Variety’s donation to Inner-City Arts in my name

By Joy A. Kennelly

Finally picked up my mail the other day and one of the nice cards I received was from “Everyone in the Features Department” of Variety. I don’t know everyone there, but thank you for thinking of me!

It was especially gratifying to see that a donation to Inner-City Arts had been made in my name. Here’s the description from their web site:

Inner-City Arts offers opportunities for children to build artistic self-expression, enhancing their ability to perform both creatively and academically in challenging environments. Our children learn to communicate feelings and ideas in the universal language of art, and are empowered to apply the skills they have learned to their regular academic programs. Most importantly, children are able to see themselves as valuable, worthy and capable of reaching goals.

We believe that the arts are vital for personal and cultural development and they connect the individual to their community and to the larger world. Our philosophy is that by validating the creative impulses and uniqueness of each student, we provide a bridge between the artistic experience and the development of the whole child and increased academic achievement.”

Variety was very thoughtful to choose a charity that I personally can recommend because of the art influence. Now perhaps when other artists, philanthropists, business people, and others read this blog they will be inspired to get involved in some small way.

Thanks Variety Features Department!

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Artist Gali Rotstein’s Art Opening & cool news re: Brad Brown of Brown Entertainment Group

By Joy A. Kennelly

Just learned that one of the guest speakers from my Entertainment Public Relations class, Brad Brown of Brown Entertainment Group, was quoted in today’s LA Times regarding Sweeney Todd. Click here for the full article. Very cool. Thanks for sharing Brad! Guess my little plug helped establish him in the media’s eyes as the expert he really is.

My client, Gali Rotstein, has also just informed me that she was able to procure Joseph Schmidt Chocolates as a sponsor for her January 12, 2008 Art Opening Reception at Lois Lambert Gallery. Very cool! Click on the link if you’re still looking for Christmas gifts – very gourmet chocolate for the most discerning palate.

We’re also planning to serve “Mother’s Little Helper” drinks in keeping with the Requiem for a Housewife theme. Should be very fun. I have a few requests into some potential drink sponsors so will keep you posted. There will definitely be enough wine to keep you moist though so never fear as you peruse the art . I’m just going for some other libations too (alcoholic and non.)

Got to loosen up the wallets people! Just teasing. Not really, but this is for a good cause! Don’t forget a portion of the proceeds benefit Children’s Action Network, a charity helping foster children find permanent homes.

Here’s the original press release I sent out with more conceptual information on her collection and some of her collectors for your review. You might recognize the names…

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ARTIST GALI ROTSTEIN’S LATEST COLLECTION, REQUIEM FOR A HOUSEWIFE EXPRESSES FEELINGS & DESIRES OF A MODERN DAY HOUSEWIFE

Collectors include Andy Spahn, Harris Yulin, Susan Landau, Alisa Adler & others

Los Angeles, CA… Artist Gali Rotstein’s latest collection, REQUIEM FOR A HOUSEWIFE, explores the unexpressed feeling and desires of the modern day housewife…why do women still hate the term? Why is it so cloaked in terms like “Stay-at-Home Mom” or “Primary Care Giver”? What does the word really mean?

These and other questions are examined in Gali’s REQUIEM FOR A HOUSEWIFE, which was recently featured, as part of a special design make-over by Interior Designer Leslie Sachs of Breathing Room Design, on the television show EXTRA.

Collectors include: Political Entertainment Consultant, Andy Spahn; Children’s Action Network Executive Director, Jennifer Perry; The Gersh Agency Partner, Richard Arlook; Paradigm Agency’s Head of TV Talent, Alisa Adler; Actors Harris Yulin and Jeffrey Jones; and Susan Landau, formerly of the Krieger/Landau Gallery.

Gali Rotstein’s art goes against the creed of “less is more.” She chooses to use multiple sources of light and perspectives to create three-dimensional multi-layered, sculpture-like paintings. “My heaven is in the junkyard and hardware store,” says Gali.

Expressing herself through drawing, painting, photography, and assemblage from her findings of discarded objects, she incorporates natural elements such as twigs and moss, as well as ordinary man-made objects, and wires and light bulbs, to present her whimsical and often humorous viewpoints.

Surrounded by the works of such influential contemporary artists as Nathan Oliveira, Elmer Bischoff, Wayne Thiebaud, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, David Park, Selden Gile, Christo, Richard Diebenkorn, and Anselm Kiefer — collected by her father, Naftali Zisman, her creative influences, as a child were significant. Family friends included Israeli artists Raffi Kaiser, Menachem Gueffen and Menashe Kadishman who were also instrumental in her early appreciation of art.

It wasn’t until after running three successful start-up businesses, writing a children’s book series, overcoming a serious illness and experiencing a life-defining moment that she finally came to terms with her untapped childhood passion and decided to become contemporary artist.

In one short year after moving into a studio, she created and completed her first series, HOME. Debuting at the Santa Monica Fine Art Studios Open House in November 2005, her collection sold seven pieces, (half the show) in one night — a coup for a totally unknown artist.

Through Gali’s latest series, REQUIEM FOR A HOUSEWIFE, she is waging war on the word and all that it implies; which, in practical terms, and despite her successful ventures in business and other artistic endeavors, she feels she is.

Currently she is working on her next collection, Planet SOS, which deals with the current “crisis” atmosphere in the United States. This body of work again includes sculptures and three-dimensional paintings.

For more information on the artist and commissioning artwork, please contact: Lois Lambert, Lois Lambert Gallery 310 829-6990. Press inquiries, please contact Joy Kennelly, The Joy Writer PR & Marketing, 310 714-2077.

#END#

 

Save Saturday, January 12, 2008, for Gali Rotstein’s Art Opening Celebration (I would say reception, but this is gonna be a celebration!)

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Please save Saturday, January 12, 2008 on your calendar and plan to join us at Lois Lambert Gallery in Bergamot Station for Artist Gali Rotstein‘s Art Opening from 6pm – 9pm. A portion of the evening’s proceeds benefit the Children’s Action Network.

This is going to be the party of January and if you’re an art collector, Lois Lambert is one gallery you must put on your “Must See” list. YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID!

Trust me.

Over 5,000 very cool, art & other hip people have been invited from numerous sources…

Amazing artists, great guests, charity cheer, and delectable drinks… what more can you ask for?

Jeffrey Godsick, President of Marketing Fox/Walden – Marketing to Children

By Joy A. Kennelly

Listening to President of Marketing for Fox/Walden, Jeffrey Godsick, speak last week, I thought it very funny that although the Internet is hugely popular and only becoming more so, he hated it and didn’t want to know about it, just hired people who knew it and let them run with it. That always makes me chuckle.

When I attended the Online Media, Marketing and Advertising Conference this past year, it was amazing to me how behind a lot of the major studios are in regards to internet marketing. Makes it obvious why the Writer’s Strike had to happen and why it’s taking so long to get resolved. If you don’t understand something, wouldn’t you stall too?

However, that’s a story for another day. Today I want to discuss Godsick’s conversation (during the Entertainment Public Relations class I have been taking over at UCLA Extension lead by Julian Myers) because he’s quite knowledgeable overall and very generous with his wisdom.

Running a new division, his goal is to produce and market five-seven films a year in the near future. Currently, they produce about two to three. What I found interesting with their development process is that eight people from all areas of this company – marketing, finance, production, and others sit in on the development process and have a say in what gets green lit and what doesn’t.

Maybe that happens in other studios too, but when I was working for FOX in Creative Development years back with Stu Smiley and Nena Rodrigue, that department seemed very separate from the rest of the departments. I doubt marketing had any say in anything until the TV show was in the can.

Maybe it’s different in film and maybe my memory fails me, but I thought Fox/Walden had a very unique business style they’ve incorporated in their 20 person division. Asking the question, “Who are you making the film for?” seems rudimentary, but so often people just slap something together hoping they’ll find their audience.

To start out with that basic premise seems extremely savvy which I believe has helped them become successful so quickly.

The other aspect I found very interesting, having enjoyed Walden Media’s film, The Chronicles of Narnia, is that Walden has their own book publishing entity. They may not publish very many books now, but the potential is huge. Especially since they can turn the book into a film immediately and have ancillary products to market simultaneously.

I find that rather brilliant.

When asked why certain films weren’t dumped when it was discovered they would tank in the box office, Jeffrey explained that films are the only product that are made without testing. If you dump it, then you lose the threshold sales and prevent DVD recognition and then you really don’t make your money back. Makes sense to me.

He thought the shortened window between the film being in the theaters and now out on DVD was insane. His desire was that the movie experience be extended to three to five months or longer. I agree.

One of the unusual tactics they employed with their recent Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium film starring Dustin Hoffman was to cut their TV promo’s to 7.5 seconds to allow for each special effect moment to have it’s own “magical” presentation. On some it worked, but others were cut short due to mechanical restrictions when aired.

Although Jeffrey has difficulty with the Internet he does embrace Digital as the future of how we’ll view films. I agree, but we’ve all been saying that for years! I believe it will take a few more years to really make that turn-over in the actual theaters a reality. Apparently the new Landmark Theater over on Pico and Overland is digital. Now I really must check it out!

Overall, he was extremely informative and gave a broad overview of many different areas of publicity and marketing. He was very enjoyable to listen to and learn from. I wouldn’t mind working at his company!

Dawn Allen, Director, Film & TV of Variety speaks at UCLA Extension Entertainment Publicity Class

By Joy A. Kennelly

Director of Film & TV for Variety Magazine, Dawn Allen, came bearing gifts for Julian Myer’s entire Entertainment Publicity UCLA Extension Class the other night. Realizing you need to build your audience when they’re starting out, she gave us all t-shirts, caps, pens, magazines, and press kits to impress upon us the value of advertising in Variety.

Rapidly quoting prices of what a cover, an inside cover, a back cover, and inserts would cost, Dawn Allen explained how advertising works for the entertainment industry from her perspective which was very comprehensive given her tenure in the business.

At one point I was prompted to ask if anyone from Variety’s Board of Directors was involved in the Academy Oscars decision making because she and her company definitely benefit from all the restrictions the Oscars place on how people receive copies of films during awards season.

Due to the fact everyone must only send out plain, simple black encased copies of their films as screeners on their own, everyone can go crazy with visuals and creative ways of getting their movies and soundtracks noticed by 40,000 key decision makers in the entertainment industry when they advertise in Variety.

Granted it costs much more to advertise in Variety vs. doing a mass mailing, but which direct mail piece do you think will be read and remembered come Oscar time? Exactly. Variety, hands down.

According to Dawn, an Oscar has a financial impact on the film for the entire life of the film which is why people are willing to pay upwards to 3 million for a 3 month campaign. When I hear numbers like that I can only think of how many charities and good causes that money would help, but it’s not my budget, so it’s none of my business. Right now Dawn thinks that Juno might be the next Little Miss Sunshine.

(Side note, the Director, Jason Reitman, was part of my Short Pictures International Film Festival – SPIFF, and won an award even back then. I found him recently on Myspace and he remembered winning at my film festival which was nice. He’s extremely talented and I wish him much success.)

She also explained the various ways people can be persuaded to advertise giving Will Smith‘s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as an example. She contacted his Business Manager, his Agent, and anyone else connected to him to see if they’d like to place an ad congratulating their client – who’s going to say no?

I think she’s extremely talented at figuring out the best way to market a film and if the entire Variety advertising revenue stream is $60 million dollars, I can only imagine her salary since she’s been with the company for so long.

But again, that’s none of my business, right?

The Two Major Shifts in Entertainment Publicity according to Cheryl Boone Isaacs & John De Simeo

By Joy A. Kennelly

Recently I had the pleasure of hearing Cheryl Boone Isaacs, “a governor representing the public relations branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on its board,” speak in Julian Myers’ Entertainment Public Relations UCLA Extension class.

We had worked together on The Ghost and The Darkness back when she was the head of Paramount Pictures Publicity and I was working at Sony Pictures Imageworks promoting the visual effects team of the film and their behind-the-scenes work.

It was nice to see her again and to have her remember me even though it was so long ago. She shared with the class that there were two major shifts in film publicity from studios to films and celebrities, with celebrities dominating publicity now. Fellow panelist, John De Simeo, agreed.

The stars are now blamed for the failure of a film and they referenced Tom Cruise‘s involvement in the recent Lions for Lambs despite Robert Redford and Meryl Streep both being in it as well. American Gangster was referenced as a great film which Ridley Scott approached perfectly due to time and space.

The other shift both speakers saw was how technological advances affect how the public receives information on films explaining it’s akin to being a good ballerina now and needing to keep on your toes, or being a fireman where you’re constantly putting out fires in an attempt to control the publicity.

Wrapping up the hour-long conversation, Boone-Isaacs asked the class how we received our entertainment information and TMZ came out on top surprisingly enough.

Blogs that were highlighted included Nikki Finke’s blog, Deadline Hollywood Daily, and Box Office Mojo, where you can learn all about box office stats, and Young, Black and Fabulous, one of the hottest black celebrity gossip sites on the net.

Great news re: Travel Play Co and Gali’s Art Opening in January!

By Joy A. Kennelly

As I was sitting waiting for an appointment I received a call from a woman I’ve been in touch with over at Children’s Hospital for the past few months regarding our potential donation of the Travel Tray to children who are recuperating in hospital beds at Children’s Hospital.

Apparently our product had gone through one committee evaluation already. Suzanne was just about to go into another committee meeting to discuss our donation and needed a quick question answered.

I didn’t know the answer, so quickly called Gali Rotstein, my now artist client, but former CEO of Travel Play Co and inventor of the Travel Tray, who took over and returned her call immediately.

By the time I got out of my meeting I had a message from Gali telling me it’s a go!

Children’s Hospital executives love the Travel Trays and we’re donating 400 this Monday! How wonderful! Now all the children who are stuck in the hospital over Christmas holidays will have a collapsible lap tray to hold all their toys and crayons and whatever else they have to play with while they’re lying in bed. Perfect Christmas gift!

Here’s some pictures to demonstrate it’s original use for when children are traveling, but it’s perfect for the hospital too. I bet adults could use it in the hospital too.

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Gali and I are both thrilled, but not as happy as our Broker, Fred, because now he can share this awesome news with major toy company that is currently reviewing our product to determine whether or not they’re going to license the patent and make it their own! Very cool news all the way around.

I love making other people happy and today has been a good day for that. Now to get some other sticks in the fire now that the flames are starting to rise on Travel Tray!

Next product to work on is StufStop which is designed for adults to hold all their belongings on the passenger seat while they’re driving. More info to come soon!

The other good news is that Children’s Action Network Director, Jennifer, who was one of Gali’s first collectors, and Lois Lambert Gallery Director, Lois Lambert, have both agreed to allow this charity to be the beneficiary of a portion of the proceeds for the entire Group ’08 show this January 12, 2008 that Gali Rotstein will be debuting in with her “Requiem for A Housewife” artwork! Now you really have to join us!

We’re all meeting tomorrow to discuss the particulars, and it’s all very exciting. Children’s Action Network is currently dedicated to finding homes for the more than 114,000 children in the United States who are waiting for an adoptive family and improving outcomes for the more than 500,000 children in foster care.

Here’s a blurb on their TV show called “A Home for the Holidays” which will be airing soon on CBS:

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Children’s Action Network are pleased to present the ninth annual “A Home for the Holidays” television special on CBS December 21, 2007 at 8 p.m. EST / PST (7 p.m. CST / MST)!
Each December, Children’s Action Network and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption present “A Home for the Holidays,” a CBS network television special bringing together all-star talent to raise awareness for foster care adoption.

This year, the celebrity lineup includes Sheryl Crow, Fergie, James Blunt, Karmina, Carole King, and Reba McEntire. David Krumholtz, comedian George Lopez and René Russo are among the celebrities presenting inspirational stories of extraordinary families who will share the joys they found through foster care adoption.

Since 1999, this heartwarming holiday special has generated tens of thousands of calls from viewers moved to action after hearing true stories of families who adopted from foster care and of waiting children.

Tune in and watch “A Home for the Holidays” and share, through the eyes of a child, the joy of having a family – not just for the holidays, but forever. Save the date!

Friday, December 21, 2007
8:00 – 9:00 pm. EST / PST
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. CST / MST