‘BET Awards’ Promo Shoot with Host Samuel L. Jackson

Zabrina Horton by Zabrina Horton, BET Networks

With big starpower, big attitude and big performances, the BET Awards 12 are simply too big to miss – just ask Samuel L. Jackson,  the world’s biggest box office star and the host of this year’s show.

Jackson, the highest grossing actor in the world, personifies the theme of this year’s tentpole, which is “Too Big To Miss” (#2Big2Miss). But in addition to the not-to-be-missed performances it promises (think: “Super Sam” – Sam Jackson falling out of the sky and landing in a classic superhero pose during the show), the theme also communicates the influence and cultural significance of the BET Awards.

We headed down to the “Big Easy” (aka New Orleans), where Jackson is currently in production on Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained, to shoot a series of promos for the BET Awards 12 campaign, which expresses the bigness of the show, the bigness of Jackson and the bigness of Black culture in a surprising, smart, sarcastic and stylish way.

The soundstage was an atmosphere of controlled chaos as the crew put final preparations in place and everyone awaited Jackson’s arrival. Right on time, he entered the building, and after a series of friendly pleasantries, handshakes and pounds, the superstar stepped onto his mark and began delivering a series of hilarious one-liners with facial expressions ranging from mean and threatening to sweet and lovable.

During breaks, executive producers and writers discussed ideas with Jackson for his monologue and some skits.

At lunchtime, everyone followed the aroma of delicious New Orleans cuisine, making a bee-line outside for the special “down home” catering set-up.  After everyone had their fill of traditional Creole delights, the flurry of activity resumed.

“We are massively excited about having Sam Jackson, the world’s biggest box office star, host The BET Awards 12,” said Stephen G. Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks. “His wit, presence and gigantic personality are the perfect match for our show.”

The first promo to hit was “Sam I Am,” which aired immediately after the BET Awards press conference, where performances (Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj), nominations (Kanye, Beyonce and Jay-Z leading the noms) and the Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award recipient (Maze featuring Frankie Beverly) were revealed.

Other upcoming promos include titles such as “Delivers,” “All Things Big” “Common Sense,” “Super Hero” and “Nicki.” The network will roll out the promos in the weeks leading up to the tentpole on Sunday, July 1 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

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