It’s been over a week since the Oscars and people are still talking about the jaw-dropping end to the show when during La La Land‘s acceptance speech they were interrupted and told they did not win. Moonlight was the real winner, and that group stumbled on stage, shocked as everyone else.
As you can guess, producers, account executives, and amateurs like me are trying to figure out what happened and how can they avoid such a gaffe again. Thing is, that wasn’t their only mistake. It was such a big one it overshadowed the others, one that deserves a jaw drop just the same.
The other big blunder was during the “In Memoriam” segment when a very-much-alive woman was pictured as dead. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Janet Patterson is the deceased costume designer. The picture was of producer Jan Chapman.
These are issues professors warned me about my first year in college. The means to avoid these mistakes aren’t that hard, but I know I’ve goofed big time in my work. Here’s what I gleaned from the Oscar flubs, and my own.
- Triple check your work. Hand it over to someone else and make them triple check. Then give to another person and repeat. You can’t proofread enough. Look at all text and pictures. Go line by line. Push it aside and go back to it. Let others look so you have fresh eyes. In public speaking, I’ve forgotten people who were a huge part of the event. In writing, Windows can get funky and if I rest my hand a certain way, it will delete text and paste something else in place. The back cover of ENTANGLED shows that played out for the world to see and I missed it. Ugh. I know better. For the Oscar slides, check, check, check that the pictures match the name of the deceased person.
- Remember pride goes before a fall. With the Oscar snafu at the end, there have been rumors that one of the accountants was a bit star-eyed with his role. He was on Twitter sharing pictures of backstage. I read that there are whisperings this guy went to producers asking to be put in a bit with the host, Jimmy Kimmel. If it’s true, he lost focus. He had one job, and he blew it. Oh, I’ve been there. Writing is a lonely job. When someone notices your work for the right reasons, the temptation to think you are a rock star is there. What’s that saying I hear these days? “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
- Font matters. With the pageant Steve Harvey made an error last year and last week’s Oscars, I saw both cards. Font and size were an issue. I guess with the Oscars, people complained before the show as it was a different design. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until it is. With writing, I researched cover design and I’ve seen what I read about. You don’t want multiple fonts, all so fancy and out there that your cover is too busy. Use a fancy font, and a simpler font. It makes for easy reading and a quality design.
Do you have any lessons learned from your own experience or a live performance you’ve seen?