At the start of the year, ABC Family rebranded itself as Freeform, firmly identifying itself as an entertainment powerhouse for teens and young adults. The network continues to build out a loyal audience beyond its flagship Pretty Little Liars with hits like Stichers, Switched at Birth and Young & Hungry. Defining “becomers,” a demographic category coined by the network last year, Tom Ascheim, the network’s president, told Lexicon Branding, “It’s a life stage. It’s that place between childhood and adulthood. Proverbially we say between your first kiss and your first kid. Kind of starts in high school, goes till, I don’t know, when you’re 20 or something, maybe 30.”
For their 2016-2017 upfront, Freeform staged their event at Spring Studios in TriBeCa as both a coming out celebration and a showcase for its impressive development of original content.
UVLD was tasked by agency inVNT with both handling media delivery and lighting design; Branden Roth handled the media side, with Paul Sharwell doing the lighting design. The inVNT team was lead by executive producer Hamish Keith with Matt Bishop serving as technical director.
Spring Studios features floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning Hudson River views. Rather than shuttering these windows as the audience enters, the show indulged the sunlight, filling the room with light. Just prior to the event, the shades were lowered, creating an intimate and dark space for the audience to concentrate on the reveal of both the new lineup and a review of the existing run-away hits.
The set featured a 7:1 ratio front projection for super-wide content delivery, with network assets playing in a 1920×1080 window with supporting graphics outboard. All playback and compositing was done in Coolux Pandora.
Roth said, “We were happy to support InVnt for a second year in a row. This year’s sizzles included a bunch of old favorites as well as lots of new programming. The venue, Spring Studios, was exceptionally beautiful during sunset, and the platform in which we delivered the presentation was completely new: a 110′ widescreen.”