Luncheon..Set Decorator Rena DeAngelo SDSA & Production Designer Adam Stockhausen, WEST SIDE STORY; Set Decorator Nancy Haigh & Production Designer Stefan Dechant, THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH; Set Decorator Amber Richards & Production Designer Grant Major, THE POWER OF THE DOG. Not pictured: Nominees for DUNE and NIGHTMARE ALLEY.

ADG/SDSA Oscars Panel
Also hugely popular, the ADG/SDSA Oscars panel, as of March 24,2022 had to be canceled due to Covid.
Traditionally held the day before the Academy Awards at the classic Egyptian theater, we will continue to look forward to the next one, and extend our best wishes to all of the nominees.

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Cancelled! See you there next year!