Now that the dust has settled and the Giant Popcorns have been cleared away, Grumpy Cat is lying belly up in her own home, and visions of Zac Eeefron are still dancing in our heads, it’s time to reflect on the majesty that was the 2014 MTV Movie Awards. You may think you’re an expert by now — surely you’ve seen plenty of coverage (guilty as charged!) — but let’s talk about the magic behind the Movie Awards. And if you missed it, watch the full show now!
The pièce de résistance onstage (aside from Conan O’Brien ) was the Giant Popcorn trophy, which was 30 feet high and weighed around four tons. The whole contraption included fog machines and pyrotechnics as well as, uh, four “dragon heads” that threw fireballs.
Eminem + Rihanna
While rehearsing their performance of “The Monster,” Eminem and Rihanna worked together to plan their stage movements using the mantra “this isn’t a love song.” Meaning, they wanted the way they interacted with each other to reflect the intensity of the song. It was also the first time they had ever performed it together.
Rihanna brought her own mic, because obviously, Rih-Rih’s gonna do Rih-Rih, and we’re gonna love it.
Arnett Vs. O’Brien
Conan O’Brien and Will Arnett are natural action heroes! For the “Kiss Fight” short film, they were shown their stunt choreography only one time before they nailed it. Dakota Pictures producer Corbin Larson said that the crew was in awe of the comedians’ physicality.
About Those Creepy Masks
Seven hundred ski masks were purchased for Twenty One Pilots’ performance (sorry, anybody else who needed one). Their hope was that the masks would take focus away from the band and represent the audience as something that was bigger than them.
Lead Singer, Stage Director
At least 100 of Twenty One Pilots’ fans were brought in to be part of the mosh pit audience. They also showed up for the band’s rehearsal, during which lead singer Tyler personally walked his fans through their choreographed ski mask movements.
Jokes On Jokes
Those lucky enough to be in house for Conan’s rehearsals were treated to a whole bunch more jokes than what you saw in the final monologue. He also wrote more jokes on the fly once he saw the apocalyptic set for the first time.
Conan O’Brien, Guitar Hero
Conan played guitar as part of his monologue, but like, dude can actually shred. During rehearsals he casually played his way through several songs including “Seven Nation Army,” “The Weight (Take a Load Off Annie)” and “On the Road Again.”
Zedd’s Head, Baby
Zedd was the orchestrator and musical-direction brain behind his performance with Ellie Goulding, Miriam Bryant and Matthew Koma. After rehearsals, he sat down with Ellie to discuss how to make their Movie Awards stage debut even better. As a result, the stage setup was adjusted entirely. PS: Did you notice he was playing keys and DJing up in that booth?
Ellie The Golden Warrior
Ellie Goulding’s stylist wanted her to look like a warrior princess and was partly inspired by early-days X-Men as well as “Divergent.” The original concept was for her to wear a suit of armor, but when they eventually decided on an acoustic performance, Ellie switched to her flowing, barefoot goddess ensemble.
Leto’s Bumpy Ride
Jared Leto jumped in a helicopter from Coachella to arrive on time for the MTV Movie Awards. About an hour before show, he Instagrammed a video from the very shaky ride, saying, “If I go down, make sure Conan knows I love him dearly.” Luckily, he landed safely on a helipad half a mile away from the venue.
Conan The Hustler
That bananas 50-cameo show open? It was Conan’s idea, and to accommodate everyone’s schedule, he traveled to each of them. Which means he flew to NYC and Dallas, as well as hustling all over L.A. to get those famous faces. And let’s not forget that he was still shooting his own show at the time. Conan’s a BOSS.
New York Loves O’Briiii-yen
James Franco’s cameo appearance was filmed in his dressing room immediately following a performance of “Of Mice and Men” in New York. Crowds of fans waiting outside to catch a glimpse of Franco or his co-star Chris O’Dowd went berserk when Conan stepped outside as well.
Constructing The Destruction
The incredible Movie Awards stage took 12 days to set up for the show … and less than 48 hours to tear down! Bye-bye.
Conan’s Inner Monologue
During rehearsals, Conan stepped into the giant popcorn trophy to run through a segment. While waiting, he quipped, “I’m a 50-year-old man standing inside a giant bucket of popcorn. I am alone. This is either the best or worst moment of my life.”
For even more 2014 Movie Awards secrets, check out 2014 Movie Awards Revealed.