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A lesson from the Golden Globes: Less is More.

Hosts on stageOn January 13th, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association held their 70th annual Golden Globe Awards presentation at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in front of a celebrity packed ballroom and 19.7 million television viewers around the world.

You might think a prestigious awards ceremony, presented in front of an audience of millions, demands spectacle, cutting edge technologies and state-of-the-art bells and whistles. Think again.

In fact, the Golden Globes are noted for their modest setting, simple staging and lack of elaborate sets. The show is staged in a fairly standard ballroom with the most elaborate pieces of on-camera decor, outside of the evening gowns and star dental work, being the grand chandeliers that are a permanent fixture of the room.

Though there is added room decor in the ceilings and expensive table dressings, the staging remains, as it has for years, rather ordinary and straight forward. Visual variety is mostly achieved through color changes, moving panels and drops.

Golden Globes stage

Room decorThere’s nothing wrong with designing and selling beautiful decor. Jaw-dropping decor for that matter. But it clearly isn’t a requisite for delivering a great awards-style event. Elaborate sets and cutting edge tech aren’t the show, they’re enhancements, and often valued additions. But success of the show doesn’t depend on budget blowing dazzle. More appropriately, it depends on conveying content.

It’s a point worth making when working with production designers and clients who may be over reaching their resources with a more grandiose vision than needed. Less can indeed be more in terms of properly fitting scale to purpose and budget to effect.

That is, unless spectacle for spectacle’s sake is the soul of your show. Then by all means, have at it. No one ever used the adage that less is more at a Superbowl Halftime meeting.

the room

Clearly and accurately engaging an audience in your client’s message should be first and last on the list. Show producers can point to the annual Golden Globes production as a convincing example of how budget conscious clients can leverage smart spending and simple staging to deliver high caliber effect.

The 70th Golden Globe Awards were produced by Dick Clark Productions and directed by Louis J. Horvitz. Images are courtesy of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC.