January 29, 2009

Eliot Tiegel Explores Downside of Celeb-Frenzied Paparazzi in New Book

In his new revealing expose, Overexposed: The Price of Fame, Eliot Tiegel explores the inevitable and sometimes dangerous, media-frenzied draw toward Hollywood stars -- and he's telling ET how the increased paparazzi coverage of today is affecting starlets Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and others.

"The rule is that if you're in the magazines you're alive and the public will know who you are," Tiegel explains about celebrities in the media. "Once you're not doing anything and you fade away from all these tabloid magazines who fight every week to produce the same stories most of the time, you disappear -- which means you're not popular anymore."

Tiegel also discusses the death of Princess Diana in 1997, caused by a car accident that followed a paparazzi chase in the streets of Paris.

Watch the video to hear Tiegel discuss how the paparazzi attention has changed entertainment journalism, and he explains the commodity behind star photographs -- an undeniable incentive for getting the perfect shot.

Sasha and Malia: In the Eye of the Paparazzi

In tabloid math, the only thing better than a picture of a celebrity is a picture of a celebrity with his or her cute kid — or in some cases, just the kid (see Suri Cruise). There's no bigger celebrity at the moment than President Barack Obama, who has already been on the cover of such august political organs as TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. As luck would have it, Barack and Michelle Obama have two of the cutest — and therefore potentially lucrative — offspring on the planet. Beanie Babies maker Ty has already released Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia dolls. So the appetite for stories and photos of the First Daughters is going to be somewhere between huge and crazed. (And no, TIME.com is not immune. See pictures of Sasha and Malia at the Inauguration.)

Gary Morgan, CEO of Splash, a photo and video agency that specializes in paparazzi shots, says he's already sent more photographers to Washington. "There's going to be a lot of interest, all around the world, in the Obama family," he says. In December, Splash distributed photos of the Obamas holidaying in Hawaii, including some long-lens shots of the President-elect shirtless. Morgan says he had no trouble selling them. (Read about Obama trying to avoid the spotlight in Hawaii.)

"My dream would be a picture of them decorating their bedrooms or having a pajama party," says OK! Magazine editor in chief Susan Toepfer, who adds that she'll settle for photos of Christmas and Easter celebrations. "The Obamas have made it clear they want to be open with the public. They're going to become the national family." (See pictures of U.S. Presidents and their children.)

Of course, OK! prefers to keep the celebrities it's covering happy. And even more aggressive magazines like Us Weekly have a written policy of not buying pictures of kids taken at or near their schools. But other tabloids are not going to be so picky, particularly the online outlets. If someone has a picture of Malia or Sasha having a bad hair day back in Illinois, Morgan says Splash would buy it. Likewise, if there's a story of alleged social climbing at a Sidwell Friends birthday party, it's a safe bet that gossip site Gawker and its ilk would run the story.

Given the market for such pictures, could the paparazzi become a problem for the First Family? Alan Nierob, a publicist whose flashbulb-bait clients include Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe, says he can't imagine one. "There aren't going to be any long-lens shots into the White House," says Nierob. "Hello! There's a Secret Service. It's not like the girls are going to be sitting in traffic while photographers snap away."

While Morgan says no one is going to be foolish enough to "chase down the President of the United States" for a shot, he thinks it won't be necessary, because the Obamas seem to know how to utilize the popular press to their advantage. They have set up photo ops in the past and have allowed for others. "If they're out and we can get a shot, it's because they don't mind us being there," he says. "The Secret Service guys are cool as long as you don't do anything dangerous."

Morgan wonders, however, if this unspoken agreement between the First Family and the popular press will last. "We'll see how it goes after a few months. It's not like we don't know where he lives," he says. "You can't keep people cooped up there forever."

Miley Cyrus Encourages the Paparazzi

Now here's something you don't see every day.

Given how so many stars are notorious for shunning the shutterbugs and doing whatever they can to prevent paps from getting that so-called money shot, you can imagine our delight when we spotted Miley Cyrus in L.A. on Wednesday actually inviting folks to snap away by sporting a tee that read "Take a picture. It will last longer."

Not that it comes as a complete surprise, mind you. After all, the teen sensation is known for being photog friendly whenever she steps out.

Of course, simply stepping out in your pajama bottoms is also a pretty sure way to get cameras clicking.

January 10, 2009

For Paparazzi, Obamas Are as Hot as Pitt-Jolies

Hordes of photographers are gearing up to make their fortunes with photos of the glamorous new first family, Elizabeth Wolff writes in New York magazine.The transition team is trying to carefully manage images of the Obamas, but they're up against patient and wily paparazzi trying to sneak shots of the family that photo agencies are ranking right up there with the Pitt-Jolies for celebrity status.

One veteran pap says Obama pix are outearning his Lindsay Lohan stock. They'll be doggedly lying in wait to snap "regular people" shots of Michele shopping and taking the girls to school, but the Holy Grail of Obama pics is a photo of the president-elect smoking. Such a photo would "definitely fetch over $100,000," says the chief of one agency dispatching extra snappers to DC.

January 7, 2009

Tribeca Film Festival Press Registration

The eighth annual Tribeca Film Festival will take place April 22nd - May 3rd, 2009 in New York City.

We hope that you will consider applying for credentials to attend and cover the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. If you are interested in doing so, please use the following link to access the formal application: https://secure.sportssystems.com/events2/?eventKey=aadb469e-b301-499d-a1ec-a1dbd09cfd00

We kindly ask that you complete the application in its entirety as soon as possible. The deadline for applications is March 13, 2009. After this date, no further applications will be considered. Please note that you will receive clear notification from us regarding approval or denial of your application before March 27.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture. Since its founding, the Festival has screened more than 1,100 films from over 80 countries while generating more than $530 million in economic activity for New York City. Known for its support of emerging and established directors, the Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center.

We look forward to speaking with you soon. If you have any questions regarding the accreditation form or credentialing process, please contact Casey Sanders, the Festival’s Press Office Manager, at +1 212.843.9304 or festival@rubenstein.com.

As always, thank you for your time.


The Tribeca Film Festival Press Department