Live Production Look-Back: Impractical Jokers Live Q&A

May 4, 2017

San Diego Comic-Con is just a few short months away, so what better way to prepare than with a new installment of our live production look-back series? In 2016, BMG produced a live Q&A with truTV’s Impractical Jokers at Dick’s Last Resort in downtown San Diego.

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San Diego Comic-Con is just a few short months away, so what better way to prepare than with a new installment of our live production look-back series? In 2016, BMG produced a live Q&A with truTV’s Impractical Jokers at Dick’s Last Resort in downtown San Diego. Here’s a re-cap of what went down.

The Gist:

BMG was contracted by truTV’s digital team to produce a 30-minute live Q&A with the Impractical Jokers during San Diego Comic-Con in July of 2017. We had 1 day for setup, production and strike for the live segment. The program streamed live on Facebook and truTV.com and featured a live discussion with the 4 Jokers as well as some pre-produced video content. In addition to the live show, truTV asked us to shoot some behind-the-scenes coverage of their events at Dick’s Last Resort, where the Q&A was hosted, and at Petco Park, where the Jokers held an additional event 2-days after the Q&A. BMG then edited together a Comic-Con sizzle reel for the truTV marketing team.

The Challenge:

We recently re-capped some of the biggest live production challenges we face when working at major events – like Comic-Con. They were all applicable for this project. As part of the fan experience, the truTV team built out an Impractical Jokers museum for fans to enjoy, which consisted of various exhibits and props from the show. Because the Q&A was just one element of the event, we had to work with – and around – the events team. We had to make sure our technical infrastructure and staging was largely setup before doors opened to the public. Our Q&A was scheduled for later in the day, but we had to work within a 10-hour day, which meant we had a compressed setup window. Cable runs were not long, but BMG was responsible for all of the staging, camera platforms, backdrops and in-venue monitors, which meant that we had a lot to coordinate and a lot to work through. And as with most live events, we had virtually no storage space to work with. Many of our road cases had to be hidden behind the stage or loaded back into our truck, which added to the setup time. You know the second you put something away is the second you need it.

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The Outcome:

The truTV team is always great to work with and the Jokers are always able to fill a venue. They have a very loyal fan base, which always adds to the energy and excitement of the show. Comic-Con 2016 was no exception. The live Q&A was a big success and we’re looking for another fun event at Comic-Con 2017. Stay tuned.

Check out some of our other Live Production Look-Back installments, including our global town hall with Hillary Clinton and our re-cap of the 2014 CBGB Music Festival.

1 Comment
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd: I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working! Thanks again for the work earlier this month. Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month. https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • K. Lona Lymen Reply
    2014-01-31 17:54:25

    You are spot-on that voters don't believe that Obama can accomplish any of his plans. I vote in every election, but I am disgusted with all the arguing and last minute actions that band-aid a problem for a few months, and then break out into new arguments. The comparison to the Superbowl was interesting because, like politics it is a great American sport. But, instead of Peyton Manning giving a State-of-the Union, the President's address should get better commercials!

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!