Just Like Starting Over For Danny O’Bryen

Danny O’Bryen, the longtime production manager and concert video pioneer, has left the award-winning company he founded in order to hang the shingle on a new venture, DannyO Video.

He founded Screenworks and its predecessor, BCC Video, in the late 1980s, eventually merging with another company to become Screenworks NEP. In addition to concert video, the partnership enabled the company to grow to include sports and other entertainment broadcast capability. But O’Bryen told Pollstar he wanted to get back to focusing on his first love, concert video.

His work will be on display tonight at the Pollstar Concert Industry Awards, where O’Bryen is once again stepping up to provide a LED big screen system for the production, having done so for many years with Screenworks. The company has also racked up a mantle full of Concert Industry Awards for best video company.

“After eight years of being more in the corporate world I just decided, after 38 years doing rock and roll shows and 22 years of video, that I just wanted to go back to what I enjoyed the most which was running the video company and not being in a big corporate structure,” O’Bryen said. “It’s sort of like starting over.

“But the nice thing about having relationships for 30 or 40 years is that once I left they all called me up and said they were on board. We signed up several tours that start out in mid-February, like Kenny Chesney, Sugarland, Rush, Eric Clapton and a couple of others that are going out in the summer.”

O’Bryen may be starting over but he certainly has a weighty resume built up, having done his first tour under the Screenworks banner with Madonna and going on to work on tours with AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Genesis and many others over the years.

And O’Bryen certainly paid his dues to get to this point, starting in the business by putting up concert posters for Don Law in Boston in the 1970s and eventually booking shows there. He started doing production, which led to lighting design and a lot of miles logged on the road.

On one such outing with Joe Walsh, O’Bryen decided he was ready to get off the road and ended up in Los Angeles, working with Brian Murphy at Avalon Attractions, which led him to the former Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre as production manager before going into business for himself.

In a way, O’Bryen has come full circle. But he brings with him many of his longtime staff, including assistant Amy Sagawa and sales manager Randy Mayer. And then there’s all those relationships.

“This is just another point in my life, starting over but not really, thanks to all the relationships that I have. It’s a great feeling,” O’Bryen said. He remains based in Southern California and can be reached at [email protected].