Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lincoln Park man co-produces Detroit’s NYE Midnight Spectacular, airing on Compuware Building

It was just two years ago when aspiring filmmaker Jake Webb graduated from Lincoln Park High School.

Now, as a professional videographer, he’s working with local celebrities for his biggest role yet: co-producer of “The Midnight Spectacular” for Hard Rock Cafe’s New Year’s Eve Rockin in the D. The video will air on the side of the Compuware Building at the downtown celebration.

“We organized all of the interviews with local celebrities; They are busy people so I’m thankful they gave us their time,” Webb, who works with co-producer Abby Cook, said. “We film it all, get the video and audio, and created a 5-minute video montage of them telling their favorite memories of from 2014.”

Webb and Cook are both graduates from the Spec’s Howard digital media arts program and video production specialists for the Spec’s Howard marketing team.

Aimee Spencer, public relations manager for the event, said The Hard Rock Cafe Detroit hosts the big NYE event each year, but wanted to make this countdown to the new year even more memorable.

“This year they recruited two of Detroit’s most emerging digital artists to create a Midnight Spectacular 3-D animation system,” Spencer said, explaining that the gala guests will see the production unfold on two stories of the Compuware Building facing Woodward Avenue. “How cool is it this that just two years later (Webb) is working with all these high-profile celebrities to create something that will be so impactful on Detroit this New Year’s Eve.”

The list of local celebrities includes Dave Dombrowski, general manager of the Detroit Tigers; Mitch Albom, best-selling author, columnist, radio and television broadcaster; Joique Bell, Detroit Lions star running back; Phredley Brown, music Director and lead guitarist for Bruno Mars and the Hooligans; as well as Les, Seth and Ashley Gold, stars of TruTV’s hit reality show Hard Core Pawn.

Les Gold said his family was honored to be a part of the project with Webb and the rest of the team.

“Our family's story is a Detroit story. Any time that we can share it with others, we're happy to do so,” he said.

Webb said heard stories of special game day victories, Detroit emerging from Bankruptcy, and other defining moments from the past 12 months. He said meeting Bruno Mars’ guitarist and hearing Bell’s story of signing his contract were among his favorite parts of the project.

He hopes for more work like this -- not just for the experience behind the camera, but for the chance to be up-close-and-personal with interesting people.

“Doing projects like this, you learn that these well-known people are just like us,” he said. “Their memories are very relatable and everyone is so down to earth. I hope to keep doing great projects like this and meeting new people.”

Tim Peterson, digital media arts instructor at Spec’s Howard, said Webb has always stood out for his motivation and creativity.

“He’s definitely passionate about what he does,” Peterson said. “But more than that, he’s able to execute his ideas and that sets him apart from his classmates.”

The video montage will begin at 10 p.m. Dec. 31. Tickets for the gala portion of the event (for ages 21 and up) start at $85 and can be found at www.nyerockinthed.com. The Hard Rock Cafe Detroit is located at 45 Monroe St., Detroit.

Republished with permission from Digital First Media.

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