Oscars: What Production Designer Derek McLane Has in Store for the Stage

Oscars stage - H 2016
Courtesy of Derek McLane

The 88th Annual Academy Awards will have more screens and cameras to give the show "a more modern feeling."

Derek McLane, the Emmy and Tony-winning designer who has worked on Broadway shows ranging from Noises Off to The Last Five Years, will be returning for his fourth consecutive Oscar ceremony as production designer.

"This year we are using a lot more digital aspects," McLane told The Hollywood Reporter. "We are using more screens and the show will have a more modern feeling that way. But at it's best you aren't supposed to be able to tell — where the physical stuff ends and the digital stuff begins."

The increased digital components, including a 24-camera setup, are meant facilitate the greater use of film clips that McLane hopes are more seemlessly worked into the show.

The designer says that David Hill, one of the Oscars producers and former CEO of FOX Sports, "has come up with more ways to engage the TV viewer." 

"It needs to feel great in the room, because it is a celebration of the nominees, but when we work on the design we are looking at it as a TV show because there are so many more watching it from home," said McLane. "You get to enjoy so many more things on television than you do sitting in the actual room."

The 88th Annual Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 28 at The Dolby Theater in Hollywood. 

See McLane's sketches for the Oscars stage below.