Awards Month: The Oscars 2016 - Event Review

February 29, 2016

The Oscars have come and gone for another year, surviving a huge #OscarsSoWhite controversy en route and being enjoyed by millions around the world, including the small number of us who rallied and stayed up in the small hours to witness Leonardo DiCaprio and Ennio Morricone finally win their first competitive Academy Awards. But from an events point of view, how was the show? Perfectly timed to round our Awards Month, here are our thoughts on the 88th Academy Awards!

Pick a Great Host

Chris Rock had hosted the Oscars once before, in 2005, but this time his position had seen calls for boycott over the lack of black diversity amongst the nominations. Rather than avoid the issue, he tackled it head on in his opening monologue, ensuring that it gave the campaign a voice, but also laughing at it in a way only a fantastic comedian can. If you’re looking to hire an awards host, it really does pay to hire a comedian for your awards ceremony, because they can really cut through any possible awkwardness by making people laugh. As Rock said, Hollywood is racist; it has been for many years but in the sixties, “we had real things to protest at the time.”

Funny Segments and Sketches are Always Welcome

There’s nothing better than breaking up an awards show with funny moments. You can do it whilst presenting an award (Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe were witty in the extreme), or you can do it with little segments and sketches here and there. The Oscars edited black actors into awards nominees to show how they would have been different (speak to a production company to do that!), whilst Chris rock also visited Compton (topical as Straight Outta Compton was widely believed to have been snubbed) to get the word from the street. It provided humour and most importantly stopped the monotony of hearing endless acceptance speeches across a three hour period.

Do Something for Charity

Food has become a big part of the Oscars in recent years (no, we aren’t referencing Matt Damon’s growing of potatoes in The Martian) with Ellen DeGeneres memorably ordering pizza and putting Brad Pitt on paper plates duty. This year, the awards went in a different direction; host Chris Rock brought out his daughters and their friends to sell some cookies, ultimately raising $65,243 for the Girl Scouts. You might not be able to raise quite as much as your awards ceremony, but it’s always great to give something back to the community!

Everybody Loves Music

Because of the importance of the Best Original Song category, the Oscars are often broken up by the nominees performing their tunes in front of the audience, surely allowing more than one Academy member to realise they could have picked something better with their vote. Just like the other ways of splitting up the event between awards, live music is always a brilliant addition to any event, so feel free to peruse our wonderful music acts to ponder what you should pick for your event entertainment.

Costumes are Always Popular

Awards shows seem to love getting people to dress up. Ben Stiller dressed as a Na’vi from Avatar when presenting the award for makeup in 2010 and just last week, Ant (from Ant and Dec) put on a dress in the BRIT Awards to muted applause (it didn’t work for James Franco in 2011 and it won’t work now. But as ever, costumes returned with a vengeance – The Bear from The Revenant was seen in the Oscars audience clapping along to the film clips, whilst the actor who portrayed music mogul Suge Knight in Straight Outta Compton reprised his role for much of the evening. Costumed characters are a great way to infuse fun into your event, just make sure you don’t put the host in a dress. To check out our costumes, please click here.

Pick the Right Winners

For our final tip, it obviously pays to pick the right winners! Now this can’t easily be done (it is a secret ballot after all), but it was nice to see some much deserved surprised amongst the nominees with Ex Machina even taking home an award! Mad Max Fury Road was a very popular movie on the night, winning six technical awards, whilst Brie Larson was justly honoured for Room. There was no award for Sylvester Stallone but Mark Rylance winning his first Oscar was just as lovely! Of course, the big news was Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning an Oscar but so too did Ennio Morricone, who has been waiting 17 years longer than Leo (since their first nominations). All in all, the Oscars did well this year and massive congratulations to Emmanuel Lubezki for winning his third Best Cinematography Oscar in a row and of course to Spotlight for picking up the coveted Best Picture prize! Yes, it certainly feels good when an awards show picks the most deserving winners…

…But we think you’ll manage this for sure. After all, you have great taste in reading blogs!

Still wanting more Oscars goodness? Check out these fascinating facts!

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By Henry Fosdike