An average day in the life of an entertainment publicist is filled with stressful emails, phone calls, eager filmmakers, anxious clients, busy journalists and binding deadlines. It usually begins w/a coffee and ends w/a glass of wine.
An average press day at MSophia PR usually begins with a full day of vitamins and ends with a full bottle of wine. I thought I’d share mine with you to help prepare you for your next press day.
After months of working the PR campaign for the independent film, Medeas, starring Oscar nominee, Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), the press day has finally arrived. It’s Friday, January 16, 2015 and Catalina is in NYC for one day, and so begins our journey together.
9:00am – We meet at Paul Fox hair salon in Soho with my go-to stylist, Jessica. I quickly brief Catalina on the media schedule and prep her for each interview. The conversations turns to my allergy induced hospital visits, and I worry I’m freaking her out.
10:15am – Coffee in hand, we hop into a cab heading mid-town for our Fox News Latino segment. In the taxi, I am tweeting, texting and emailing, while we chat Catalina’s roles in Medeas and A Most Violent Year, the lack of strong roles for women in Hollywood and Oscar snubs, in which she expresses how Oscar Isaac deserved a nomination for his role in A Most Violent Year. A blissful conversation until, “Here we are!” shouts the driver.
10:40 – Walking in, the producer immediately whisks us onto the set. Catalina’s in the chair and cameras roll. I tweet the producer and briefly chat with another journalist. Before you know it, she’s done and everyone wants photos. On our way out Catalina asks me for hand lotion and laughs as I hand her Benadryl cream.
11:10am – “Taxi!” We head downtown to the NY Daily News office for our next interview. This time our taxi cab confession featured family life, home-remedies for colds, NYC life vs. LA life, cultures, movies and more movies. She chats about her upcoming role in TV’s Falling Skies and I express my excitement for her upcoming role in The Godmother with Catherine Zeta Jones. She offers me gum and I decline because I’m allergic.
12:20pm – Traffic! Catalina takes a phone interview in the cab with NY Magazine blog Bedford and Bowery to discuss her role in Medeas. They chat the film, Oscars, the east village… and we hop out and run to our next interview.
1:10pm – We are late and El Diario has been waiting for us at the NYWIFT office so they go right into their story. I quickly catch up with my other clients, send more film clips, take more photos and tweet, tweet, tweet.
1:20pm – Behind schedule, I call our next journalist and push the interview back 15 minutes. NYWIFT Program Coordinator Duana Butler and I discuss lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations.
1:35pm – I tweet while Lee Hernandez asks Catalina about the Oscar snubs. After the interview, we take photos at NYWIFT, tell everyone, “come to the screening and Q&A tonight!” and run out the door.
1:55pm – Phew! We’re on time for our broadcast segment with Arise TV 360. “Okay, we are on!” shouts the producer. We rush onto the set and see photos of Medeas beautifully displayed all across the wall. Catalina goes on and I take photos while chatting with the producer about another segment topic, “How about the lack of women in the industry?” I ask. “Yes!” #Awesome
2:45pm – One more interview to go. “Let’s get soup!” I blurt out. Catalina agrees. I make a dash across the street ‘Frogger NYC-Style’ when all of a sudden, I hear cars honking. I almost killed our star.
3:00pm – I push our last interview back so Catalina can get over the trauma I just caused her. She takes a quick call from director, Andrea Pallaoro, while I chat with the studio about the evening’s agenda. I show her the day’s photos, “Send me those, please!” she says with glee. The phone rings…
3:30pm – Catalina takes her last interview with Disc Dish. They chat about the film, her career, favorite moment and I email, tweet, facebook, vine, instagram and my soup gets cold.
3:50pm – The final interview over, the media tour has ended and now it’s time to part ways. “It was so lovely to meet you, Catalina, I hope today wasn’t too painful.” Catalina smiles, gives me a hug, assures me it was not so bad and runs for a taxi.
4:15pm – Heading back to the office, I reflect: “Catalina was so professional and lovely – The only drama queen around here is me.”
5:00pm – The day ends with more social media, a left over sandwich in my purse and a bottle of wine waiting at my friend’s house. It’s all over in a New York minute.
Meet NYWIFT Member Toni R. Isreal. Toni is the CEO and Founder of REALEMN Productions LLC, Broadway’s leading multicultural marketing and PR team, run by Black women. In addition to being a proud member of New York Women in Film & Television, she is a co-founding member of The Industry Standard Group. Previously, Toni was the Managing Director of Walker International Communications Group (WICG) where she led a team providing all aspects of marketing consultation to arts organizations. A proud member of CTI — Commercial Theater Institute, Toni was instrumental in multiple projects including 2018 Tony Award-Winning Once on This Island, Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King, A Raisin in The Sun, A Trip To Bountiful, A Streetcar Named Desire, Baby It’s You, and Stick Fly. Toni R. Isreal is an awardee of the Central New Jersey Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women for Excellence in Economic Empowerment and advocates promoting the arts and entertainment to multicultural communities.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, new member Edna Luise Biesold! Edna is a German-born and New York-based filmmaker who honed her craft at NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a special focus on cinematography. She received the Franz Wieser Grant from ARRI as DP for the fantasy short film The Molok. She co-wrote and co-directed The Color of Time, and is presently developing 3 Monkeys, a screenplay which earned her a Creative Career Design Fellowship from NYU's Production Lab in 2022. Most recently, Sunscreen, her first film in ASL, has won her a Best Narrative Short award at 1904 Deaf Film Festival and the NYWIFT Award for Excellence in Directing at the 2022 SOHO International Film Festival. Edna spoke to us about her favorite collaborators, the challenges of lighting 16-foot tall puppets, and exploring the subtleties of communication throughout her work.READ MORE
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The Mole Agent: Highlights from the NYWIFT Goes to the Oscars Q&A with Maite Alberdi, Marcela Santibañez, Julie Goldman
The team behind The Mole Agent, Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary, discusses its powerful impact, and how they created a film both so visually stunning and rich with character that The New York Times review believed the film to be partly dramatized. It wasn’t!READ MORE