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Michael Hutchence Documentary

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SYDNEY Petrol Records has announced the inclusion of unheard Michael Hutchence tracks on the forthcoming documentary film Mystify, which is set to honour the late superstar and globally acclaimed lead singer of INXS.

Mystify chronicles the times of Michael Hutchence (who passed away in November 1997) and will premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in April. Concurrently, Petrol Records and international partner, Universal Music Group, will launch a major campaign for the film’s soundtrack. It will unveil previously unheard tracks from the enigmatic rock star and introduce INXS’ iconic sound to a new generation.

The Mystify soundtrack will showcase the musical talents of Michael’s song writing and velvet lyrics. It will weave recently discovered, and never-before heard, covers performed by Michael, with the much loved INXS classics that led the evolution of the music industry so many years ago.

The full-length film was written and directed by filmmaker Richard Lowenstein who helmed some of the band’s early music videos. Lowenstein has promised definitive insight to one of rock’s great front men. Hutchence was Australia’s first international rock star, he was a ‘sex symbol’, a poet, shy, brash, charismatic, bohemian, a family man and utterly complex.

On making the announcement, Christopher M. Murphy, Chairman and Founder of Petrol Records, and Creative Director and Global Strategist for INXS said: “INXS’ appeal wasn’t just confined to writing great songs or playing some of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. They always had their collective antennae up to the latest trends – whether they be music, fashion or technology – and that’s given their brand a fresh and lasting outlook.”

“Their legacy is growing every day, and a new generation of fans from around the world are discovering INXS through streaming. We are entering an exciting period of rediscovery of their legacy and a reassessment of their place in music history.”

Murphy continued: “There will be many insights revealed about Michael’s life and his music, which will create interesting conversations. Movies like Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born remind us of the extraordinary contributions that are made to popular culture when movies and music are creatively intertwined, and I am proud to say Mystify will be another great example.”

Petrol continues its work on the INXS X Building; an arts and innovation precinct to be located in New South Wales’ Ballina/Byron region. In addition to exhibiting INXS’ extensive gallery of memorabilia, this development will be an incubator for new talent, start-ups and established businesses within the arts and technology sectors.

For more information about the X Building, visit www.thexbuilding.com

Literary Agents - The Power Behind the Passion

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LONDON Few professions combine the tetra of talent that forms a successful literary agent. Sharp negotiation skills, a working knowledge of intellectual property, the juggling of New York/LA time zones - all wrapped up in a singular creative passion. And for around a 15% return on 100% commitment to their authors.

Here, we make visible three members of the invisible estate...  


Camilla Bolton

Senior Agent 

Darley Anderson Agency

Your career trajectory and current specialism?

I have been here for 11 years and started as an office assistant and reader before Darley gave me the incredible opportunity to become an agent after three months at the agency. I specialise in fiction focusing mainly on crime, thrillers and suspense, although I do also take on a few women’s fiction and non-fiction projects if I fall in love with them.

Approach to nurturing talent - debut and established authors...

The key for our agency is that we sign authors with the belief that we will represent them for their whole careers. As an agent you have to obsessively love a manuscript, but it is also hugely important that we believe we can work with an author over hopefully many years and be the very best advocate for their work.

A big part of my job is working very closely with authors editorially and nurturing them from the outset so they are equipped and ready to work with editors. Once we have deals in place – we purposefully keep hold of the world rights so we can submit directly worldwide - we then support authors, manage and strategise their careers, maintain positive relationships with publishers and negotiate the very best terms and advances for contracts. Overall, day to day, our approach is definitely one of supporting and protecting our authors now, whilst being very aware of the market and strategising how their future careers will flourish.

Challenges currently facing the agency market and your company - and your outlook for 2019

The book market is continuously changing and this year has been harder for paperbacks to secure shelf space, but then hardbacks are definitely holding their worth. The ebook market fascinates me as readers tend to be far more genre loyal as opposed to the author loyalty you find with printed books. So we need to work with authors and publishers to find new ways to ensure an author’s presence is sustained.

Every year there are challenges but the key for us is ensuring our represented authors have all the support they need, whilst as an agency we are also very focused on discovering new talent and future bestsellers. When you have an amazing manuscript with characters and plot that blow you away then it shouldn’t matter if it’s being called a challenging year; as an agent you need to have unwavering belief and determination that there is always a way to ensure the manuscript will become a novel that readers will love. So our outlook is extremely positive and we’ve got some amazing books being published in 2019.

What were your highlights for 2018?

We’ve had a phenomenal year with Lee Child dominating the world and at the agency we’ve had five books at No 1 in the UK and four at No 1 in the US. Overall in just the UK and US, fourteen of our authors have been chart bestsellers, including ten books on the Sunday Times bestseller list and eight on the New York Times bestseller list. Two of my authors reached the remarkable milestone of having sold over a million copies so this has also been incredibly exciting. Another huge work highlight for me personally was having both B A Paris’ Bring Me Back and Catherine Steadman’s Something In The Water on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time. I’ve also sold four debuts with a fifth looking like it’s about to go under offer, so it’s been a thriving year for new talent.

And your tips on the stocking-filler titles for Christmas?

There is an amazing independent bookshop in central London called Goldsboro Books that specialises in beautiful collectible hardbacks so I always tell people to visit here for stocking-filler gifts. For particular titles, Past Tense by Lee Child is phenomenal (and competing to be my favourite Reacher book so far) and You Were Gone by Tim Weaver is a genius mix of an amazing hook, incredible protagonist and beautiful storytelling. If you’re looking for really fresh voice driven titles then the debut You Don’t Know Me by criminal lawyer Imran Mahmood has received huge acclaim, and G X Todd’s Defender and her Voices series has been compared to King’s The Stand so she is definitely an author to watch.

Angharad Kowal Stannus

Founder 

Kowal Stannus Agency 

Your career trajectory and current specialism?

I spent the first 10 years of my career on the publishing side in NY at Simon & Schuster as director of rights, specialising in the international markets. In 2008 I switched to the agenting side and moved to London where I opened the UK office of literary agency Writers House. In 2017 I had the pleasure of going out on my own and opened the Kowal Stannus Agency.

Big picture publishing has always held a fascination for me, whether it’s through business with publishers in countries all over the world, or being able to offer my clients the knowledge that comes with having been on both sides of publishing and agenting spectrum. A background in rights –
selling translation, film and television, merchandise, or what have you – also trained me to think about books as a gateway to many different things. During my career I’ve been privileged to represent an incredibly diverse list of authors and illustrators such as: Stephen Hawking, Nora Roberts, Neil Gaiman, Michael Lewis, Rachel Renee Russell, Karen Rose, Christopher Paolini, and Natalia and Lauren O’Hara, to name just a few. So much so that I’ve purposely chosen not to specialize in any one genre; KSA represents fiction and nonfiction for adults and children.

Having a wide view of all publishing markets makes me more valuable in this world of intellectual property, and certainly makes my job more fun.

Approach to nurturing talent - debut and established authors...

In this world of ever-tightening budgets, editors have less and less time to edit, and therefore won’t acquire something that needs more than a fair amount of editorial work. As an ex-publisher, I know just how busy they are. A manuscript has to be loved not just by the editor, but by the many other gatekeepers working with that editor. That’s where your agent comes in. I provide editorial comments and support, and usually my advice is less about the creative and more about the commercial, or helping clients to think about the bigger picture. It’s also about supporting my clients across publicity, marketing, branding, the development of their website, etc. But the most important thing is a good relationship and respect.

Challenges currently facing the agency market and your company - and your outlook for 2019?

It’s no surprise that the entertainment market is incredibly competitive. The most important thing is to get the client’s work in the right hands, and provide the tools to know where in the market to place it. My outlook for 2019 is incredibly positive – I can’t wait to see some client’s new or debut
titles published, and to continue to add new voices and artists to my list. I’d love to add some more commercial fiction, and I’m still looking for the perfect love story.

What were your highlights for 2018?

Growing my client’s individual careers is always the highlight of the year. I’m also thrilled to have signed some fantastic new voices and stunning Illustrators, which you’ll be hearing about next year.
And I’m particularly pleased that Lauren O’Hara was chosen to illustrate Sophie Dahl’s first book for children, Madame Badobedah,due to publish next autumn, so look for it then.

And your tips on the stocking-filler titles for Christmas?

For a great gift for your daughter, as a family activity, or for someone who needs a little lift, I recommend Write A Letter by kindred spirit Jodi Ann Bickley. For pure escapism and to shake off end of year malaise, book 1 in Angus Watson’s new series, You Die When You Die. Or for the youngest ones, the gorgeous picture book, The Bandit Queen, by sisters Natalia and Lauren O’Hara.

Donald Winchester

Literary Agent 

Watson, Little 

Your career trajectory and current specialism?

I’ve been a literary agent at Watson, Little for five years, after a half-decade at AP Watt, and before that in editorial at Penguin. At Watson, Little (which incidentally is nearing its 50th anniversary), I look after a broad range of fiction and non-fiction. In fiction I tend to look for high quality writing in many areas – I am most readily seduced by a story that combines smart and compassionate writing with a playful approach to structure. Some of my favourite contemporary novelists include Sarah Hall, Edward St Aubyn, and Zadie Smith.

Approach to nurturing talent - debut and established authors...

Every author is different, and has different needs. My view is that an agent is there to serve their authors, to give them what support, feedback, and encouragement they need – while also negotiating the best deal for them on all fronts. This means a curated approach for each writer. I do a lot of editorial work with my authors – ensuring their work is in the best possible shape before an editor sees it.

Challenges currently facing the agency market and your company - and your outlook for 2019?

The general constraints of the market, where readers have an increasing array of entertainment options to choose from, remains an issue to those (like me) who love books above all! On the industry side, publishers’ eagerness to acquire non-traditional rights (often to the detriment of authors) will continue to be a challenge.

What were your highlights for 2018?

Cyprian Ekwensi’s brilliant Jagua Nana, the story of a bold and resourceful woman in revolutionary Nigeria, was published by Penguin Modern Classics this year. It is a real gem, by an unjustly neglected and prolific writer, but is also personally pleasing as its been brought back into print after several years.

And your tips on the stocking-filler titles for Christmas?

The familiar (Sally Rooney, Ladybird remakes, Michelle Obama’s autobiography) will be there but I’m also hoping people will make time for Pat Barker’sThe Silence of the Girls, Timothy Morton’s Being Ecological, and Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing.

We talk to Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

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We catch up with Bob Bakish following Red Carpet mag's attendance at the recent MTV EMA. Here, the president and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) takes Sat Bal on a journey from engineering to music and Amsterdam to India. 

Sorry we didn’t get to speak with you on the EMA red carpet (Katy Perry just wouldn’t stop chatting). What was going through your mind when you walked that carpet in Amsterdam?

While I was certainly excited heading to the show, stepping onto the red carpet took it up one hundred notches.  The energy and screaming of the fans as the most incredible talent from all around the world paraded down it was just amazing.  It certainly set the tone for what was to become an amazingly memorable night.

You spent your early years grappling with ‘Ordinary Differential Equations’ as an engineer from the prestigious Columbia University. How did these ODEs assist your ascent at MTV and Viacom?

Arguably they are both worlds apart and fundamentally the same.  What I mean by that is the specifics of ODE – an engineering-related math course – and management roles at MTV and Viacom are vastly different.  But, they both do share a personal challenge to succeed, requiring dedication, passion and, at times, a little luck.

 Pharrell demonstrates the world-class production values of the MTV EMA

What are your current priorities at Viacom and the long-range aims?

At the highest level, our priority is to continue to grow our business – which only happens by providing our target consumers engaging entertainment experiences, delivered through great brands across platforms all around the world.  This, in turn, lets us provide unique value to our key distribution, advertising and other business constituents, as well as the creative community at large.

How important is it to maintain the presence of the EMA as an ongoing live fixture in Europe and a distinctly European property?

Viacom’s corporate headquarters may be in the U.S., but we are fundamentally a global company catering to consumers worldwide.  The EMA is a world class event, of which one unique attribute is that it travels to a different great city across Europe each year.  This makes each show fresh and different – something that appeals to and is valued by consumers, advertisers and talent alike.  For VIMN, this is very important and certainly means the EMA will be an ongoing, distinct, property.  Next up, Glasgow!

Green Day at the EMA in Frankfurt

With launch programming, how significant is social media in creating a digital footprint before Be Viacom (the ad division) and your marketing teams apply more conventional promo methods?

In a word, very.  Social media has become the water cooler of our day.  It is where people all over the world talk about topics that are important to them, including, of course, entertainment.  In fact, entertainment is among the highest ranking topics of conversation in the space.  So yes, social media is an important component of developing franchises and shows, both new ones and returning series.  We used it for the EMA, of course, but another great example is how we used it to nurture interest in long form programming like Geordie Shore in the U.K.  There’s always a big buzz on social as we approach the launch of a new season, something we then build on in a multi-platform way with other more “conventional” marketing efforts.

You’ve said that MTV has a ‘shelf-life’ – is it now a matter of evolution for the MTV brand or new alternatives?

 This is a comment I made in Abu Dhabi that was taken out of context.  The point I was making is that as a brand targeted at rapidly changing youth tastes, we have to constantly reinvent ourselves, or risk facing irrelevancy, that our only constant has to be change.

At the Marriott hotel Amsterdam where Monster DNA staged its cocktail party and DNA launch event

 Is the Viacom18 foray into India performing on-track and is there any progress on the Eenadu TV stake increase?

Viacom18 is an incredible company that we operate on a 50/50 basis with our partner Network18.  The company has seen many successes, starting with the launch (and continued strength) of our powerhouse entertainment brand Colors, which is the #2 network in all of India and available in 70 other countries; we also continue to launch new services, including Comedy Central, Nick Sonic, and the upcoming MTV Indies. As far as Eenadu goes, I have nothing to say today but you should certainly stay tuned!

How about an India or Middle East ‘EMA’ ; property dilution or legitimate brand expansion?

The EMA is our flagship event property but it is only one of many events we do all around the world.  For example, in 2013, we held our VMAJ in Japan, MTV World Stages in Malaysia and Mexico, and MTV Crashes in the U.K., just to name a few.  I am confident we will bring the MTV brand to events in those places you mention in the not too distant future.  And who knows, maybe the EMA will travel outside of Europe one day.  It is after all, a world class event…

Have you found luck to be a dividend of sweat in this ostensibly glamorous business?

There are those who say you make your own luck.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  But what we know for sure is that running a business like Viacom International Media Networks takes a great deal of work – or as you say sweat -- every day from an incredible team all around the world.  And while that work is often engaging and fulfilling, it is rarely glamorous – EMA Red Carpets come only once a year after all!  That said, hard work, strong assets and a great team do pay very strong dividends for our fans, partners and shareholders.  And that’s what it’s really all about.

How would yesterday’s Columbia Bob Bakish view today’s VIMN Bob?

I think it is safe to say he would view him as fortunate.  After grinding it out in college and grad school, Columbia’s Bob might have been hoping for a bit less stress.  But the reality is today’s Bob works in an incredibly exciting industry, where each day brings new challenges and often rewards.  He has a wonderful family.  He gets to travel the world and work with great people, both inside and outside the company.  And from time to time, he gets to hear a little good music.  Who could argue with that?

Frank van der Post on British Airways' New First

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The airline’s managing director of brands and customer experience discusses the advent of BA’s  new ‘First’ cabins, expected to land next year. Formerly chief operating officer of Jumeirah Group, here, Frank advances his thoughts on luxury concepts and brands with Abigail Parkin. Read more

Transformational Programmer

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Gido Schimanski is an international teacher and coach whose ‘Transformational Programmes’ have been adopted by actors, choreographers and financiers alike. Clients can expect specifically tailored coaching with an emphasis on removing ‘self-sabotage’ barriers to success. Sat Bal  Read more

Bonnie May Events Launches

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For those of us who have wandered backstage at big music events over the years, chances are that we enjoyed a Bonnie May lunch. Now Bonnie has launched her new venture enterprise, Bonnie May Events, seasoned with more than 25 years’ experience. Sat Bal (22 Jan’15)   Read more

Imagination, Hong Kong

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Imagination was launched in London in 1968 by Gary Withers. The independent communications agency has grown its non-traditional, experiential marketing business to 16 offices around the globe. We dropped in at Imagination Asia's headquarters in Hong Kong and spoke to Mark Barrett, CEO, Asia Pacific who exercises executive management over Imagination's nine offices across the Asia Pacific region. All being well, this could soon be 10 offices so watch this space…(28 Nov '13)

Read more

He built this CiTEE on Rock 'N' Roll

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Dick Tee is the event industry’s ‘Mr Production’ and his company, That's EnTEEtainment, is among the red carpet of live event suppliers servicing name events ranging from Glastonbury Festival to James Bond film premieres. Abigail Parkin (30 Apr’13) Read more

Abigail Comber, British Airways

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Head of British Airways’ Brands and Marketing, Abigail Comber talks us through the making of ‘The Race’ advert which we’ve seen heavily aired on TV recently. Abi is responsible for the strategic development of the airline’s global brand and marketing activities, including advertising, sponsorship, brands, design, digital innovation, community relations and relationship marketing.

Here she talks Red Carpet through The Race ad.

Please sketch out the broad sequence of events that took the ad from concept to execution

In October we launched our 'To Fly. To Serve.' campaign with the ad 'Aviators'. The print ads from the campaign focused on the training our staff go through. This was the next phase. We wanted to talk about the team behind our involvement in bringing the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to London in a lighthearted way. 'The Race' seemed the perfect idea. It brings together the excitement and anticipation associated with a sporting event and puts it into an airline context. The little girl as the winner also makes it more fun. The initial mood board is very similar to
the final ad.

What logistical or creative challenges did you encounter en route?

Filming at airports is logistically challenging. Obviously everything is moving and the operation can't stop just so you can get a shot so you have to work around that, move quickly and take advantage of opportunities when
they come up.

Was the theme of BA baggage despatch risky, particularly in view of T5's initial problems?

The baggage is a device which lends itself perfectly to the idea of a 'race' and the end line is intended to demonstrate that we are ready for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics. We are now proud to have the best baggage performance figures of any major European hub airline thanks to Terminal 5. Its state of the art baggage
system and well designed layout enable us to process bags extremely quickly and efficiently.

What influenced the film's edgy jump-cut style; was that the idea of BBH's creative team?
To give a real sense of a race, it needed to be fast-moving with a rapid commentary and frequent changes in angle. It's Neil Gorringe's (the director) treatment. We believe it's worked really well.

How do you feel your vision for the ad was executed by BBH and what's feedback been like?

BBH perfectly delivered our vision for the ad. It's light-hearted and fun while bringing to life our team behind the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The feedback has been great. We've received really nice comments on our Facebook and Google+ pages, customers are tweeting about it and we've had positive anecdotal feedback from customers, friends and family.

Credits:

Agency: BBH London
Creative directors: Justin Moore, Hamish Pinnell
Creatives: Matt Moreland, Chris Clarke
Director: Neil Gorringe
Production company: Moxie Pictures

https://youtube.com/watch?v=7KCF3lxcyMI%3Frel%3D0

MTV talks the 'walk with Red Carpet

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Russell Samuel, Vice President, Creative Planning & Services, Be Viacom

A global music event on the scale of the MTV Europe Music Awards (or EMA as it’s now known) has a couple of important variables to distinguish: exposure and engagement. Exposure is relatively simple when the world’s press is eagerly feeding show footage and reports to audiences around the globe.

Engagement is another matter. The numbers and logistics make true fan-event-partner interaction necessarily remote. Or do they? MTV’s Russell Samuel was tasked to prove otherwise and transform fans from passive voyeurs into active participants. Here, he discusses his bridging initiative, Fanwalk, with Sat Bal.

 

What’s your role at MTV?

I’m responsible for BE VIACOM’s international commercial brand partnerships from a creative planning and services perspective, including the management and activation of our pan-international MTV EMA award sponsorships, of which the Fanwalk was one.

  Read more

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