The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards will air this weekend with guest presenters like Lorde, Jason Derulo, and Nina Dobrev, as well as performances from Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Five Seconds of Summer, and more. It’s an impressive lineup for the 31-year old event, and helping to coordinate the production is 2008 Film grad Sean Englert as locations assistant.
This marks Sean’s sixth consecutive year as part of the VMA crew, just one of the many large scale television events he’s had a hand in since graduation. Working through Fontao Management Inc, Sean has previously assisted on broadcasts of the Tony Awards, NFL Draft, and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“These productions are so fast paced and the live element adds a different level of excitement, that’s what I love,” he says. “The VMAs are actually my favorite annual gig. I like the community aspect of it. We have a trailer compound set up, it’s kind of like a neighborhood, and there’s hundreds of people on site working together. The VMAs to me are like summer camp. I get to see friends, new faces, and it’s just an awesome show.”
As locations assistant Sean is helping to coordinate the logistics of the show’s setup, working with the crews coming in and out of host venue The Forum in Inglewood, California. He’s been on site for the past month, with the crew total slowly climbing to around 400 people as they’ve gotten closer to air date.
“It’s crazy how much goes into this, all for just a two-hour show,” he says. “Being in the locations world, right up until the broadcast is going to be nonstop for us. On the day of the show I’ll be working on things like guest arrivals, the red carpet, and audience entrances. As soon as airtime starts we can finally take a deep breath because everything in our world will have gone well – then we’ll spend the next two days breaking it all down.”
This year’s Video Music Awards will be broadcast live on MTV on Sunday, August 24 at 9:00 p.m. EST. Having sat in on rehearsals, Sean is expecting a good highlight reel come Monday morning, which he admits is half the fun of working the annual event.
“There’s always some big moment and it’s cool to be a part of what everybody will be talking about the next day,” he says. “I grew up as part of the MTV generation, the reason I picked a camera in the first place was because of Jackass – so just being a part of that world now is great for me. I like how current it feels with all the new performers every year, it’s like you get to be a part of pop culture.”