February 23, 2013

Photo essay: Shooting the BQT on TV

Deep breath…

This week, we completed shooting of the Big Quiz Thing: The TV Show, and man, was it an adventure. Seven episodes of a New York City–themed game show, effectively (in my opinion) adapting the BQT format for the small screen. It airs starting this summer (exact date TBA) on the NYC Life network (channel 25 of Time Warner Cable or Fios). Of course, we'll be plastering clips all over the Internet, fear not.

Some photos from the shooting are below. All pictures by me, except where noted; you won't get the full experience, partly because I was so busy with everything else, but I think it gives a good taste of how awesome this was…

Rehearsal, which took place at the NYC Media studio in Downtown Brooklyn. The modified logo was great—still recognizable as the BQT, but spiffed up nicely . At right is NYC Media producer Liisa Lunden, along with Bill Hamilton of our house band, Nipsey, which just completely kicked ass, and were super fun guys to boot. Two of the many, many quality people we worked with during this process.

EdP's show intro on the teleprompter in rehearsal. That's when I knew it was for real.

I love that logo, even with an EdP photo-bomb.

At Kaufman Astoria studios, where we borrowed Broadway costuming, a different outfit for each of the seven episodes. (Shirtless EdP alert!) Wardrobe expertise was courtesy Felix Mercado, an outstanding celebrity stylist. (Photo by Diane Petzke, the head producer and the woman who "discovered" the BQT.)

A BQT gobo! It was ultimately projected onto for the floor in the shooting space. Also visible are the old BQT buzzers, repaired and glitzed up for the show's Buzzertastic Finale (I really need to trademark the word Buzzertastic).

I quickly learned that there's a lot of waiting around while making TV, something I'm not used to in the live-entertainment world. As long as it works in the end. (Photo by EdP.)

Cue cards for the audience, when they help me shout our familiar slogan "Trivial Times Demand Trivial Trivia." (This is my Facebook cover photo now.) EdP and I remained in the driver's seat creatively throughout this whole process. (Photo by Liisa Lunden.)

  The ad in Time Out New York soliciting contestants. We got a good mix of people, within the trivia-geek demographic, which is what I hoped for. I remained  front and center throughout; the BQT has been my life for more than ten years now, and I'm not ready to let someone else become its primary personality.

The door to Element Nightclub, letting contestants and audience know they've found the right place.

BQT-branded napkins at the green-room snack table! That's the real dream come true.

Some NYC Media gear, part of the gift bag given to all contestants. Yes, that's Mayor Bloomberg teaming up with Spider-Man.

The nerve center. Visible is Polo Langomas, who effectively custom-made an app so that teams could answer via iPad.

The lapel of what may have been my finest suit. That exact Made in NY button was formerly owned by Mayor Bloomberg; I ended up taking it home (alas, not the suits, though).

Crew badges. Dozens of professionals running around to in service of the BQT—a pretty good feeling.

My microphone pack. (Mine!)

Getting miked up. (Photo by Liisa Lunden.)

The stage preshow. The palm trees were part of Element's usual decor, but they worked for us.

Shooting a promo. Coming soon to an annoying video screen in the back of a cab you'll be riding home in late at night. (Photo by Liisa Lunden.)

In the dressing room. (Photo by BQT assistant Liv Swenson, who served as ace makeup and hair stylist for this show, since that's her real job.)

I had to sequester myself on the upper level preshow. When you're a star…

 A team table, this one featuring a regular BQT team, the Fat Kids. We had a few live-show frequenters taking the TV challenge, though not all could keep their familiar names (e.g., no dice on "the Fantastic Fournicators").

Moments before I leaped out onto the stage. It doesn't get more exciting than that.

 The view from my podium onstage. Three teams of three people—I think this was ultimately the most faithful way to adapt the traditional team-trivia format to TV.

Nipsey in action. The drummer, Frankie Dave Maggio, and I managed to annoy everyone else with a long, rock-nerdy chat about the Who.

EdP at his perch next to the scoreboard. We worked out a pretty good on-air dynamic: Me as quizmaster, he as intro guy/score guru/team liaison.

A question during the Lightning Round. Won't tell you more than that, but yes, that is an NYC-based query. Really pleased with how the content turned out.

Loading out on the last day. Element was the perfect space for this show (we're even chatting with them about doing a live event there).

There will be much, much more hyping in the months ahead, don't you fret. Get ready.


the kevin scurry blog said...

I know I had fun, even in the darkened audience.

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