Oscars Viewing Party, New York City
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
To reflect the glamour of the oscars We Created Art Deco backgrounds with an old hollywood feel
Client: New York Programs and Membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Venue: The Rainbow Room, NYC Mobile Studio Dimensions: 10’ x 10’ x 9’
Custom Backdrops: 12 Guests: 250
Sessions: 144 Booking Duration: 5 hours
Equipment: 2 Nikon D800 camera bodies, Nikkor 24-70mm F 2.8 lens, Profoto studio strobes, large overhead umbrella, 2 strip banks, custom background support system for 10x10 green screen fabric, 2 side panels & roof, wind machine, video hub, edit bay, printer, social media kiosk, router/mobile hotspot, PA system & headsets.
Jonsar Personnel: 2 photographers, 2 editors, 1 guest experience coordinator
Roger Mancusi, coordinator of New York Programs and Membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saw our mobile portrait experience at a summer event in Miami and, as he later told us, “knew immediately” that he wanted to have us at AMPAS’ Oscar viewing party in New York City.
We began planning for the early March event in January. Roger looked to us for custom background design and art direction—he knew he needed something that would delight Academy members, including producers, directors and actors. We held internal creative brainstorms to develop concepts for 12 custom backdrops, ultimately landing on a theme inspired by the event’s location at the iconic Rainbow Room: colorful art deco elements mixed with a classic Hollywood feel.
A month before the event, we did a tech walkthrough of the venue to determine the ideal location for our mobile studio. The Rainbow Room’s unique architecture presented several options, and after careful deliberation we chose to locate in the Gallery, a long bar area adjacent to the main room, where guests would gather for pre-show cocktails and mingle during the event. Our pre-event planning also included coordinating with techs from Bentley Meeker, the lighting and staging company for the event, to ensure that our video feed would be integrated into the house display in the main room. Last but not least, we made sure that the internet signal on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center was consistent and strong—a critical detail, since our images and videos are streamed and shared with guests in real time.
Rockefeller Center has exceptionally tight security protocols, which meant there was no margin for error during setup. Load-in was only permitted during certain hours, and we had a limited amount of time at the loading docks. From there, we had to haul our equipment safely through a warren of hallways to two levels of elevators that took everything to the 65th floor.
Once our mobile studio was in place and the evening began, however, we were able to focus on what we do best: creating magical moments that make everyone look and feel like a star on the red carpet. The Gallery’s layout proved ideal for foot traffic in and out of our studio, and we had a steady stream of guests (and enthusiastic onlookers) throughout the night. Our portraits and videos streamed continuously via two 65” LCD screens in the Gallery, and were also shown in the main dining room during commercial breaks in the Oscars telecast.
The gala ended five hours and 144 stunning, high-energy sessions later. Best Picture? They’re all winners in our book!