For the second consecutive year WorldStage provided video and lighting support - and a new surprise reveal - to Good Sense & Company's production of the YouTube Brandcast, which gives marketers and agencies a peek at YouTube's new original programming and insights into the world's biggest audience. The upfront-style event held at New York City's Pier 36 Basketball City featured everyone from Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, to Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of DreamWorks SKG, with performances by Snoop Lion, Lindsey Stirling, CDZA and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
YouTube is unlike any other purveyor of media. It attracts billions of viewers a month who tune in to see 72 hours of new contents uploaded every minute, including original programming and commissioned projects. Condensing the unique brand that is YouTube into a coherent message for potential advertisers was no simple feat.
"Although last year's Brandcast was a success, this year they wanted something different; they wanted Brandcast reinvented with new tech and theatrical 'wow!' moments that would make the show feel fresh," says Jared Siegel, co-founder and production director at Good Sense & Company. "We brought in WorldStage for preliminary meetings with the creative team last fall to talk about different ideas with the new set designer, an LA-based TV designer. We came up with a community theme since YouTube users are also YouTube creators. And with content paramount, we planned a big reveal moment."
Anton Goss of Consortium Studios devised a wraparound design for the venue, Pier 36 Basketball City, which is very wide but relatively shallow. "The space was a challenge because, for this event, it had to be configured along the long dimension," Siegel admits. To reflect YouTube's extraordinary reach, WorldStage integrated hundreds of feed of LED and projection display screens into the 450' wide stage and presentation structure that nearly surrounded the large audience.
Just when the audience thought they had seen everything they were going to see during the impressive show, the huge video display split apart to reveal the headline entertainer performing on a video display-covered stage that rose from the floor.
"No one expected the main LED wall to split down the middle to reveal the final performer, Macklemore - a big YouTube star, who performed two of his hits," says Siegel. "It was a big surprise moment - no one had any idea that it would open up. We threw an additional cast of 225 extras on stage for a fun, live, high-energy moment that helped symbolize the YouTube community."
"For a production this size, the set up went really well thanks to the planning of Good Sense, the capabilities of the Local 1 crew and our experience supporting big-venue shows," says WorldStage event manager Josh Perlman, who also served as the project manager in charge of all video and lighting. "The Brandcast was big, very big, and it was pulled it off without a hitch."
WorldStage provided Dataton WATCHOUT to drive playback on the LED and projection screens, Playback Pros for sizzle reel and pre- and post-show playback, Vista Systems Spyder X20s for image processing and Sony cameras for the live feeds plus extensive signal processing gear.
"There was so much content to deal with - the files were huge!" Siegel recalls. "WorldStage built the largest video village backstage that I've ever seen for a temp venue and they really killed it! The YouTube Brandcast got rave reviews, and the client was absolutely thrilled. No one could get over how big it was. And everything worked amazingly well."
At WorldStage, Mike Alboher was the EIC, Jason Spencer the Spyder technician and Rob Montenegro the lead for the LED signal processing. The WATCHOUT system was programmed by Michael Kohler with Raul Herrara systems tech and Lucy MacKinnon content manager. David Klein operated the Playback Pro; Pete Cerreta managed the cameras and recording systems. Mike Naylor shaded the cameras and was the senior engineer overseeing the camera package. J. Weise managed the entire cable install. Showmotion Inc. provided the staging & automation for the reveal. One Dream provided the audio.
WorldStage's Erik Perry was the lighting project manager working with lighting designer Chris Dallos and his production electricians.
WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.
Good Sense & Company is a creative and production service agency that manages live events for some of the biggest and most enterprising arts & entertainment groups, charities, corporations and private interests around the world.