LAS VEGAS ShoWest, the long-running motion picture industry convention and trade show for the exhibition and distribution community, rolled into Bally's and Paris Las Vegas from March 15 through 18, bringing a slew of production-heavy events along with it.
Among them was Sony's luncheon on March 17 for 3,000 Showest participants in a Paris ballroom, where a 20-foot logo decked the center of the room. The studio's Ann-Elizabeth Crotty oversaw the program, tapping 15/40 Productions for the design and production. After lunch, the assembled crowd sat for a screening of the studio's upcoming June release of The Karate Kid. A group of 40 models in traditional Chinese dresses lined the way from the luncheon to Le Theatre Des Arts.
Before the screening, more than 150 students from a Las Vegas kung fu academy entertained the crowd. Traditional warriors, drummers, and lion dancers performed, and a confetti canon explosion ended the pre-show festivities, giving way to the introduction of the movie's producers and director. The picture's young actor, Jaden Smith, received an award presented by Billy Bush, and Smith's parents Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.
CBS Films hosted an event for about 2,000 guests on the following day, also in a ballroom at the Paris hotel. CBS's Maggie Schmidt tapped Swisher Productions to produce, and Maggie Swisher in turn brought aboard 15/40 Productions for design, production, technical production, and show writing. Organizers set up 20-foot scaffolding structures with bead curtains and polyester-silk blend panels to use for projection, and changed the mood of the room as each upcoming movie was announced and its trailer played. Celebs like The Back-Up Plan's Jennifer Lopez and Faster's Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton were on hand to speak about their films.
All told, ShoWest programming also included the “ShoWest University” education sessions, a trade show floor with more than 250 exhibitors, other screenings and product reels, and an award program.