Oscar treat for Hobbit designer

00:01, Feb 26 2013
FUN TIME: The Hobbit production designer Dan Hennah, left, and his son-in-law, Ra Vincent, enjoyed the Academy Awards yesterday, even if they left without any Oscars.

Dan Hennah may not have picked up another Oscar to add to the one in the dining room in his Orinoco home but he still had a great time at yesterday's Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles.

The Hobbit, for which Hennah was nominated for production design, lost to Lincoln in that category. Hennah said Lincoln was "a beautiful movie and it was well executed. It got what it deserved".

But he had voted for The Hobbit. As production designer, Hennah was responsible for the overall look of the film.

Making the occasion special for the five-time nominee was that he was accompanied by his daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Mapua artist Ra Vincent, who had been nominated for set decoration. Hennah's wife, Chris, also worked on The Hobbit, managing the art department, and Nancy worked on makeup. Hennah's grandchildren Ruby, 7, and Tui, 5, were also in Los Angeles, although not at the ceremony.

Hennah rated the five-hour ceremony the best of the five he has seen live.

"It was a great show with fantastic acts. I actually thought Seth McFarlane did a great job. I think it tops all the others in terms of the way it moved and the general feeling in the room. Everyone was very positive and all the speeches were relatively short," he said from his Beverly Hills hotel room this morning.


Hennah had an acceptance speech in mind but The Hobbit did not win for any of the three categories it was up for.

He said the ceremony's highlight was Shirley Bassey's performance of the Goldfinger theme: "She really turned it on."

After the ceremony Hennah's group attended the traditional Governor's Ball and then went to a party hosted by the One Ring Tolkien fan group, as the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film-makers have every year. He said it was "nice to reconnect with the fans and be treated like we were The Beatles in 1969".

Hennah's group leaves Los Angeles tonight to fly back to Nelson.

The Nelson Mail