Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Brooklyn backdrop: a "love letter" to and "a taste of" Brooklyn at tonight's VMA Awards (plus a concert in the neighborhood)

10:08 pm last night; photo via Next2BarclaysCenter
The MTV Video Music Awards show is coming to the Barclays Center from 9-11 pm tonight, with the "concert-loud" pre-show outdoors on the southeast corner of the arena block from 8-9 pm--though as the photo from last night shows, the lights were still shining bright.

In other words, it's going to be an interesting experience for Brooklyn neighbors of the arena, even as "Brooklyn" is being sold hard as the broader backdrop to the concert, beyond the fake Brooklyn Bridge and a fake brick wall.

Here's a list of street closures and other changes, including amplified sound from 12-4 pm and 6:30-9 pm.
2 PM - 4 PM and 6:30 PM – 9 PM
2 PM - 4 PM and 6:30 PM – 9 PM

The Holllywood Reporter headlined its article MTV VMAs: Exec Producer Promises Love Letter to Brooklyn:
The occasion: MTV’s Video Music Awards, touching down on the outer borough for the first time and using its local culture, storied history and sense of community as inspiration for Sunday’s show
...“We really wanted the show to be a statement and reflect Brooklyn,” [VMAs executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic] says, which means lots of Beastie Boys tunes as interstitials and maybe -- hopefully -- an appearance by the two surviving members of the group who helped define the network for much of the 1980s and 1990s.
Here's a Barclays Center TV interview with Ignjatovic:

Selling what exactly?

Nets/arena CEO Brett Yormark was on message, predicting a "big night for brooklyn," though that more likely means "our ability to sell Brooklyn."
The Hollywood Reporter stated:
MTV boasts a record number of sponsorships for this year’s show, despite a dip in ratings for the 2012 edition. For his part, Ignjatovic, who’s partnered with Evan Prager in production company Den of Thieves and will next take on American Idol, pays little mind to the numbers.
The New York Times, in Moonman Brings a Red Carpet to Brooklyn, also picked up on the theme:
Brooklyn, with its reputation for nurturing rap and indie music, may not seem like the most obvious place to hold the Video Music Awards — with its emphasis on pop stars like Katy Perry and Bruno Mars.

But when MTV executives chose to stage the awards program at Barclays Center this year, they decided to give it a Brooklyn vibe. So, perhaps inevitably, the V.M.A.s, to be broadcast at 9 p.m. on Sunday, will showcase the work of a famous Williamsburg artist, as well as brownstones and young Brooklynites.

“You are going to get a taste of Brooklyn throughout the show,” said Stephen Friedman, president of MTV.

The red carpet the celebrities will tread will be on a neighborhood street behind the arena, where faded brownstones, modest storefronts, a corner bodega and a city playground are the backdrop. The design for the show picks up the black and white colors of the Brooklyn Nets, who call the arena home, and echoes the matte, urban look of Barclays Center itself, with its whooshing facade of rusted steel.
In the neighborhood

The Times wrote:
It helped that many of the network executives live in the borough or have roots there. David Sirulnick, a Brooklyn native who is an executive producer for the show, said, “This is one of the few arenas actually in a neighborhood. It’s not going to be a red carpet show during which you can’t tell where it is.”

Plenty of Brooklyn residents will be on hand. Several thousand tickets were sold in a special offer to people with ZIP codes near the arena, and scores of other tickets were given to local youth groups and arts organizations, Jeannie Kedas, an MTV spokeswoman, said.
Unmentioned is that not everyone nearby is as thrilled.

Where's Katy?

The Hollywood Reporter stated:
Ignjatovic reveals that Katy Perry will perform at an offsite location that screams Brooklyn.
Yesterday, a truck with her gear went the wrong way down residential Dean Street--not a truck route--to the arena.

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