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Meet the 'mad scientists' that build those Oscar sets

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Part architecture atelier, part Jim Henson's Creature Workshop, Beth Goodnight's studio builds the sets for the Oscars, and much more.

For being the mastermind of some of the most unique sets and set pieces in the business today, Beth Goodnight is immeasurably modest. She graciously directs her crew at Goodnight & Co., consistently thanking them for the work they're doing as they load up the last bits going out to the red carpet and the Oscars show itself. "I have such a great crew and they have so many ideas and we have so many things at our disposal," she says. "We're like a bunch of mad scientists." 


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Because she's so low key, it's surprising to walk into Goodnight & Co. and see all the projects they've worked on and people they've worked with, from Ellen Degeneres, to Ford, to well, the Academy Awards. But as far as the latter goes, it took a while to lock down the gig.

"I started working on the red carpet sets 10 years ago," recalls Goodnight. "We used to all joke they only let us on the red carpet but they wouldn't let us on the inside but then they did. Now we do a good chunk of the interior, the red carpet set, and a post show an we built those as well."

Goodnight got her start building sets for McDonald's "Mac Tonight," ad campaign-- the one with the piano playing moon man. "There was a model of New York City in forced perspective and I just fell in love." 

Beth showed Offramp producer Taylor Orci around her workshop on one of the last days they planned to load up and ship out their Oscar sets. In between fielding questions about paint colors, Beth says they've been working on this project since January. And although she admits she hasn't slept much recently, she looks forward to the show because she loves the Oscars. 

"I have such a passion for film so this is mixing both those worlds. They're giving awards to people who are my heroes and it's nice to see people being rewarded for what they love and being part of the show that gives them that recognition."  

And if you watch the Oscars this Sunday, spend a little time looking at the backdrops that adorn the A-listers, they're worth some more recognition itself. 

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