Monday 24 July 2017

'It was crazy' - Irish producer on witnessing 'Best Picture' Oscar gaffe

'La La Land' producer Marc Platt speaks with producers Jordan Horowitz (L) and Fred Berger (R) as production staff consult behind them regarding a presentation error of the Best Picture award (later awarded to 'Moonlight'), inset Ed Guiney
'La La Land' producer Marc Platt speaks with producers Jordan Horowitz (L) and Fred Berger (R) as production staff consult behind them regarding a presentation error of the Best Picture award (later awarded to 'Moonlight'), inset Ed Guiney
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

An Irish producer who attended the 89th Academy Awards has spoken about the confusion that erupted in LA’s Dolby Theatre when La La land was incorrectly named Best Picture.

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty wrongly announced the top Oscar went to "La La Land," instead of "Moonlight."

The presenters, it turned out, had been given the wrong envelope by tabulators PwC, in this case the one awarding Emma Stone for best actress for her role in "La La Land."

Ed Guiney of Element Pictures attended the ceremony as his film The Lobster had been nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

Ed Guiney
Ed Guiney

Speaking to Independent.ie, Mr Guiney described the monumental mix-up which as “mental”.

“It was crazy,” he said. “Everyone had accepted the ‘La La Land’ outcome and then there was a kerfuffle and confusion on stage.

“Then it seemed that the producer of ‘La La Land’ wanted to share the award with ‘Moonlight’ but it became apparent there was a massive mess-up.

“We were [sitting] with the distributors and financiers of ‘Moonlight’ so they were totally aghast and delighted. It was mental.”

Aside from the Best Picture gaffe, Guiney said the ceremony was a great night.

It’s not the first time Guiney has attended the ceremony.

Last year, Element’s critically acclaimed film Room was nominated in several categories with lead actress Brie Larsson picking up the Best Actress award.

Other Irish nominees included Ruth Negga who arrived in a floor length valentine gown and costume designer Consolata Boyle.

The Sunday night broadcast of the Academy Awards hosted by comic Jimmy Kimmel drew the smallest audience since 2008.

An average of 32.9 million U.S. viewers watched the ceremony, a 4 percent drop from the 2016 Oscars which drew 34.4 million viewers.

The 2008 Oscars averaged 32 million viewers.

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