Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 - Quiz Meisters
For weeks now, the co-founder of innovative Melbourne-based multimedia trivia enterprise Quiz Meisters has been looking closely at all manner of nightspots in the NSW capital, with his interest focused specifically on the quality of trivia currently on offer.

“In general”, he says, “[it’s] really poor.”

Pub trivia has been a staple of Sydney’s cultural landscape for years, with the vast majority of bars and pubs in and around the city offering weekly shows, many of them long-running, but van Lint wonders if this longevity hasn’t led to complacency.

“Many managers and publicans regard trivia as a filler to implement on a quiet weeknight just to get, say, twenty or thirty people through the door. They do trivia because they always have. We do it because we know it can be so much more than that.”

Back in 2004, Quiz Meisters became the first trivia brand in Australia to utilise audio-visual multimedia as a means of accenting the comedy (and occasionally the absurdity) that marked the company’s youthful aesthetic and un-PC sense of humour, and which now underpins each of the forty-plus weekly Quiz Meisters shows running all over the country. Nowadays, the incorporation of multimedia elements like video into pub trivia shows is commonplace, but as van Lint says: “Nothing I have seen comes close to us.”

After 7 years of operating, he and his colleagues have created not only an impressive canon of interactive on-screen games (both animated and live action), but a whole dysfunctional cast of irreverent characters to go along with them; characters whom appear onscreen each and every week, and whom punters invariably grow to love (or, sometimes, love to hate).

There are also online monthly competitions for Quiz Meisters 3000-plus subscribers, run from the company’s website; Facebook games; and a monthly blog, featuring write-ups on pubs, craft beers, hosts and teams — all designed to show punters and publicans alike that their involvement in the Quiz Meisters movement is valued.

“It’s not just about getting people back week after week”, says van Lint. “It’s about creating a culture that people want to be part of.”

It’s this eagerness to shatter expectations that is largely responsible for Quiz Meisters’ burgeoning popularity in other states — and with shows already scheduled to kick off at popular venues like The Beach Road in Bondi, The East Village in Darlinghurst, and Newtown’s Courthouse Hotel in the coming weeks, it’s a trend that now looks set to take hold in and around Sydney.

“When it comes to new Sydney venues, I’m looking for innovative leaders in the industry; as well as old-school pubs that aren’t afraid to try something new. Most venues running trivia are happy with the shows they have, but I like to think that’s because they’ve never seen one of ours.”

Quiz Meisters starts in Sydney at The Courthouse on September 12, The East Village Hotel on September 13, and the Beach Road Hotel on October 6.

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Quiz Meisters is a fun, interactive and social trivia game that dynamically reaches thousands of people every week through pub shows, corporate & fundraising shows, school programs, online competitions and social media. At the heart of it, it is a unique concept that steers pub trivia away from the geeky stigma it has long been associated with. Launched directly from the world of comedy and entertainment, Quiz Meisters trivia shows spawn from a film and performing arts background that employs theatrical techniques and cinema devices to make trivia entertaining.

Confused? Well, look at it this way. Most pub trivia shows have spoken questions broken up by a few music questions or “pick-a-pic” questions. Rather than asking “what’s this tune from the 70’s?” or “whose face is this on the photocopied piece of paper”, Quiz Meisters offer a more dynamic and left-of-field approach.

They have have Opera Boy, an eccentric Romanian opera singer, who sings contemporary songs in an operatic style where participants have to guess what songs he is singing. There is the Dodgy Arse Production team that amusingly re-enact scenes from films (quite badly mind you) of which participants must guess the film. There’s Porn Star Or My Little Pony, Jacko Surgery, Ask Nonna, The Interrogator, Op Shop Road Show, Face-Off with Nicholas Cage and about 30 other segments that are used in over 350 quizzes. The Jim’s franchise (of Jim’s Mowing) and Nintendo have even got on board with Is It A Jim’s? and Nintendo Crazy Races. Ham up each segment with a cheesy David Letterman-like intro and incorporate our weird and wonderful characters and you’re starting to get an idea of what Quiz Meisters is about.

But it does not stop there. Quiz Meisters mix up the dynamics as much as they can by using as many means at their “digital world” disposal. There’s an SMS game, a Facebook question, express rounds, a “Jillpot” round, an interactive phone question called Call Bruce, and more. If it’s entertaining and can be turned into trivia, it’s more than likely already in our show.
Steffan van Lint
P: 0411335422
W: www.quizmeisters.com.au

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Entertainment, revolution, trivia, pub trivia, comedy, film, music, quiz, hilarity

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