This column regularly covers how to use game shows and trivia options to expand the event possibilities for your company. These services have generated a lot of Midweek Money for the entertainers who offer them. Yet many others can’t get past the feeling that these services will take them away from doing what they love: simply being a DJ. However, with some creative thinking you can combine the DJ’s primary mission—using music to help people have the time of their lives—with the crowd- pleasing concept of games. Here are two possible ways to keep the DJ in the gameshow host: production values and musical trivia.
DON’T JUST PLAY IT, PRODUCE IT
hetypicalDJhasanextensivesoundand lighting system, yet often when game shows are presented, the host relies com- pletely on the game show hardware to generate the excitement. Why? Wasn’t the sound and lighting a big part of the excite- ment of the gameshow hit Who Wants To Be A Millionaire when it hit the air in 1999? When you have a lot of great gear available to you to “produce” the game show, why only bring the contestant stands or con- trollers, an LCD projector and screen for the score, and only a basic sound system? Game shows actually provide a great opportunity to get creative.
At the beginning of the game show portion of the evening, you could have a “big voice” announcer making the introductions (of you and/or the event’s host if it’s someone else) from a pre-recorded sound drop. Have lights panning all over the room to find the contestants (simulating the cameras at the start of The Price Is Right) or centering on the players as they are introduced, like on Jeopardy. Also taking a cue from Jeopardy, be ready with your own “think music” during important moments, and set up intelligent lighting to be spinning and then centering on the contestant and host at each big moment of the game. (Make sure you have as much control as possible over the venue’s lighting to make this atmosphere really come to life.)
And instead of giving away the addi- tional lighting/sound, sell it as an “upgrade” to the game show (an interesting switch, huh?). You are offering to totally set the mood of the game show for them. Consider having a regular package that includes only basic sound and lighting, and then a high-end “Like On TV” package.
You are really only limited by your own cre- ativity in putting together this type of show. Check out what they’re doing on your own FAVORITE TV game shows to get inspired!
NAME THAT CAMOUFLAGED TUNE
No I’m not just talking about playing clips from your DJ library for 5 seconds and having them name the tracks for points. I’m talking about going out and investing a bit in music. You can up the ante a bit by providing very different versions of people’s favorite songs. You can track them down in almost any style (iTunes is an amazing resource for this), including “elevator music”-style, polka-style, reggae covers, or as I did recently, string quartet style. (See the sidebar for details on this very interesting possibility.)
Once you’ve built a library of these alt-tunes, you can use it for years; just make sure to keep track of songs you use and not repeat any at next year’s party WHEN they hire you back because of all the fun they had at this year’s event.
These are just a couple of ideas for how you can use your DJ skills and training to the max at game show and trivia events. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
Filed Under: Business, Issue #150, Sound, Video
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