Behind the scenes of one of social TV's biggest adventures

By Natan Edelsburg Comment

Imagine a 24-hour, record-breaking bus tour with The Flaming Lips, combined with a multicamera live webcast that never stops, and you have MTV’s O Music Awards. We survived the trip, tagging along on the press bus and covering the entire experience via four different Storify’s. Here’s a summary of the adventure, and click into the links below for more photos, tweets and clips.

We saw frontman Wayne Coyne and crew light up Memphis in the first two hours. Ten hours in we were deep into Mississippi picking up Lips friends such as Grace Potter and lighting up fireworks.

Eighteen hours in and a few Red Bulls down we made it through the night and spoke with Viacom’s Van Toffler and CMT executives about the media company’s major online tent-pole in Hattiesburg.

Finally, we made it to New Orleans, watched The Lips make it to the House of Blues (in a scene right out of HBO’s Treme) where they broke the record.

As we caught up with the MTV crews stationed in New Orleans towards the end of the journey, we got a first hand look at how they executed a 24-hour live streamed event.

In the following video interview we spoke with Executive Producer Lee Rolontz, VH1 President Tom Calderone and Jeff Jacobs SVP of Production for Viacom. While asking them questions we were actually in the middle of the final run of the production. She describes how they had to fill content for two hours in the middle of the night, dealing with talent fatigue, why they chose to hire the director (who was the only one the talent could hear), how they dealt with live video from a moving bus and how VH1’s morning show used footage on linear.

We wonder what MTV will come up with for the next iteration of the O Music Awards and how they will try and incorporate traditional TV in a bigger way. Alex Rawls, who was covering the event for Spin Magazine and is the publisher of described how he saw a side of MTV that he hadn’t seen in a while. “I’d watch MTV more if it were more like the OMA stream, which reminds me of classic MTV minus the videos,” he told Lost Remote. “The O Music Awards reminded me of old-school MTV when it was unpredictable with self-proclaimed stars, real stars and stars who should be bigger.”