Over at her Variety blog Thompson On Hollywood, veteran scribe Anne Thompson profiles another vet, this one a shutterbug by the name of Jeff Vespa. Jeff is co-founder of now world-famous photo service WireImage (which got it’s start sharing office space with indieWIRE at Sundance) and Thompson’s piece is an excellent look at a photographer who proves that not all those who work the red carpets with a camera are stalkerazzi looking for the nipple slip of the day. Jeff works the portrait studio at least as often as he does the red carpet and as you can see by the pix in Anne’s piece, he does a good job. We here at The Rabbi Report praise Jeff for proving, like we did at indieWIRE back in the day, that as a journalist you get more flies with honey than you do with celebrity upskirt shots.
Even if the two company logos are eerily similar….
Today marks the 11th birthday of indieWIRE as a daily news service. Even though I am no longer on staff, I still consider iW my baby, albeit one of which I no longer have custody. Honestly, 11 years is a fantastic achievement and Eug, Brian, James, GMD and the rest of the iW extended family deserve serious kudos, plaudits and a hearty pat on the back.
Everyone send us presents, please.
Over on his blog, Eugene Hernandez has posted about Variety’s pre-release of the winners of the recently concluded Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF), writing that his RSS reader had tipped him off “to a Variety story announcing the winners. Posted at 5:40 p.m. PT, the 109 word item named the two Target award winners nearly 3 hours before the filmmakers (and ceremony attendees) would find out.”
This stinks on several levels.
Tipping filmmakers off to awards results before the ceremony takes place is in my opinion a high crime in our little circle of the universe. Several years ago I was at the awards ceremony of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, seated next to a competition filmmaker waiting for the awards to start when a journalist (we had all received the press release, but most of us kept our mouths shut) walked up to him and asked: “How does it feel to win the award?” The filmmaker, Pawel Pawlikowski who was attending with his wonderful film Last Resort, was confused and then slowly deflated as his excitement at winning $35,000 was somewhat dulled by someone’s insensitivity. His joy was further diminished when before I could shut her up, the woman let it slip that his two leads had also won prizes. Had he not been a winner, it would have been even worse.
On another level, this portends badly for the future of our business. Where I or another blogger to blow off customarily agreed to rules like embargoes, we’d at the least get slapped on the wrist by being banned from an event or two or refused credentials. However, when a publication of the size and influence of Variety does it, what’s the festival going to do? Ban Variety from covering its events?
Well, I’m 5 days into the Berlinale and I’ve seen 10 films, putting my cume for the trip at 33. I doubt I am going to make my stated goal of 50, alas. There’s just too much to do here in Berlin to make seeing 4 or 5 films a day possible, unless that’s all you do and well, even with my newfound responsibility, I gotta be me!
indieWIRE’s editor in chief Eugene Hernandez, publicist Gary Springer and Berlinale competition filmmkaer Ryan Eslinger chill at the Norwegian Film Institute party on Saturday night. Eslinger’s film When A Man Falls in the Forest premiered this morning.