Guests at the event were greeted by a pair of hostesses perched on 20-foot stilts, an acrobat serving champagne, a unicorn playing an accordion and a live version of YouTube’s “Epic Rap Battle of History” between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
“This isn’t quite what you’d expect from the PGA,” admitted PGA president Mark Gordon.
Shay Carl, who operates five YouTube channels with more than 1 million subscribers through PGA honoree Maker Studios, admitted he remained amazed at having uprooted his family from Idaho to California four years ago.
“I look at around at a party like this and I have to admit that I’ve come a long way from Pocatello,” he noted.
Ben Donovan, who co-founded Maker four years ago with sister Lisa Donovan, agreed. “Every day, it’s hard to believe that we’ve come from nowhere to more than 350 employees.”
The honorees, all previously announced, included Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram; Bill Westenhofer, VFX supervisor for Rhythm & Hues for “Life of Pi”; Philip Atwell and Dylan Brown of Digital Domain for Virtual 2Pac; John Raatz, Eckhart Tolle and Jim Carrey of the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment; Bruce Sterling; Disney Imagineering team and developers for Disney’s Cars Land; Louis C.K.; Ben Donovan, Danny Zappin and Lisa Donovan of Maker Studios; and Conan O’Brien.