Hi Webby Awards judges, this is the case for Amazon Prime Video
To create hype around the launch of the new Amazon Original film ‘WITHOUT REMORSE’ to a hard to engage audience, we turned to Twitch to create the world’s first real-life gaming experience played out LIVE on the platform.
Staged in a warehouse in the English countryside we built a ‘covert special forces base’ featuring 20 interior and exterior zones, 20 objectives and over 50 cast and crew and over 20 cameras to cover the action.
We recruited 4 big name UK streamers (JustaMinx, RTGame, JustCallMeKevin and Anna_Chess), and over a 2hr live stream, they took direct control of our action hero ‘Tom’ live on our set.
Their mission, to rescue the hostage.
Conferring with each other and deferring to their communities for directions, they solved clues, avoided gunfire, played chess, threw smoke grenades, raided the badguy’s snack fridge, stole hats, hugged, killed with cake, danced and abseiled… Without Remorse
With Live on-the-fly action, live filming, live editing, live SFX and live graphics – All at the behest of a crazy Twitch community – What could go wrong?
From pitch to production in 6 weeks
What started off as an ambitious idea to live stream a kidnap and rescue live on Twitch to mirror a key scene in the movie, actually grew. From one streamer to four, from one home location to a multiple space warehouse, from one POV camera to 20 additional cameras.
The process began with a storyboard, and a narrative we’d ‘ideally’ want our players to follow and would engage them for an hour of gameplay. This infomed the art department, dressing the isolated warehouse space to form multiple areas and attention to detail like in-jokes to the film script and to the streamers personas (which provided great easter eggs for them and their fans to spot) it also meant casting bad buys and innocent warehouse workers all trained by a professional stunt man and armory advisor to make sure it all felt as realistic as possible.
Creating the hype
We picked 4 streamers who had a name in playing games like Rainbow Six Siege, had a big following but also that collaborated already so we could guarantee a fun and competitive atmosphere when they played.
To raise hype we used owned social media channels from Prime and the streamer’s own to trailer the event and rally their audiences to help them on their mission. Paid support across Instagram and Twitter and ads on Twitch made fans aware of the first of its kind event.
Pushing the Technology to its limits
With 150m of cable, a large behind the scenes crew and a satellite truck to make sure we didn’t lose our all important stream, the technical requirements for this event were huge and never done before , so we had to make technical pivots a number of times in the preparation of the event.
For example, as we couldn’t guarantee a silent set, we couldn’t capture audio live, so a multi-part background musical score was written and on the spot SFX prepared which were manually fired off as the action happened. We even recorded new sounds live in the moment to add detail we couldn’t have pre-planned.
Behind the scenes we had a broadcast editing desk, usually used in live TV events which was being fed the multiple cameras , the sound feed and ingame graphics and instistual sequences we laid over the footage to make it feel more akin to an actual video game. We also graded the footage live to mimic CCTV and a night vision head cam.
This combined feed was streamed via satellite truck to each of our streamer’s homes where they overlaid their PIP and channel graphics, this in turn was streamed live publicly onto Twitch. In their headsets was our hero Tom and his on the ground handlers, ready to take their next order.
None of this meant anything if it didn’t work.
With bated breath, at 8:00pm we went live on Twitch.
With no clues, no dress rehearsal just what the cameras saw and graphics on screen showing their inventory and overall level objectives, our streamers were thrown straight into the action.
Whilst their objectives were ‘serious’ things like rewiring the CCTV or taking out a guard… the way our streamers did it wasn’t; stealing hats, throwing muffins and playing with life size cardboard cutouts of Michael B Jordan.
What ensued was a 2hr unique brand experience, full of technical backend wizardry, platform firsts and incredible feedback from audiences.
We created a new genre of online entertainment and a world first for Amazon Prime Video. This was branded content for a new generation, and helped make Without Remorse the best performing streaming movie of May 2021
In the end we created an internet meme in the process; Tom became the unplanned hero and star of many a meme and declaration of fan love. And at the fan’s request, he made a surprise appearance at the watch party for the film… and to show his enduring popularity with the audience, at the watch party of Amazon’s subsequent film release!
Impressions 7-days after launch
Views of stream within 24hrs
Personalize your experience