This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Warner Bros: Sensitive Business In Aftermath Of Aurora Tragedy

Last week, Warner Brothers was looking forward to a monumental weekend with the release of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, his highly anticipated follow-up to The Dark Knight.  Big, blockbuster summer releases with pre-buzz (like The Dark Knight Rises) tend to do very, very well at midnight screenings.  Most tickets were pre-sold via websites and multiplex theater outlets.  Like the Harry Potter franchise, many hardcore Batman fans planned to go to the theater dressed in costume.  They were looking forward to a good time and a fun, popcorn movie. 

This was what summer was all about.

As we all know, the events that unfolded in Aurora, Colorado last Friday morning merged the line between fantasy and reality... and in the end, it all became much too real.  And devastating.  As reports came streaming in, it was said that many in the Century 16 Theater first thought the gunman's appearance was a publicity stunt.  I can only imagine the terror in that theater when, moments later, bullets went flying.

Is this really happening?  How could this happen? Why?????

Warner Brothers got its monumental weekend (albeit in a far different way than anyone at the studio could have predicted.)  In public relations speak, they call it "crisis management."  This is when a major event immediately threatens an organization, its reputation, its shareholders, or the general public.  The Crisis being that the event has already occurred, it poses a very real threat, and it forces a company or organization to make strategic decisions in a very short amount of time.

As news poured in from Colorado, the studio and companies associated with The Dark Knight Rises had some very real decisions to make FAST.   According to The Los Angeles Times, Christopher Nolan, the cast and crew, were in "lockdown mode" in Paris where the studio cancelled a scheduled premiere.


*Warner Bros.  immediately combed through advertisements and pre-existing promotional material for The Dark Knight Rises in order to remove and/or alter any catch phrases or taglines with negative or violent connotations.

* Warner Bros. also quickly pulled trailers of their upcoming release, Gangster Squad which was originally scheduled for release in September.  That film chillingly includes a theater shooting sequence.  (According to Variety, the studio has now made the decision to do away with the whole sequence,  reportedly a climax of the film.) 

*Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have made substantial donations to The Aurora Victims Relief Fund, a 501(c) nonprofit established to help victims' families and survivors of the tragedy.

*AMC Theatres released photos via Facebook of Christian Bale and his wife Sibi Blazic visiting with survivors of the tragedy and a victims' memorial in Aurora.

In light of what happened, it's natural to want to point fingers.  We want to point fingers.  We want to blame.  We want to find the one true answer as to why?  Why did this happen?  How could this happen?  It's Guns.  It's Hollywood.  It's Societal Pressure.  It's Youth Alienation.  It's the glorification of Violence.

Sure, one can say that Warner Bros. acted purely for publicity's sake.  That's fair.  It could very well be true.  My point, however, is that they could very easily have buried their head in the sand.  Other companies faced with similar crises certainly have dealt with things that way. It's as if to say:  "If we do nothing, the problem will eventually go away..."

Instead, I applaud Warner Bros. for all they have done.  Yes, it's about publicity and a studio (and film's) reputation.  More importantly, however, it's about acting sensitively from a business and human standpoint. It's about acting responsibly.  It's understanding that, while a company can face tragedy and crises like an adult (as Warner Bros. has), that company's actions do not mean they are fully accepting responsibility.

The shooting is not Christian Bale's fault.  It's not Christopher Nolan's fault.  Or Warner Bros. fault.  Or Batman's fault.  As much as we'd like it to be.  That would be too easy. 

Be sensitive to the victims, thankful for the heroes, and to the people who survived.

Focus on the things that went right when everything else was going so horribly wrong...

For more information:

Crisis Management

Studio Handling Crisis With Care And Compassion

Gangster Squad

Warner Bros. Donation To Shooting Victims

Donate To Victims Of The Aurora Shooting

©2012 by KLiedle

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ice Cream: It's What's For Dinner

It's National Ice Cream Day here in the United States.  This is a fact I should know... Ice Cream.  Well, let's just say I'm a fan.  I also enjoy ice cream's many counterparts: frozen yogurt, gelato, and sorbet.  The beauty of being an adult is that I can have ice cream anytime I want.  Not that I do... (or that I'd admit to it here.)  I'll try any flavor there is, but I'm partial to Cookies And Cream.  And just plain vanilla with some cinnamon sprinkled on top. 

Ice cream has appeared in many films over the years.  Who can forget Audrey Hepburn gleefully enjoying her gelato in Roman Holiday?   Charlie was amazed to discover that Willy Wonka himself invented a chocolate ice cream that never melts in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.  The iconic duo of the silent era, Laurel and Hardy used ice cream in several sketches and short films, including the 'Moustachio Ice Cream' sketch in their 1931 film, Come Clean.  And back in 1993, Louis C.K.  did a short film, entitled simply, Ice Cream. For anyone familiar with his current show, Louie, he routinely professes his love for ice cream.  And not wanting to share it with his kids.  I don't blame him.

Ah, Ice Cream.  It's what's for dinner.

Here in Los Angeles, I recommend  Humphrey's Yogart, Studio Yogurt, and Yogurtland (which, sadly, is quickly becoming the Starbucks of the frozen yogurt world.)

©2012 by KLiedle

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 4th: Good Intent

One post in June... that's what happens when you're caught working 75 hours in 5 days.  With an average 15-hour workday, I don't have time for much of anything else.   Busy working on the Steve Jobs movie while simultaneously in pre-production to direct an episode of "Bad Audition," a new series created by Kate Orlando Siebrasse.  Oh, and did I mention-- writing a book?  Yeah, that's happening, too.  As a result, June vanished into thin air, I'm seriously sleep-deprived and I really just wish summer was over.   Busy is good, however.  I tell myself that.

Here's to the 4th of July... and a much-needed DAY OFF for most Americans.  I know that not everyone gets a free day.  (I personally haven't had the 4th of July off-- or any holiday off-- for the better part of 3 years... thanks to a deadbeat weekend job that I {ahem} no longer have.)

When I'm home by myself, I've been known to lip-synch and dance myself silly.  I love flowing gowns and fedoras, gentlemen dressed in suits and essentially anything from the 1940s. That's why I especially enjoyed Kimbra's video of "Good Intent."

 I have good intentions to enjoy the holiday to its fullest and do absolutely nothing.

 Here's to hoping you all do the same.

** For Lyrics to Kimbra's "Good Intent"**

© 2012 by KLiedle