The world of entertainment; of movie premieres and film festivals, trailers and studio releases, is certainly one of glamour. Until you have to print red carpet schedules for movie stars and managers, run out of ink, and ended up stranded in traffic with 25 minutes until show time—just one of the stressful stories recounted at PRSSA’s Entertainment PR Panel.
On Wednesday, April 3, Joanna Pinker of Falco Ink and Casey De La Rosa of the Sundance Institute spoke to members of IU PRSSA and the IU community about the realities of working in the entertainment industry. Pinker works as an account executive for Falco Ink in New York City and runs the digital promotion department, while De La Rosa works as a publicist for the Sundance Film Festival. Neither De La Rosa nor Pinker started out in the entertainment field, and both stressed that adaptability is the most necessary factor for starting out in the world of film, directors, and movie stars.
“You grow into and learn your position,” said Pinker. “It’s important to carry yourself with confidence with filmmakers, who can be intimidating. Ultimately you need patience and the ability to be realistic for your clients.”
De La Rosa, who joined the group via Skype from Los Angeles, added that a passion and desire to learn everything about filmmaking was a key to his success. He also pointed out that while working with films is perceived as a glamorous profession, the reality is low on sparkles and allure.
“Thirty minutes on the red carpet is equal to hours of preparation, schedule management, organization of the press, and dealing with last minute issues like late talent,” he emphasized. “It’s your one chance to start off a film with a big bang.”
Pinker and De La Rosa have worked with each other frequently at the Sundance Film Festival, and were quick to point out the similarities in their festival responsibilities. Both are on call at all hours, and have sole responsibility for a full, impressive red carpet and general publicity surrounding their films. Pinker highlighted the importance of researching all a film’s angles in order to pitch a unique story to all relevant media outlets.
“Clients want to know something tangible, and you have to be able to explain why you didn’t get a review or some other publicity,” she said.
Despite the stresses and pressures, both Pinker and De La Rosa love promoting the films they represent. Cows, cheerleaders, and zombies have all been on De La Rosa’s red carpet at the Sundance Film Festival, while Pinker has replaced a rented Hummer with a compact car for an environmentally-conscious movie star worried about his reputation. It’s all a part of making the movie a success.
Director of Alumni Relations