That adds up to an astonishing amount of Swarovski crystal on stage over the years. In the first decade of the partnership, over 1.2 million Swarovski crystals were used to illuminate the sets at the Oscars. The majority of these appear in the form of a stunning focal piece which changes each year according to the set design, but often includes a custom-designed Swarovski crystal curtain – a glittering backdrop that hangs behind the Dolby Theatre stage throughout the ceremony.
For this year’s ceremony, Emmy Award-winning production designer Jason Sherwood worked with over 40,000 Swarovski crystals in creating the stunning elements of his first Oscars set design. The stars of Hollywood were celebrated with captivating sparkle in the form of three key elements – the Crystal Inner Spiral and a crystal closedown, composed of a Crystal Tower and a Crystal Curtain. Sherwood explained that he intended to design a space “as complex, diverse, and beautiful as the movies of the year” and the effect, for those in the room and for those watching at home, was dazzling.
For six consecutive years between 2013 and 2018, the set was designed by esteemed Hollywood production designer Derek McLane. In 2018, for the 90th anniversary of the Academy Awards, all previous records were broken, with 45 million Swarovski crystals used to create a breath-taking set that in its designer’s words, “was all about light and reflectivity”. The stunning set took 3,250 hours to complete and weighed in at over 6,800 pounds.
In addition to the millions of crystals used in the design of the set each year, Swarovski crystals have also sparkled in stage décor for performances by artists like Adele, Jennifer Hudson and The Weeknd, and have also been used to embellish the panels on opera boxes around the auditorium. As this year’s 92nd Academy Awards proved, every year Swarovski has an important role to play at this special night in Hollywood. The impact is always spectacular: bringing sparkle to the most marvelous of celebrations in cinema and leaving an impression of light and magic that will linger long in the memory.