Five days ahead of the premiere Genius: Picasso, which will spend this season focusing on the life of Pablo Picasso, National Geographic Channel unveiled Genius: Studio, an art lab in New York City tailored to the upcoming sophomore season of its now signature scripted anthology series.
Created by global studio RadicalMedia and described as a “total immersive experience through the lens of an artist,” Genius: Studio is intended to shed light on this upcoming 10-episode season.
“From a marketing perspective, the challenge we faced was adequately representing the mind of this brilliant artist. We knew there would be an expectation from the marketplace that we needed to deliver a creatively superior marketing campaign,” said Dennis Camlek, executive vice president, strategy and consumer marketing, National Geographic, who also spearheaded the interactive hub for season one of Genius in Austin, Texas, and the recreation of Mars in lower Manhattan for season one of Mars. “We knew that outside of all the traditional media we needed to something interactive to showcase the artist and his work, and to channel the inner Pablo Picasso.”
“We wanted to design a space where the output would be something that you could personalize and share across social media,” he added. “And the work that the visitors actually create inside the exhibit will be put into a rotation that will be featured in our digital outdoor campaign here in New York.”
Designed to inspire visitors to create their own artwork, featured at Genius: Studio (which runs through this Sunday) are art installations, as well as digital easels and a transformative photo booth where visitors can become part of the composition. The end result — particularly when finding an audience in this current era of “Peak TV” is more challenging than ever before — is naturally to create buzz around Genius: Picasso. But Jon Doran, managing director/executive producer at RadicalMedia, sees this initiative as more of an extension of the storytelling than anything else.
”The main objective was, though the physical experience, to expand the story and the storytelling,” Doran said. “Within the experiential area that we are living in there is a physical extension of storytelling, so essentially the idea of this studio was to create and give homage not only to the series but to Picasso and the story of Picasso himself.
“In today’s world, knowing the technology that is available, this connects users and viewers globally in a way beyond the tent-pole series and to further expand that story.”
Featured at this preview of Genius: Studio was a panel discussion of Genius: Picasso. Present was Ken Biller, executive producer, writer and director; and series stars Antonio Banderas, Alex Rich, Samantha Colley, Poppy Delevigne and T.R. Knight. The series, which debuts with two episodes this coming Tuesday, April 24, comes from Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, and explores the life of Picasso, who strove to innovate and push the boundaries of expression.
On Wednesday, Nat Geo announced a renewal of the Genius anthology series, which will focus on famed literary figure Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.
[Images courtesy of Marc Berman]