Created and Directed by: Charlie Todd
Executive Producers: Alan Aisenberg, Justin Ayers, Juan Cocuy, Andrew Soltys, and Charlie Todd
Co-Producers: Aleks Arcabascio, Isabel Lopez
Associate Producer: Michelle F. Thomas
Production Coordinator: Dave Szarejko
Production Assistants:Alexis Trevizo, Jonathan Portee, Alex Augustyniak, Jamel Francis, Dave Greenberg, Chris Kelly, Adam Manison
Director of Photography: Justin Ayers
Camera Operators: Alex Crowe, Mike Doyle, Chloe Smolkin, Spencer Thielmann
Hidden Camera Technicians: Marius Becker, Ryan Hamelin
1st Camera Assistants: Erin Trout, Katie Voss
2nd Camera Assistants: Goran Mrvic, Kelli Wilcoxen
Still Photography: Arin Sang-urai
Gaffer: Ted Maroney
Key Grip: Cory Beisser
Best Electric: Seth Margolies
Best Grip: Andrew Naugle
G&E Swing: Eric Ambrosino
Production Designer: Anthony Henderson
Art Director: Sydney Bowers
Production Sound Mixer: Alan Kudan
A2: Artur Szerejko
Sound Intern: Lucas Kadar
Editor: Matt Braunsdorf
Assistant Editor: Ryan Connors
Post-Production Sound Mixer: Arjun Sheth
Coloring Facility: Irving Harvey
Music by: Tyler Walker
Trivia Consultants:Ross White and Mackensie Pless
Special Thanks: One Star Bar (Joe DiPietro, Joe Cordi), Tony Hightower
Host: Yoni Lotan
None of Your Quizness: Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, Brian Urreta
For our latest mission, we surprised random trivia teams by turning a regular bar trivia night into a high stakes game show.
This project was a collaboration with the new movie Game Night. Our first task was to find the perfect bar. We needed a space that had a back room where we could build our set, and a basement where we could set up our control room. “one star” bar in Chelsea ended up being perfect.
Installing a truss for our lights in the back room.
Building the set.
The control room in the basement.
For the “returning champions” None of Your Quizness, we cast our improviser friends Lou Gonzalez, Chrissie Gruebel, and Brian Urreta from the great improv team The Mannequin Room. They were secretly given all of the answers in advance, allowing us to make sure the real people we were surprising always won.
All of the teams we surprised were real, existing trivia teams. We worked with TriviaNYC to find the best teams. TriviaNYC actually runs trivia games at “one star” bar already, but we specifically asked them to help us find teams that had never played at “one star.” This way they wouldn’t know the bar had a back room, and they would be less likely to spot our hidden cameras in the front. We invited the teams to come at different times throughout the night, so we could surprise them one by one. They thought they were coming to a normal bar trivia event.
The reactions when the teams walked through the curtain were so much fun. On one side of the curtain was a normal bar, and on the other there was a full game show set with lights, theme music, a cheering studio audience, and an announcer introducing their actual team name and telling them to “come on down.”
Our friend Yoni Lotan played both the bartender and the host of the game show.
Yoni, as “Alex Martindale,” announces that the winner will receive a $1,000 prize.
The trivia consisted of 10 main round questions and then one final question. The final question was “final Jeopardy” style where the teams could wager as many of their points as they liked. (The video cuts this aspect out for simplicity.) We arranged it so the “returning champions” would always wage 100% of their points and get the answer wrong, ensuring that our challengers would always win.
Celebrating a correct answer.
Realizing they won the game!
Our confetti cannon was probably a little too big for the room. It was ridiculously powerful and over-the-top.
Our “stage manager” Dave Szarejko brings out the $1,000 prize. We really did give each team $1,000.
Production photos and behind the scenes photos from photographer Arin Sang-urai (photo credit for all photos on this page).