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Top 5 Live Production Venues at San Diego Comic-Con

Apr 24, 2018

San Diego Comic-Con is right around the corner and we’re in full pre-production mode, planning several Read More Add A Comment

San Diego Comic-Con is right around the corner and we’re in full pre-production mode, planning several live productions for this year’s event. If you’ve ever been to Comic-Con, you know that there’s a lot that happens inside the San Diego Convention Center, but even more happens outside the walls of the convention center. As we begin to dive into our Comic-Con prep, we thought we’d give a recap of some of our favorite Comic-Con production venues.

Dick’s Last Resort (R.I.P.)

Sadly, the Dick’s Last Resort in San Diego is no more, which is a shame because it was a great venue for Comic-Con productions. We worked with truTV and the Impractical Jokers at DLR in 2016. The space had an outside courtyard where we setup the stage for our live Q&A. Inside the venue, truTV setup the “museum of Impractical Jokers” which featured props and exhibits from the show. Guests had the opportunity to soak in the sun during our live show, then cool off inside afterwards. The only downside was that the venue proved to be a little tight for accommodating all the Jokers fans.

Moonshine Flats

In 2016, we produced 12 live shows over 3 days for Defy Media at Moonshine Flats in downtown San Diego. Moonshine was a great Comic-Con production venue. There was a stage large enough to accommodate several panel discussions plus ample seating for a live audience. There were also back-stage areas that were large enough to accommodate our client’s editorial team. Our control room was built just offstage next to the bar (we still can’t explain where all that missing liquor went) – it was a tight footprint, but worked well as it kept us out of the way. Our biggest technical challenge with the space was dealing with the height of the stage, which is typically meant for live bands. It took some creative camera blocking and in the end we were able to make it work.

Petco Park

We worked with truTV and the Impractical Jokers inside Petco Park in 2017. The stadium was a great location for truTV’s “Impractical Jokers Block Party”. As part of the event, we helped produce a 30-minute live Q&A with the Jokers which was immediately followed by the airing of their season premiere. The biggest challenge with the venue was dealing with some of the load-in restrictions. Because the Padres were in the middle of their season, we could not put any equipment on the outfield grass without laying down special flooring. This meant that all equipment had to be either hand-carried onto the field, or rolled on a hand-truck on the warning track. Despite some of the load-in challenges, for the right sized production, Petco Park is a great venue option. The truTV team put together a great event for fans and drew in a sizeable crowd.

San Diego Pier / IMDboat

Ah, yes. The IMDboat. For the last 2 years (going on 3), we’ve had the pleasure of working with IMDb aboard the “IMDboat” – a yacht docked in the San Diego Pier directly behind the Convention Center. Working on the boat is extremely tight, but it works and makes for a great venue for fans and guests on the show. The boat is docked directly behind the convention center, which makes it easy to get to and highly visible for the thousands of Comic-Con fans who are waiting in line for different events. Both storage and control room space on the boat are limited, so its crucial to pack light and keep the production crew lean.

Park at the Park

Just beyond the center field wall of Petco Park you’ll find the “Park at the Park” – a great outdoor event space in downtown San Diego that overlooks the baseball diamond. We did a small project here with truTV during Comic-Con in 2016 and will be producing their live Q&A here in 2018. The venue is large enough to accommodate several hundred fans and offers over 2 acres of green space. The park at the park is an ideal spot for event like that Jokers Block Party, which will feature many different activations and exhibits.

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If you’re looking for live production support at San Diego Comic-Con, BMG can help. Give us a call – we’d love to chat.

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!