Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman / AMPAS


2009 was a monumental year for cinema, with the box office grossing the highest aggregate in history. Hosted by Hollywood icons Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, the 82nd Academy Awards transpired on March 7, 2010 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood to honor the year’s most outstanding achievements. For the first time since the 16th Academy Awards in 1944, the American Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) nominated ten features for Best Picture, rather than five. The elite field vying for the industries top honor included The Hurt Locker, District 9, Inglorious Basterds, Pixar’s Up, The Blind Side, An Education, Precious, A Serious Man, Up in the Air, and the highest grossing movie of all time, Avatar.Since Prologue’s inception in 2003, we have collaborated with the AMPAS eleven times for the renowned telecast, with the 82nd Academy Awards marking the eighth outing. Producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman enlisted Prologue to create the awards logo and an intricate graphics package consisting of all the stage screens introducing each award, nominee, and honorary winner.A curtain of reflective jewels, arching over the main the stage, bolstered the set design of the ceremony. This theme dovetails into the graphics package, which combines Prologue typography and practical elements that relate to the varying category headers. We shot live action for a number of plates introducing the respective categories. As an example, for Best Makeup, we shot high-speed footage of a make up brush with particles emanating from the bristles.  Other practical elements include pages of a book resting, and also cascading over the seam, strings of glistening jewels, film strips hanging on a line, a macro exploration of camera lenses, providing elegant backdrops for which the typography animates on. For the stage screens that feature a still from the respective film, adjacent to the title or actor’s name, we selected the images and composited them with the relative typography. The In Memoriam sequence follows a similar suite. To pay respect and homage to those that had passed in the year prior, we collated stills and rolling footage of the artists to celebrate their lives and profound careers. The type for the telecast was designed to embody the reflectiveness of the gems and the overall spectacle of the Oscars, for which we color corrected in each stage screen to match the corresponding visual. For the logo identifying cinemas biggest night, we animated 3D components that assemble to form the stenciled 82, designed with the same mirrored semblance as the gemstones, allowing for the composited Oscar statue to rotate intrinsically. Prologue would further its storied history with the AMPAS, collaborating on the following three Academy Awards telecasts.

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