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Who’s LA – Behind the Scene Profile of LAs Shapers: 1iota Founders Ben Biscotti and Rob Crawford

Every year fans flock to Hollywood in hopes of catching a glimpse of their favorite stars, but how is it that some luck out and actually attend the coveted movie premieres, television tapings and award shows? It’s true that it’s all about whom you know, but the secret is that you only need to know about is 1iota Productions. Benjamin Biscotti is the Co-Founder and President of 1iota Productions with his relative and business partner Robert Crawford who is also the Co-Founder and CEO. 1iota Productions is a multi-layered production company specializing in thousands of annual live events that give fans direct access to shows that include Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden, The Voice, The MTV Video Music Awards and The Oscars, among many others.

1. How did you meet and decide to start 1iota?

We’re cousins. We have known each other most of our lives. Rob was a casting director for MTV in the late 90’s (The Grind, MTV Beach house, MTV Spring Break, TRL, MTV Unplugged era) and I was on a path to becoming a lawyer. I began working with Rob to make some extra money my last year in college and have some fun together. There was a growing need within MTV to provide specific types of fans to be a part of their projects, as live audience shows were becoming increasingly more popular. While working on the show MTV Jammed – Blink 182 Episode, we created a fictitious production company called “1iota” to go along with the stunt that MTV was trying to pull off. We tricked fans into attending a “movie screening” in a theater where we surprised them with a live Blink 182 performance. The show was a huge success! Shortly thereafter, we decided to combine forces, utilizing Rob’s experience and contacts, and my legal and business acumen, to form a company that could provide the services we were doing for MTV, to all networks, brands and production companies nationwide… And, we kept the name 1iota.

2. What exactly does 1iota do?

We specialize in connecting fans with thousands of live nationwide events in the entertainment world, including exclusive access to popular TV shows, red carpet events, sporting events, movie premieres, music festivals and more. We have a database of over 2.5 million members that can request free tickets with searchable features by celebrity, television show, date, city and more. We also work behind the scenes to support clients with premier solutions for event management, ticketing, fan engagement, casting, data and analytics, onsite logistics and more. We are dedicated to providing tailored access between brands and consumers in the constantly evolving entertainment industry.

3. What was the first huge event that you worked on as 1iota and how did it turn out?

The first huge event we worked as 1iota was the 2002 NFL Kickoff Concert in Times Square. Being almost exactly one year after the 9/11 attacks and with 750,000+ fans expected to attend the free concert, things were tense and security concerns were at an all-time high. There was an area around stage that held about 3,000 fans that was to be the primary focus of the televised portion of the event. The challenging aspect of this was that there were several artists performing that night (Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, and Alicia Keys) and the NFL wanted real fans of each artist on TV. Even more challenging and concerning was the fact that these fans were located so close to the talent performing that The FBI, NYPD and city officials demanded that this group be vetted somehow. Well, in comes 1iota, thanks to a woman named Tracy Perlman. Rob and I devised a plan to curate fans through each artist’s fan club so that we had an equal amount of real fans for each artist performing. Secondly, we arranged to take over the U.S.S Intrepid on the west side of Manhattan to process and secure these fans. Once secured and properly vetted, we arranged for a brigade of 55 passenger buses, led by a police escort down the West Side Highway, into Times Square where we off-loaded 3000 fans into a secure viewing around the stage! It was our first huge event, all eyes were on us and the stakes couldn’t have been any higher, but somehow we pulled it off. For the next 15 years, and still to this day, we have worked on almost every NFL Kickoff Concert and went on to create a partnership with the NFL working on all of their big events during and post NFL season.

4. What is an event that you look forward to every year?

Me personally (Ben), I look forward to the MTV Video Music Awards every year. It’s one of the most unique shows we work on because each year is different. It’s produced in different locations and above all, it’s LIVE TV. Each of the past 10 years we have been fortunate enough to be a part of the show, our role has expanded significantly in conjunction with the expansion of the MTV brand and show itself. We grew into a role of overseeing and executing all aspects of casted audience for the show which include curating, ticketing, collecting data and managing sometimes upward of 10,000 fans in different capacities for the show (Red Carpet, Seatfilling, Remote Performances, Specialty Casting and more).

For me (Rob), the iheartRadio Music Festival in Vegas has become a must-attend. The collection of diverse artists combined with the craziness of Vegas makes it a weekend to look forward to. The lineups have been packed with the biggest names in music since the festival started. Each year, we send about 1,000 fans to this sold out event for FREE.

5. Are there ways to boost your chances of getting picked for an event?

It really depends on the event. Some shows are first come, first serve, but others are truly casted. At the end of the day, we are always looking for real, die hard fans of the project we are working on. We encourage when users submit their request to let us know why they should be one of the lucky fans selected for that exclusive opportunity and what makes them a real fan.

6. Are there any exciting things to look forward to in regards to 1iota?

With the ever-evolving entertainment world, 1iota has layered in some new and exciting opportunities for fans that cross into the realm of film. Fans can be first to see their favorite movies and actors up close and personal on the red carpet or in the theater with exclusive movie premieres and screenings. Also, fans should be on the lookout for even more opportunities in the sports world with the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB as we look to expand and integrate more partnerships with these major brands. Our own client offerings continue to evolve as well. We have created even more turnkey services that will provide our clients with the premier solutions to meet their full event management needs. We’ll also be launching our brand new app in a few short months that will house a multitude of cool new features.


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