8 Groundbreaking Moments of 2014
This list usually stands as our annual “Top 25 Live Events.” Although that feature is wildly popular amongst our private event clients, we felt like it was time to move away from that format.
Hurricane continues to evolve and the question always arises: What else does your company do?
This list is a true snapshot of who we are, what we do and where we are heading in 2015:
Starting another business isn't just about creating a website or coming up with a name. We needed clients. We needed a vision. So with the help of some of our existing web clients, Rutgers University and the addition of Journal Multimedia, Caesars Entertainment, and The Olde Mill Inn, we evolved into a social media and video consulting firm.
And we have our former General Manager, Julia Crimi, to thank for making sure that Hurricane Productions operated at full strength while we jumped into our new endeavor.
7. We got more social (and accessible) to our clients with #HurricaneSocial
Every company should do this: Let your employees be themselves ... and share it on all forms of social media.
With the help of a company-wide hashtag, we implemented a way to aggregate all of this content from each popular social media platform and display it in real-time.
If you want a true snapshot of what we're doing, where we're going (as a company and individuals) please visit HurricaneProductions.com/social or just type #hurricanesocial into your favorite social media platform.
It looks great on Instagram.
6. A new generation of entertainers, creatives lead our Sweet 16 brand
Sweet 16s are still an important part of our business. It's how we recruit young, creative people. It's where we develop DJ and emcee talent. It's where we train novice, up and coming video and photo professionals. It's how this company supported itself at launch in 2003.
But 2014 marked a change in how we operated our Sweet 16s. Strato and Vincent are in their late twenties. Sure, they're still 'young.' But Sweet 16ers don't need or want 30-year-olds entertaining their events. We passed the torch to a crew that includes Robert Padovano, Dan Toth, Bayshawn Wells, and Brandon Perera.
5. We helped transform a University library into a nightclub
Students joke about late nights at the library on social media as if they were spending the late and long nights 'at the club.' The moniker became so popular at Rutgers that "Club Alex" (referring to the Alexander Library) actually came to life.
Student Affairs director Carey Loch enlisted the help of our staff to help create this atmosphere for graduating seniors. Sure, it may seem like an easy task since we do stuff like this every weekend. But when's the last time you saw a circulation desk turn into a bar? From consulting, lighting and video, Hurricane produced and entertained this unique event.
4. We ditched the DVD to create stunning wedding footage like this:
DVDs are dead. In fact, we no longer offer that format to clients. But we create stunning video features. Think Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime - Our clients can relive their wedding on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. With the use of a Smart TV, Chromecast or Apple TV, our clients can watch stream clips right on the big screen.
Speaking of video ...
3. Michael Monday joined Hurricane staff to lead video in new direction
Hurricane is committed to producing more original content video. The only way to do that was to go out a hire someone who has made a career of it. Michael Monday is an Emmy-nominated video journalist, formerly of the Star-Ledger (Newark,NJ). His portfolio adds instant credibility to our video endeavors. He’s covered the biggest stories in New Jersey since 2009, using video to cover breaking news, sports and features while also producing several long-form documentary pieces.
Monday’s most recent Emmy Nomination came this past year in the category of Sports Interactivity for a seven-part documentary series, #TigerStyle, focused on the top wrestling team in the state of New Jersey. In 2010 he was part of the breaking news team shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of a wide-spread political corruption scandal. In 2009, his documentary short on immigration entitled “Remittance” was part of the Divided Families project that earned the Robert F. Kennedy Award for college journalism. Prior to the Star-Ledger, Michael was employed at Journal Register Company as its Regional Multimedia Coordinator, in charge of video integration and training. He is a 2008 graduate of The Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University.
2. Dance Marathon moved from a gymnasium to an arena, continues to break records:
When we first started working with Dance Marathon in 2008, we shared a vision with the organization: Make it better, make it bigger and continue to raise more money and awareness FTK (for the kids). But we also committed to each other from day one - We would grow together as a cohesive unit to bring the best experience to students and the families supported by the Embrace Kids Foundation.
Rutgers entered the Big 10 Conference on the athletic fields, but it didn't stop there. Academics, research, and philanthropy received a big boost in support and resources. Driven by persistence and hard work from Dean JoAnn Arnholt and Student Affairs director Carey Loch, Rutgers Dance Marathon made the move from the College Ave Gymnasium (need a visual? Think high school gym) to the RAC - the arena that hosts Rutgers Basketball.
It was a daunting endeavor for a student-run philanthropic organization to accomplish in less that one year. But we helped support the students and their advisors in the transition. Heading into the new year, DM is positioned for success in its new home.
1. Rutgers Athletics partnered with Hurricane to expand ‘fan experience’ at football home games and beyond
We picked this landmark moment as No. 1 not just because it's one of the coolest deals that we've ever negotiated. But because it truly encompasses what our company is all about: Relationships.
It took a long list of people to make this happen, over the course of years (yes...years). From Rutgers, we'd like to thank Drew Robinson, Jason Baum, Carey Loch, Dean Arnholt, and Tom Luicci for sending emails, making phone calls, sharing information about our company and trusting our staff. We'd also like to thank Tom Bergeron (NJ Biz), Kevin Whitmer (NJ Advance Media), and Seth Sidistky (Advance Digital) for their endless advice and support.
So what did we actually do for Rutgers football? We created in-game video content and produced a sponsored series entitled "Legendary Moments."
We also welcomed other B1G schools like Penn State and Wisconsin to 'the Banks,' by providing hospitality and entertainment for their respective alumni and student contingents.
Beyond the football season, we helped the Athletic Department produce its annual Hall of Fame dinner, in-game video content for Rutgers Women's Basketball and are continuing to work with the department throughout the rest of the 2014-2015 academic year.