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LOS ANGELES MTV's Movie Awards telecast—like its Video Music Awards counterpart—is known for stunts and over-the-top moments involving celebrity guests, presenters, and performers. This year, the big celebrity story from the show, broadcast live from the Live Nation's Gibson Amphitheatre on Sunday night, was Sandra Bullock's first live public appearance since her marital split. (Bullock made a surprise showing at Spike TV's Guy's Choice Awards the previous night, but that show airs June 20.) But where the production was concerned, the story was a dynamic stage set, complete with multiple layers of custom projection screens.
“We were really excited about the set this year in that it was largely rooted in projection,” said executive producer Audrey Morrissey. “It was a very interesting blend of projection surfaces and brick-and-mortar physical set pieces. The screens were cutout in architectural shapes and the images we projected onto those surfaces were in fact architectural surfaces unto themselves with a lot of depth. I don't know that many places that are using projection as architecture. Since it's projection, we could create several looks and the whole place changed on a dime. We're loving the effect—its very all encompassing, very impressive, epic feeling.” Anton Goss of Consortium Studios handled the set design and projections, and Alan Branton of Triphoton City was the lighting designer.
Morrissey explained the production crew comprised a collection of people—MTV staffers based in New York and Los Angeles, plus “a huge body of people, really an army, of non-MTV staffers who come together year after year.” She estimated 500 people worked on the show itself. “It's like Extreme Makeover, putting it all together to pull off this show, and then its gone the next day.”
Mark Burnett was executive producer for the awards, along with Morrissey. Lee Rolontz was executive producer for MTV, Garrett English was the executive in charge for MTV, and Jane Mun was the supervising producer. For MTV, Wendy Plaut was the celebrity talent executive and Amy Doyle and Joanna Bomberg were the executives in charge of music and talent.
Comedian Aziz Ansari hosted the show. “The show is really strongly rooted in comedy and that held true this year,” said Morrissey. “It's been our experience that a lot of celebrities and actors are willing to come and play with us and have a little fun and show that side of themselves.”