Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gunslinger Media Blitz

July 10, 2014
   Yesterday was a whirlwind of media blitz and Uber travel. Started early in the main ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel where 200 TV critics from around the world assembled with their glowing laptops lighting the room:

The stage at the twice-a-year rollout of Summer 2014 TCA (Television Critics Assoc.) Presentations

First up was the Discovery Channel's new show "Naked and Afraid" (Kathy got a ball cap with the logo on it). Then came "Pit Bulls & Paroles". We followed with a sizzle reel of the six-part-series "Gunslingers".

That's the actor Walt Willey, me and Chris Cassel, the director on stage. We took questions from the audience and we worked together very well (we were coached the day before by veteran anchor and media consultant Steve Grey) and I somewhat stunned the cynical crowd by singing the Wyatt Earp theme song. What are the odds that I would know any of the gathered TV critics. Well, when we got off stage I was met in the back of the room by this familiar face:

New Times and Zonie bandmate, Dave Walker who now works for the Picayune Press in New Orleans. He has been coming to these two-week-at-a-time affairs for the past 20 years. At the first one there were mostly male critics from 120 newspapers on expense accounts, with typewriters on the tables and an ash tray at each station. Dave estimates there are maybe 20 newspapers represented and it's mostly digital reporting (lots of tweeting going on as the show unfolds). Also, at Dave's first show the OJ chase was unfolding during the sessions. Amazing.

These shows and the networks themselves are oiled and tuned and massaged into shape by a battalion of young women 18-35 who shepherd us from place to place, on to the stage, off, and then through a long hallway of media rooms where outlets like the BBC and ET have cameras set up in makeshift studios. Our first stop was at the Dish Network where we were met by Jessica (getting her makeup freshened up):

Jessica of The Dish crew who lobbed us huge watermelon questions which we crushed out of the park.

After a round of these quickies we were whisked into a small room where a Getty photographer shot us in a variety of poses.

Chris Cassel get's his closeup

I was shot in this position then taken over to a sitting position and a big wooden box plopped in front of me where I was encouraged to ham it up.

Poster position number one

And of course, it didn't take much to get me to go farther:

These were taken by the photo assistant Matt, using my phone camera. The real photographer, who I am facing, was shooting rapidly and all the photos appeared instantly on a large computer screen off to my right. The guy is very good and he shot very quickly.

After that we all went to lunch at Trader Vic's where we met some of the other "talent." I hit if off with the guys from "Hillbilly Blood". Pics to follow.

"That's a wrap."
—Old TV slang for finishing a shot