By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
As I’ve written more than once, “Cover the consumer electronics industry and see the world!” But what is also true is, “Cover the consumer electronics industry and meet celebrities!”
On a dismal, cold and rainy Monday night I was in a cab going to the Tribeca Grand hotel for a 9 p.m. meeting.
|Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who hosted the screening of “Keep Surfing” with Tim Alessi, product development director of LG Electronics and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez||John Weinstock, marketing VP of LG Electronics (from left), holds the “Keep Surfing” surfboard with director Bjorn Richie Lob and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez|
If you saw me with my trench coat on you might think I was doing some investigative report, but no, I was about to attend the premiere of a movie at the Tribeca Film Festival.
John Taylor, the longtime public affairs and communications VP of LG Electronics got me into this when I saw him at the CEA Digital Patriots dinner in D.C. last week telling me for the first time at the Tribeca Film Festival a TV, LG’s Infinia LED HDTV (the only line with THX Display Certification) was going to be used to premiere a feature film. “I know its 9:00 at night on a Monday, but it is being held at a penthouse at the hotel, only about 30 or so people are invited, and there will be some celebrities there.”
John couldn’t attend… something about an AHAM meeting, but he was so enthusiastic about the event and I know him for about as long as anyone in this business, I said yes.
While I had second thoughts as the rain poured in Manhattan on Monday I knew that if I didn’t share some vintage champagne during the debut of a movie in Tribeca with a few celebs I would be a duller person for it.
A long, long time ago I was an arts and movie critic so I’ll leave the review of the movie - Bjorn Richie Lob’s “Keep Surfing” - to the critics. It is a feature about river-surfing on Eisbach in Munich, Germany. The “Infinia” was selected because duplicates the movie experience of theaters, according to LG. After seeing it perform last night I don’t doubt it.
When I arrived at the penthouse the place was already packed with paparazzi taking shots of my usual subjects - LG’s John Weinstock, Tim Alessi and Rick Dean of THX - along with some of the cast and the director of “Keep Surfing,” some entertainment press (none I recognized), agents, producers, friends, etc.
Let’s say it wasn’t the type of crowd, or event, that I’d find at a typical retail buying group meeting… not that there is anything wrong with that.
The first celebrity I saw was Mark Sanchez, “The San-chise” as the New York tabloids called him in his rookie year as quarterback of the New York Jets. A native of Southern California, he was overheard to say that he used to surf growing up back home. So no wonder why he was here.
A few minutes later Jamie-Lynn Sigler, known for her role as Meadow on “The Sopranos,” arrived with a few people. Jamie hosted the premiere but as far as I know she has never surfed.
Sanchez was taller than I expected and pleasantly polite. Sigler cracked a joke or two, was professional and, dare I say, prettier in person than on any HDTV. And both were on time, which after reading years of gossip columns about such events, was a surprise.
After a champagne toast by John Weinstock for the movie and all in attendance, I spoke with Tim Alessi, who noted that LG has done events with the Tribeca Film Festival in prior years. And he admitted like our own executive editor Greg Tarr he is a long-suffering fan of the Jets.
In meeting Rick Dean, senior VP of THX, the subject moved to TV production where digital video is becoming more popular than film due to cost. He had a take about 3D TV. Dean can see 3D being part of a cellphone soon and being “dynamic display that is in your hand.”
And he related a story about getting a box of Kodak Super 8 movie film from an aide of legendary director and a founder THX George Lucas. The box included early films that he did as a kid in Southern California having to do with cars.
Does “American Graffiti” ring a bell here?
Well, after a second half-glass of champagne and pate’ of some type I donned by trench coat and bid farewell to the premiere (I still had to get to work early on Tuesday) confident in fact that the long-time synergy between consumer electronics and the motion pictures continues.
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