2021 marks the 7th year that Honeysweet Creative has had the privilege of producing and directing the Make Up And Hair Stylists Awards (MUAHS), considered one of the most prestigious award ceremonies leading up to the Oscars. This year’s show was pandemified like all others. But our client, Ingle Dodd Media, took the risk to allow us to take the MUAHS to the next level by creating a fully broadcast show.
Every year this award show turns out dozens of A-List Celebrities and honors luminaries in the entertainment industry. Last year it was Sir Patrick Stewart, this year we honored Eddie Murphy. And boy did the celebs come out for him. Anthony Anderson agreed to host. Arsenio Hall agreed to be the presenter for Mr. Murphy. Tracy Morgan made an unannounced appearance. Add to that that Glenn Close, Scarlett Johansen, Jennifer Garner and Maria Bakalova all agreed to be presenters as well and we had one heck of a show coming together.
Two weeks prior to our air date we shot the anchor of the show, Mr. Anderson, at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, CA. Here we had a 30’ wide by 12’ tall LED wall flanked with modern crystalline chandeliers. We had a four-camera shoot with hand-held and jib. And we had several presenters and speakers join us on stage that day. The results of the voting are top secret of course. So, we were super careful not to reveal those answers to anyone working with us. Joining us on stage that day was also Sibley Scoles of Access Hollywood who conducted virtual “red carpet” interviews with our stars and presenters some of whom “zoomed in” to the stage.
Each year the MUAHS guild celebrates the work of the Hair and Make Up teams that create so much of the magic involved in bringing fully realized characters to the screen. Over 21 categories of awards each with 5 nominated projects and each with teams of 4 lead members means that we have approximately 420 nominees up for awards. Erick Weiss was determined to have the excitement and fun of the nominees finding out “live” who won the award.
This turned out to be our biggest challenge. How were we going to get as many as 20 nominees on screen at the same time (21 times!) in a predictable way AND be able to grab the winning team so that they could make their remarks live? Just wrangling the over 300 nominees to log into a rehearsal and make sure we had good connections and that they all understood how it was going to go was Herculean. Insuring they were all connected on show day was miraculous. Oh, and one more little challenge, several of our nominees were nominated in multiple categories! ZOOM was not going to solve our challenges.
The answer came from a company called TVU Networks. This is a combination of hardware and cloud computing that literally lets us get fully high-definition signals from every device uncompressed. For the tech folks out there, it also puts out single SDI signals for every connection. This is only limited by the number of machines one utilizes. Teaming up with TVU we finally figured out we would need 9 devices to juggle our 300 plus nominees.
No other show has yet accomplished what we did. On award show night all the nominees got their moment on screen and had the thrill of watching their colleagues be celebrated for their achievements. Our whole team is super proud of this one. In these pandemic times, we were able, for a few hours one Saturday night, to truly bring a community together.
The Hollywood Reporter: bit.ly/3rNO0Td