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All Eyes On You

The Oscars Experience simulates the full-impact thrill of accepting an Oscar on stage at the Academy Awards


"And the Oscar goes to..."


When the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures called on HYPNO to design the Oscars Experience, they raised the bar for high-sensory, immersive experiences worldwide. To be awarded an Oscar is one of the most dazzling and life-defining achievements for anyone in the film industry – and our challenge was to fully recreate that experience for visitors to the museum, celebrities included. So, the stakes were high: the experience had to meet the standards of the Academy. That meant that the design and industry-grade technology had to equal to what you’d expect at the Dolby Theater itself, no expense spared. It meant that the sensation had to match the emotional, visceral thrill of approaching the stage, stepping under the lights, and hearing the audience roar with applause. And it meant that the experience had to feel personal – this your moment and yours alone. When visitors leave the stage and come back down to earth, they immediately receive a custom video shot on 4K Sony cameras, expertly mixed and optimized for social via HYPNO’s rapid-share technology. Ultimately, every visitor’s experience will be different. Some will arrive dressed for the Oscars. Some will have an acceptance speech prepared. But one thing is certain – everyone will feel the surreal, overwhelming impact of what it feels like to accept an Oscar. This is an experience designed to meet and exceed the highest expectations. And as any Oscar winner will testify, you have no idea what to expect until you’re standing on that stage.


We wouldn’t want to give too much away. But we can share that we had the full resources of the movie industry at our fingertips when creating the experience. The maze-like architecture of the “backstage” space is designed to twist and turn the mind, applying the same tools and techniques used in the industry to create physical and virtual sets. As visitors navigate the stage-lit maze, they see shadows of figures through the semi-transparent walls and the sound of a crowded theater can be heard behind the curtain – it’s clear that something is happening just around the corner, and it’s almost your turn. When you reach the end of the passageway, a specially trained assistant is there to usher you on stage – the entrance procedure means that they already know your name, and when you step into the bright lights a screen broadcasts that this moment is yours. With an audio system by Dolby Atmos and the highest industry-standard cameras by Sony, we were able to perfectly replicate the total immersion of the Dolby Theater. A canopy of gleaming gold fins shimmers above you, the stage is expanded by optical illusions, the awards music amplifies – and when you accept your Oscar, the curtains sweep open and a live audience stands to applaud. A live audience? No half measures – we worked with Rodeo Effects, visual effects partners for Disney and Netflix, to simulate a hyperreal live audience dressed for the Oscars. Each guest was captured on camera one figure at a time and recombined as a composite sequence synced with plates shot at the Dolby Theater. When the lights go down and you leave the stage with your Oscar, you’re still feeling the high – and the experience isn’t over yet.


While you’re accepting your Oscar, 4K Sony cameras installed at multiple different angles are capturing your reactions and the response of the audience. HYPNO’s custom video processing technology – HYPNOscript – converts the footage from the cameras and rapidly edits and mixes with motion graphics and custom audio, exporting and delivering to your phone in the time it takes to exit the experience space. You come back to reality, blinking into the light, and you see the Hollywood Hills through the expansive glass walls of the museum. Suddenly your phone buzzes and there’s the video, optimized for social sharing and showing you what the Oscars audience saw when you were there on stage – what your audience will see when you post on social.

And the strangest thing? Watching the Oscars will never be the same again. When you see the award winners speechless on stage, a part of you will know how they feel. You’ve been there, on the other side of the camera. You’ve felt the physical exhilaration, you’ve been transported to another place. And that singular moment is immortalized on camera.

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