BizBash | Showstoppers: 27 Innovative Ideas From Recent TV and Film Events

HBO's Lovecraft Country: Sanctum, a series of virtual events produced by The Mill makes BizBash's Showstopper list of steal-worthy (and pandemic-friendly) ideas from events surrounding TV and film
Press October 23, 2020

Entertainment premieres and promotions might look a bit different right now—but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the jaw-dropping creativity and steal-worthy event tactics. From star-studded drive-in premieres to VR-fueled online experiences to attention-grabbing stunts, get inspired by these standout—and pandemic-safe—ideas from recent television- and film-related events.

In early September, HBO premiered “Lovecraft Country: Sanctum,” a series of futuristic, virtual-reality events that transported guests into a digital world inspired by the series. One-hundred select influencers were invited to don Oculus Quest headsets for the three events, which combined immersive theater elements, escape rooms, art installations, and puzzles. The events were simultaneously run on social VR platform VRChat, so guests could interact with each other in real time; they were also streamed via YouTube Live, allowing fans to help solve riddles that could trigger spells that impacted the experience. Sanctum was developed by production studio The Mill.

Highlights of the VR events included voiceover performances by series stars Jonathan Majors, Courtney B. Vance, and Michael Kenneth Williams, plus afrofuturist art installations by David Alabo, Devan Shimoyama, and Adeyemi Adegbesan. There was also a theatrical performance inspired by the words of James Baldwin and performed by star Jurnee Smollett. It all culminated in a VR performance from Grammy-nominated musician Janelle Monáe, which featured a virtual environment that was directly impacted by the artist’s physical performance.


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