Bill & Melinda Gates with Viacom President & CEO Philippe Dauman
Jesse McCartney Performs at Get Schooled
Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation formally launched their national education initiative "Get Schooled," with a groundbreaking series of events that culminated with the television premiere Get Schooled: You Have the Right.
The premiere aired simultaneously across all Viacom networks including BET, MTV, VH1, CMT, COMEDY CENTRAL, Spike TV and Nickelodeon, marking Viacom’s first-ever programming "roadblock" or simulcast across all of the media company's U.S. television properties.
Surrounding the premiere was a multi-tiered, integrated series of events designed to change the paradigm of pro-social initiatives. Featuring an education conference, small group discussion, concert, and television premiere components, the day-long program of events informed, entertained, and fostered relevant discussion all focused on promoting education reform.
Thought leaders, education stakeholders, corporate and non-profit partners as well as many celebrities convened on the famed Paramount Pictures Studio Lot in Hollywood, CA to take part in the affair, which was also sponsored by AT&T, Capital One Corporation and NYSE Euronext.
Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report hosted the education conference during which a distinguished line-up of well-known voices in the education field presented their riveting ideas and novel insights. In classic Colbert-style, the host dryly interjected his witty political satire in between presentations from speakers that included Bill & Melinda Gates, Viacom President & CEO Philippe Dauman, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller, Davis Guggenheim, director of An Inconvenient Truth, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Los Angeles school teacher Stephen Minix and political columnist Arianna Huffington among others.
Over 500 students from local Los Angeles-area high schools joined the multitude of attendees to view an advance screening of Get Schooled: You Have the Right. Miranda Cosgrove, star of Nickelodeon’s Emmy-nominated hit show “iCarly,” was received with squeals of excitement when she introduced the premiere to the student audience.
For the final event of the day, Paramount's New York City Street Lot was the stage for celebration with a Block Party hosted by MTV’s Damien Fahey that showcased performances by DJ Spooky, America's Best Dance Crew’s BREAKSK8 and Champions Quest, R&B singer songwriter Monica, and teen pop sensation Jesse McCartney. Students and attendees alike rocked out on the Rockband 2 stage and browsed through Get Schooled website kiosks, while enjoying classic NY Street fare catered by Wolfgang Puck.
The event featured an extensive press component with several red carpet and PSA taping areas. There was heavy press turnout and coverage of both the education substance of the day as well as the many celebrities such as Heidi Klum, Ben Stiller, Seal, Hank Azaria, Andre Agassi and J.J. Abrams among others that attended.
With only 30 days advance, Viacom turned to Empire Entertainment to serve as the production company for all elements of the event program. The concert and conference elements were shot as a live, multi-camera television events for VOD, executed with precision timing to allow for live broadcasts including interviews with Bill & Melinda Gates and Philippe Dauman with Maria Bartiromo for CNBC.
Empire’s turnkey delivery of this project included supervision and management of all front of house logistics, creation and management of media and press areas, sponsorship activation and integration, technical and production design and support, speaker and talent coordination, content management, and supervision of all broadcast elements.
Empire also worked closely with Radical Media, who provided for design inspiration for graphics, and scenic elements.
Empire specializes in managing multi-faceted, high stature live events such as the Get Schooled launch. From logistics and content to production and design, Empire delivers flawlessly on events and live broadcast projects of the highest caliber.