Question from my meebo widget: Which union do film publicists belong to?

June 15, 2008

Whoever left the question for me on my meebo chat widget, you didn’t give me an email address for direct response to you, so I’m posting the answer here.

Unit Publicists who work on location during principal photography of union films and want to receive union benefits need to belong to the International Cinematographers Guild.   Publicists and Cinematographers were merged into one guild in 2002.  One of my co-authors, Michael Klastorin, belongs to the ICG.  Incidentally, he hasn’t been around to post in what seems like forever because since the end of the writers’ strike, he’s been working almost non-stop on location.

Film publicists that don’t necessarily focus on unit work, rather in other areas of film publicity, such as launch, festival, theatrical release, etc., or who do unit work on non-union films or films with union waivers, don’t have to belong to a union.  There are professional associations, however, that are useful to join.  For instance, I belong to the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society.

Each organization has its own eligibility requirements, application and acceptance process.



See you at SilverDocs, June 16 – 23

June 13, 2008

SilverDocs at the AFI Silver TheaterMonday kicks off the 6th annual SilverDocs, an international film festival honoring excellence in filmmaking, supporting the diverse voices and free expression of independent storytellers and celebrating the power of documentary to improve our understanding of the world. 

 Filmmakers from around the world will be showing their films.  Held concurrently with the festival is the SilverDocs International Documentary Conference,  presenting thought-provoking presentations and engaging a diverse group of over 1,000 filmmakers and industry leaders concerned with the future of non-fiction storytelling, production and distribution. 

With a slate of over 100 films, conference sessions and workshops, musical and other live performances, and a special event to honor Director Spike Lee, SilverDocs will, once again, be the premiere film festival event in the Washington, DC area.

If you attend the festival, stop by the press check-in desk in the registration area to say hello. I’ll be there each morning from 8 AM to 10 AM. 


Paulo Coelho turns his book into a feature film with MySpace users’ videos

June 10, 2008

This should be interesting. Author Paulo Coelho is going to collaborate with MySpace to make his latest book into his first feature film. The MySpace collaboration will center around creating a mashup of videos and songs created and submitted by MySpace users.  Coelho will choose the winning videos and songs to use in his film.

But here’s the rub: Coelho is going to own the film.  What do the MySpace filmmakers and musicians get?

Winners will enjoy significant publicity, and their work will be featured across MySpace worldwide including the homepage, MySpaceTV and an extensive banner campaign.

Well, exposure is always a good thing, right?  Not as sweet as a percentage of the gross, or residuals, but you have to start somewhere.

Oh, and the fine print says that if there aren’t enough videos and songs submitted that meet the required standards, the whole project will be scrapped.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this. [Via Publishers Weekly]