Full on Double Entry for March - Back to back nights with the Queen of Pop and the Prince of Shizzle. David Rodgers and Epix had us along to celebrate Katy Perry's new live concert movie. Sorry haters, she's wicked talented. Then straight off of his Keynote address at SXSW the Lion himself Snoop Dogg did a private listening event for his new Pharrell-produced Album BUSH. Ariadne at A-Team brought this one to us - possibly the greatest new client we got... Love her - Next up with Ari is the Dalai Lama's 80th Birthday at the Honda Center for 15,000 of his closet friends - yes, she has cool gigs. And yes South By Southwest was as great as ever - would do a post of The Oh Sees or Speedy Ortiz or something, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to mash double D with double G. thank you for indulging me.
It's our favorite week of the year, remember? And it keeps coming around quicker and quicker I have to say. This is the Recording Academy's 5000 person Grammy after-party at the convention center that we've done now for 15 years. Between us and ATK and ACD and Kish and Eggs and Bacon, we've become a seriously well-oiled machine. The picture is of a big truss structure that Damon designed to look like a train station. Next door, Bob Dylan was honored as person of the year with the usual mix of legendary rock stars performing his songs. This stuff never gets old, and we feel crazy lucky to be involved. And yes all of us at ShowPro were thrilled to see Ryan Adams nominated for best rock album.
We went up to San Fransisco with Sequoia to open up a new $1.5b medical facility in the Mission District, for UCSF. Bart Kresa designed an other-worldly interactive projection that towered above a massive stage. Breathtaking choreography from Alonza King Lines Ballet paired dancers and low-lying fog with Bart's projection for a really strong multimedia opening for the show. Kevin Spacey came out and performed standards with his band and the evening closed with Tim McGraw bringing down the house. All in all a very satisfying weekend between this great show, the inspirational new facility that is now open, and the Patriots pulling off a sweet playoff victory against the Ravens.
Great honor for us to work with a new client who has been a powerhouse in the event industry for many years, Caravents (where've you been all our lives, Cara?). Michael Escobar from Cara brought us on board to help out with sound, lighting and video for the hard-hitting industry event, Women In Entertainment. This is a great charity where women leaders from the entertainment industry mentor and sponsor at-risk girls. These girls are given guidance and access to education and jobs that would otherwise seem impossible. I will admit I had a tear in my eye when Angelina Jolie presented one of the girls with a full-ride scholarship to Loyola Marymount University. Ellen giving away iPods away is cool, but it ain't a college education. Massive gratitude to Caravents and Sean from Lone Outpost for including us.
We were invited back to USC to help out with a big Alumni fundraiser. This time we were asked to provide all production - sound, lighting and video. Headlining was Lamont Dozier who was part of the legendary songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland who basically penned every Motown hit you've ever heard. Almost. Lamont was backed by ridiculously talented USC School of Popular Music players, and they did all the hits. So fun to see the youngest and newest talent performing with a living legend. What a joy for us to be involved with the music, and to be handed the reigns on all production from Adam and Meghan from USC. Note the gig was in a clear tent, and that house-backdrop is outside of the tent. Super cool looking gig. Great Chandelier, too, right?
Seriously, yet another freekin' wicked gig. So fun. Craig Donahue and TDC brought us along to celebrate Ferrari's 60th anniversay in the US. We built a custom stage over the steps to Beverly Hills City Hall, put up some gorgeous 5mil outdoor LED screens, and lit the pants out of the iconic City Hall Structure in Ferrari Red. We used Bad Boys to do a projection of the Ferrari Cavallino 'dancing horse' on the tower of the building. On day two, we put up sound and three more giant LED screens on Rodeo Drive and built a stage to reveal the 3.2 million dollar Ferrari F60 America of which only 10 were made, and all are spoken for. We built a big structure with an LED car counter, and counted over 1000 Ferraris that came for the show. OK the gig was painful getting there because it was MASSIVE, but it sure felt good to see it all go off without a hitch. They seriously need to make an all-electric Ferrari.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bought and refurbished the legendary May Company Deco building on Wilshire. They are opening an Oscars Museum and we were invited to work on the first exhibit in the building. This exhibit was entitled Hollywood Costumes, and featured some of the most iconic costumes from the Silver Screen ever assembled in one place. This gig was a series of events to introduce the building to press and industry types. We did a bunch of projection on screens around the room, as well as pretty lighting and a great processed sound system. Fun Gig.
Another one of those amazing weeks where we have gigs piled on top of gigs and they're ALL AMAZING. The Emmys and the Video Music Awards landed on the same weekend so we were bouncing between the Convention Center where we were invited by Cheryl and the Sequoias to sound/light/versatube their Governor's Ball for 5000, and every hipster club in LA doing shows for MTV. We did Sam Smith and Iggy Azalea for our beloved Ariadne at The Palace and Jesse J and Becky G at Blvd 3 for our favorite Adam Stewart. We ended up at the Forum for the arrivals on the main show then some really groovy unannounced private shows for big acts in small rooms around town. MTV VP Stephen Kipp = ONE LOVE. Can't possibly show our appreciation for these massive event people continuing to include us in their fun gigs. So sweet - Thank You!
We have another new client that we love. As i keep saying, that's what it's all about - gigs are great but clients that bring you great gigs are greater. This time Lindsey and the gang from Ncompass invited us to take care of production for the screening of a new Starz Network show called Outlanders. It's based on a popular book series about someone who moves between the 18th and 20th centuries without much say in the matter. This time we got to work in the 104 year old Spreckels Theater in Downtown San Diego during Comic-Con. We put in a full projection system including screen, full processed audio system that sounded good in every seat and even some lighting for a Q&A with the cast and director after the screening. We've all seen the young-and-crazy at Comic-Con but this was extra trippy as we had about 1400 old-and-crazy fans of the book series in the audience. They screamed like they just saw The Biebs... Ain't Life Grand?
Really excited to be working with new client SEIBO on a six-month US tour with a major European auto manufacturer. Among other audio/video/lighting support, we are doing a 360 degree projection in a dome. We're working with Vartan and Matt from VT Design to put guests in a completely immersive experience where they feel like they are flying down the road in this new car. Super cool, but even cooler is this new client. Really technically savvy, really talented and really kind. One of those relationships that feels like a perfect fit. We all need more of those right?!
Special mid-month Edition of the widely anticipated ShowPro Blog. It's time to talk about what time it is. It's time to understand that you can put solar panels on your building, take advantage of some tax credits, and pay for the freekin' thing in 6 years. Believe it! Here is a copy of our last electric bill - 20,000 square foot warehouse with 15 full time employees testing big, bright lights and LED walls, keeping their lunches cool in two refrigerators and powering up two electric cars for $82 a month. BELIEVE IT MAN, 'CAUSE IT'S REAL.