You’ve just won your Oscar, given your acceptance speech to the world and are whisked off stage. The world watching on television goes to a commercial break as you are escorted off to meet the press, first stop “The Photo Room”.
You come around a corner and step up onto a 60-foot long low-rise stage. Behind you are three 10-foot golden Oscar statuettes, each surrounded by a bouquet of colorful flowers. In front of you is a grandstand of 60 well-dressed photographers who all want you to hold up your award and look at them, and no one says cheese.
In actuality “The Photo Room” has very little to do with the art of photography on Oscar night. We have all come in days prior and hung strobe lights, tested power packs, synced our data feeds out of our digital cameras, inputed IPTC codes, selected the IP addresses back to our editors and tweaked our lighting from edge to edge. On Oscar night it’s all about the winner looking at you.
So the photographers yell: “to your left,” “to your right,” “over here,” “kiss the trophy,” “look up,” “look down” and “it’s me.”
They yell, I yell, “put the Oscars together” and “get closer.” We are all trying to compose a picture as if we are the only photographer in the room and have the undivided attention of the winner and their magical award.