The “Screen Tests” All Started with a Cup of Coffee…

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In 2016 BC Creates in conjunction with the Motion Picture Production Industry Association approached us to brainstorm creative on site entertainment for their high-profile gala – a thank you to GVRD mayors and councils for their cooperation with on location filming in their regions. We met over coffee with the event planning committee and started talking about the key message of the event – plus the desired tone, humour and details of the physical space of the venue. The meeting quickly turned into a high-paced ideas session with lots of laughs and “one-upping” each others’ ideas. The result was one of the most interesting event entertainment components we’ve produced so far, tailor-made for the needs of this high-profile events – that reflected the humour and personality of the sponsoring organisation.

So we put together our first “on location” entertainment team – featuring a kickass female director character, camera man, boom operator, makeup artist and production assistants with radios and traffic vests. This team of performers would transform the event into an on location shoot, and transform the guests into actors on location. The concept was details and rehearsed – and was a huge success with GVRD mayors and staff – truly unforgettable and definitely partially responsible for the fact that everyone stayed to the very end and left with laughs and hugs.

Since this first event, we’ve honed our unique entertainment feature – adding some hilarious set dialogue and physical gags. After the initial signature “on location welcome” as guests arrive, the tongue-in-cheek film crew focuses on “screen tests”:  While your guests chat and enjoy a cocktail, this hilariously accurate-looking film crew and director will roam your event watching guests interact until the director sees the perfect interaction to pick up her megaphone and yell “CUT”, coach the guests on another way to play it, boom mic in, slate, and then “ACTION!” – it never fails: guests will fall into the fun of the moment and play their original interaction with each other in several different ways, taking our directors notes, revelling in their new role as actors on an on location shoot in Vancouver – Hollywood North.

To date, we’ve added this outside-the-box event entertainment to several events with great success – including community engagement events for BC Creates, returned for an encore performance at the 2017 BC Creates Gala atop the Vancouver Art Gallery, and a very high-profile industry event for the Motion Picture Production Industry Association, industry stakeholders and BC MLA’s. Each time without fail, the inner star in the guests comes out, getting laughs and transforming the event into a comfortable meeting of friends.

Finally, and most recently, we created the vintage version of the screen test entertainment for a fantastic event at the Rocky Mountaineer for one of Bright Ideas Events’ amazing events in December. We had a vintage movie camera prop specially made and did all the screen tests for “a new production of A Christmas Carol” on a gorgeous set, put together by the Bright Ideas team.

Cecil B. DeMille, legendary silver screen director was set up and ready to meet the “new talent” at the event – with the delightful studio actress Vivian Leigh, who made sure  guests chose their audition script, got their costume accessories on and find their mark. She even “read in” if guests come alone and needed someone to play opposite.

As guests approached, they got to choose a mini-script from the movie  and then added a few things to their wardrobe so they looked perfect for the part. If they didn’t want a script, no problem! Mr. De Mille  just threw them a couple of lines.

After Vivian called “PLACES” and slated the scene, our director adjusted his absolutely accurate-looking vintage movie camera, picked up his trusty bullhorn and took guests through a hilarious series of directions, working with each guest to bring out their inner silver-screen movie star until he got what he wanted: a fantastic scene and huge laughs from participants and colleagues watching the action.

We are also very pleased to offer the option of truly filming all the screen tests with your guests and editing them professionally into a slick and hilarious teaser reel for an extra take-away: excellent for social media, marketing – or just plain laughs.

We’ve been so gratified with the overwhelming response we’ve had from guests and organisers. The ‘screen tests” never fail to bring out the play and imagination in guests – making it an ice-breaker, team builder and just solid event entertainment.  From coffee to completion, this feature has been a real pleasure.

Soooo good! Character Guys make all in the world right! Truly awesome. The way your crew adapted to the crowd was genius. Eye of the hurricane –knowing you guys had it dialled certainly helped ease that moment.

-Kirsten Mihailides, Principal, KMPR

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How do I love thee character guys…let me count the ways.  You guys were so awesome again!

-Leslie Wootton, Executive Administrator, MPPIA

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You guys are such a great addition to all our goings on that I may have to stop attending parties you’re not at!
Thank sooo much!!
-Kendrie Upton, Executive Director, Directors Guild of Canada

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Thank you!  The evening was a great success from our point of view, and the little touches you and your gang of merry mixers brought to the event made the evening so personal and so charming for all of our guests.  We think your approach achieved a perfect balance between mischievous annoyance and comedic revelry and set the night’s festivities on the right path. It was a pleasure to work with you and Nick on crafting the evening as well. ”

-Phil Klapwyk, Organizational Council, BC Creates