Behind The Scenes Of Rosewater


I want to demystify the 2014 movie Rosewater for many of my readers. Eliot and I saw the drama, written and directed by Jon Stewart, a few nights ago. Ever since then, several of us have been speculating how the entire project came about and why Stewart got involved.

I did all of my research on YouTube and Wikipedia. If you watch the videos from top down, you will learn that the movie is based on the memoir, Then They Came for Me by Mazari Bahari. In 2009, the author was imprisoned in Iran because he reportedly misspoke on Stewart’s The Daily Show. The skit Bahari participated in was a joke, but the Iranian authorities took it very seriously. Bahari was tortured and detained in Iran for 118 days.

The movie details Bahari’s horrendous journey and how and why he was eventually released. In my opinion, Stewart did an amazing job capturing the Iranian state-of-affairs.

It’s All About The “Likes”

IMG_2221.PNG
I’m in the thick of things when it comes to social media. I handle a lot of the content that gets posted for clients. Yet it took me by surprise when a music agent recently told me that young artists are just not taken seriously if they don’t have a big following on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. That means record companies, movie studios and casting agents are more concerned about how popular an individual is, than the talent he or she possesses.

Unlike when we were in the prime of our careers, most young adults are expected to have a fan club if they want to get ahead in life. It doesn’t matter what business they are in. Handlers and/or superiors want to know that, if needed, the talent or employee, can send out a tweet and engage personal support.

In our day, we were judged for our capabilities. We would focus on improving our skills. Today, people in the workforce have to worry about improving their talent as well as building a loyal following. I can’t even imagine the pressure for anyone in the job market who needs to prove he or she has the power and impact.

A recruiter friend also told me that those who have a sizable fan club on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, should immediately list it on top of their resumes. Where, once we would describe our “experience,” the show offs post their high ranking numbers. They are immediately perceived as industry personalities.

I know it’s difficult for people of our age to believe that this is the way business is done today. It may be sad, but it’s true.

For The Picasso In You

IMG_2219.JPG

IMG_2218.JPG
For years now I have wanted to learn how to make a collage. My cousin Hanna tried teaching me. I got the hang of it, but I still need a qualified instructor leading the way.

I really love living in the virtual world. I don’t feel like racing out to some institution to work on an arts and crafts project. I want to do it in the comfort of my home. When I explained this to an art aficionado the other night, she quickly told me about Craftsy.

IMG_2186-0.JPG
Gal to the left, Jayda Knight, told me about Craftsy.

Crafty’s website says

“Our hundreds of classes in quilting, sewing, knitting, cake decorating, art, photography, cooking and many more categories, bring the world’s best instructors to you. Learn at your pace with easy-to-follow HD video lessons you can access on your computer and mobile device anytime, anytime, anywhere, forever. You can even bookmark your favorite techniques to return to as often as you’d like with just a click. Plus, ask your expert instructor questions for all the personalized guidance you need to succeed!”

Craftsy is located in Denver. Entrepreneur magazine just announced a fourth funding round of $50 million for Craftsy bringing the company’s total to $106 million. Five hundred additional courses will reportedly be added next year.

The company is four years old. Craftsy has 5 million (predominately female) users from 180 countries, generating $12 million in revenue in 2012 and $24 million in 2013.

The most important part of Craftsy is that it provides continuous hours of fun.

The Money Shot

IMG_2170.JPG

IMG_2171.JPG
Tonight was the Williams McCall’s group show in Miami Beach. Eliot’s “Money Shot” was one of the art pieces featured. Everyone loves money.

IMG_1980.JPG
It turned out to be a great night. It was just one of those parties where everything jelled.

IMG_2106.JPG

IMG_2145.JPG

IMG_2108.JPG

IMG_2178.JPG
The big surprise for me was how many folks showed up with their new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. I’m still getting used to taking photos with my iPhone 6 Plus and how they are stored on my device. Practice makes perfect.

IMG_2130.JPG

IMG_2113.JPG

IMG_2131.JPG

IMG_2185.JPG

IMG_2134.JPG

<a href=

IMG_2105.JPG

IMG_2089.JPG

IMG_2097.JPG

IMG_2161.JPG

Transfering Photos and Videos From Your Smartphone

IMG_1986.JPG
You are going to love this. The new iXpand SanDisk USB flash drive has been specifically designed to help you transfer photos and videos from your smartphone or tablets to your laptop in a few easy steps. You don’t need cables or other Internet connections.

Watch the video to see how easy it is to do.

Where was this flash drive when I needed it a few months ago? I was walking around with 4000 photos on my iPhone. Then my phone stopped functioning until I downloaded all of my photos and freed up space. If I owned the iXpand flash drive at the time, I would have transferred my photos and videos to my laptop more frequently. Now I will.

All you have to do is download the iXpand app and tap it so it accesses your photos and videos. Then plug the iXpand Flash Drive in to your smartphone and, presto it grabs your photos and videos. It’s extremely simple.

The 16GB drive will sell for $59.99 and the 64GB drive for $119.99.

Shower Power

IMG_1984.JPG

IMG_1981.PNG
i wish I owned the iShower2 this past Tuesday. I was in New York and Eliot was in Miami. I was taking a shower around 8:30am when all of a sudden, my iPhone started ringing. While I brought my iPhone into the bathroom with me, there was no way I was going to answer it. I was in the middle of shampooing my hair. No chance of suds getting into my new iPhone 6 Plus.

I decided to ignore the call. Then I heard my landline ring followed by my iPhone again. If that wasn’t disturbing enough, I heard someone banging on my front door. I also received a series of texts. It turns out that my housekeeper was in the lobby because she thought it was the day to clean my apartment. Yuri has been my housekeeper for more than a decade, My coop staff knows her well. When she couldn’t reach me, the doorman and my superintendent, assisted her. I was getting bombarded with calls.

If I had the iShower2 Bluetooth speaker, I could have answered the call right in the shower. The iShower2, with a price tag of $100, has a speakerphone so mobile calls can be answered. The device uses two AA batteries and claims to have a 200-foot range so the phone doesn’t have to be in the same room.

Woohoo. The reviews on this product are not that great on Amazon. That doesn’t scare me. It’s worth a try.

Calling Your Own Time Of Death

IMG_1929.JPG

IMG_1955.JPG
It was so strange to hear the adult daughter of Jack Wayman talk about her father in such a personal way. The 100-plus people in the audience only knew Jack as a powerful and outspoken leader who founded the CES. He was everything you would image a leader to be: full of energy, ideas and plans.

Yesterday, we heard about how this major force, at the age of 92, tried to control the day and time of his death. He was ready to go. He told his children that his big world had shrunk. While friends did call, it just wasn’t the same attention he received for decades on the floor of CES with 150.000 show goers in attendance.

Jessica Wayman said her father told her that he was going to die at 5 o’clock one particular afternoon. He then proceeded to call his close friend to say one final goodbye. It turns out that he didn’t die that day at 5, but he did the very next afternoon. I guess once you run the show, you run it to the very end.

Jack Wayman, 1922 to 2014

IMG_1933.JPG
.

IMG_1975.JPG
Photo from Variety

I wonder if Jack would have liked his Memorial? The Consumer Electronics Association, producers of CES, gave Jack an emotional send off today at the Grand Hyatt New York. Jack started CES in 1967 and was the force behind CES becoming the largest trade show in the United States. Jack died at 92 years old. He had an amazing life.

He reportedly had five wives, (one of his wives confided that number to me), five children, 13 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. While he adored his family, the greatest love of his life was his girlfriend, Katrine Barth, a PR agency owner who competed against me for many years. I’m not going to get into how unfair the competition was for my company during their affair, I’m saving that for the book I may write someday.

After the romance was over (scandal galore), Jack liked to pretend that his relationship with Katrine had no impact on me. The fact that she got to meet all of the new exhibitors first and received his nod of approval to anyone looking for a PR program, could have easily put me out-of-business. It did the opposite, it made me stronger.

I saw Katrine at the Memorial service today. We kissed, we hugged. I knew her for many years before she hooked up with Jack so there was a history of many good times. She accompanied the 30-year old daughter she and Jack had together. To his dying day, Jack was still in love with Katrine. Call me if you want more details. Jack would have approved my gossiping about him. He loved the attention, dead or alive.

Jack was one of the most gregarious, personable, handsome, smart, accomplished, and dedicated businessmen I have ever met. He was all business. That was one of the reasons he loved Katrine so much. He could share CES with her.

Jack was also a decorated U.S. veteran. He served in Europe during WWII as a combat infantry company commander and fought at the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge, earning multiple awards including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart with Cluster and two Presidential Citations. .

We learned during the Memorial that he was a great athlete and a terrible driver. His eldest daughter gave a moving speech about his last days on Earth that I want to share with you. I will tell you more about it tomorrow. I never heard of anyone dying the way she said he did. He was in control to his last dying moment.

Wake Up Sleepy Head

IMG_1908.JPG
We met in the second grade and it’s been one long conversation ever since. Bonnie Richer and yours truly at T-Bar on Third Ave. and 74th Street last night discussing the very nature of a wake-up call and the people we would like to wake-up. Meow!

IMG_1909.JPG
Image from : dailynewsdig.com

For the last several years, I always wake up before the alarm rings, sometimes an hour before. It doesn’t matter if its 5am, I’ll wake up at 4. I’m always concerned that the alarm will not go off, so subconsciously I just wake myself up.

Such was the case this morning. I caught an 8:30am flight from Miami to New York. My alarm was set for 5:30am, but I was up way before that. I usually shut the alarm off the minute I wake up. The sound of the alarm represents a warning to me, “The day has started, whether you like it or not.” I don’t like it.

My nephew Sam emailed an article from Newsday to me which talks about the different wake-up alarms available. I was happy to read the story because I wanted to see if there were some new options. Unfortunately, Newsday charges non-subscribers a fee to read their digital content, so I was blocked from reading the story.

I’m not going to divulge how I got my hands on the article, but I did. I wanted you to see the wake-up alarm options as well, so here is a copy and paste version of what you need to know.

AlarmyI think this one is quite clever.

(iOS $1.99, Android, $1.71)
Alarmy proudly bills itself as the “World’s Most Annoying Alarm App,” and it may well be true. First, you take a picture of something near your bedroom — for example, your bathroom sink — and “register” it within the app. To shut off the alarm when it sounds in the morning, you must get out of bed and use your phone’s camera to snap a new photo that matches the one you registered.

Alarm Clock XtremeI think this one could be stressful.

(Android, $1.99)
Anyone trying to get up for work knows if you snooze, you lose, especially if you repeatedly hit the snooze button. Each time you hit the snooze button, Alarm Clock Xtreme’s alarm gets louder. For repeat snooze-button offenders, the app can be customized so the only way to quiet the alarm is to successfully complete a math problem. Don’t worry: The calculations are easy, because even Einstein wasn’t Einstein at 6 a.m.

Alarm Clock Pro--This would never wake me up.

(iOS, Android; $0.99)
For those who don’t need a lot of prodding to get up, Alarm Clock Pro is a good-looking solution. The app is stylishly designed to emulate a large LCD clock and has several themes to choose from. You can pick any song on your device as the alarm to wake up to. The app has a built-in flashlight, a nice feature on dark, cold winter mornings.

Wake Alarm Clock–This could be harmful to your smartphone,

(iOS; $3.99)
This popular iOS app offers several ways to wake you up. You can set the app to “shake” mode, meaning you physically have to grab the phone and shake it to shut the alarm off. For those who wake up easier, “swipe” mode should suffice, because all you need to do to quiet the alarm is run a finger across the screen.