How Do They Do It? Behind the Scenes of Award Shows – Guest Post by Eric Halberg


An industry has been built around celebrity watching and entertainment news. Nowhere is this most evident than when you watch awards shows; you devote around three hours of your evening to watching your favorite actor, singer, or personality, seeing how everyone’s dressed and listening to whatever very cool music is featured. But as you might expect, there is a lot more behind the scenes action in order to make the pomp and circumstance of what you see on television actually happen. Not only do these awards shows cost a lot of money to produce and air, there are many teams of people required to make them happen.

Show Me the Money!

While it certainly depends which awards show is being produced, it’s safe to say that there is a lot of money involved in any given awards show. For instance, with the Oscars, it costs $500 to produce one golden statuette. At 24 categories, that means it costs $12,000 just to produce the statues. It costs $5,000,000 for the voting campaigns.

These basic numbers are all well and good, but we haven’t even considered the cost of hiring the technicians, the fashion designers, the producers or the director(s) behind an awards show. According to, the set designer could make around $96,000; the show director, $143,000. By comparison, the lighting technicians only make $26 per hour. All told, the salary payouts alone could cost as much as $782,000. That doesn’t include the payout to television stations for the privilege of air time.

Who’s Involved?

While not every awards show will have the exact same crew working on it, the awards shows – whether the Oscars, the People’s Choice Awards, or the American Music Awards – will have certain crew members which will be consistent across the board. Obviously, the shows will require both a show director and a music director; that just goes without saying. However, there also needs to be lighting technicians and camera operators that will obviously help the show actually appear on television.

Of course, the magazine and news reporters will want to have pictures of both the potential awards winners and the winners themselves, as well as sound bites and quotes from them. That means photographers and reporters will have to be on the red carpet, ready to interview the big stars – and their significant others, if they are also famous – and get the hottest shots for the evening. There will have to be reporters working in the press booth; that costs $500 to access the wireless Internet hookup as well. There also has to be technicians on hand to ensure that the upload to the television stations for the live feed of both the red carpet and the ceremony itself actually works flawlessly.

You can see when you consider the money and the personnel involved in mounting any Hollywood awards show that there is a lot of work, effort and money involved. That means there has to be a wide range of advertisers to help support the financial figures involved in the show and a great number of people busy working to make the celebrities look as good as they do. While the awards shows may run up to four hours on television, keep in mind, it’s all for our entertainment.

Eric Halberg is a part-time blogger who likes to write about TV shows and celebs, offering his thoughts and opinions on a range of entertainment blogs. Visit for information on getting Cable TV.

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Jules Sherred is the parent of two teenage boys, freelance writer, web designer, author of Five Little Zombies and Fred, General Manager and radio personality at The Look 24/7, owner of the largest Star Trek community on Google+, Geeky Pleasures creator, geek support for Parsec Award winning The Minister of Chance, and more. On the Geeky Pleasures Radio Show, Jules has interviewed Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Coulton, Phil Plait, Sylvester McCoy, Richard Hatch, Paul and Storm, R.A. Salvatore, John Kovalic, and so many more. Jules' writing can also be found on Hugo Award winning SF Signal, GeekMom, United Federation of, Nerdy With Children, Star Wars vs Star Trek. Slowly, Jules is working on another book titled Nerd Love. You can follow Jules on Twitter @GeekyJules. Also, JULES LOVES STAR TREK.

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