Friday, December 12, 2008

Paula Jones Slept Here or Why thePennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit Program is Important to Pa & Philadelphia!

A few weeks before two evil republicans, Rep. Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin and State Sen. Patricia Vance, R-York and Cumberland sought to repeal the Pennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit Program tax credit, the film office celebrated another successful year in attracting films to be shot in our area. L-R: Executive Director of GPFO, Sharon Pinkenson and Joan Bressler - Director, Greater Philadelphia FilmmakersOn Monday, Philadelphia’s Film Office lashed back, saying the tax credits have attracted business that would not otherwise come to Pennsylvania. (ie Tourism - I live across from the Rocky steps & statue and that film was made over 30 yrs ago. How many people are going to see the newly released Marley & Me and want to visit the Ritz that can proudly say Jennifer Aniston snored here!
Or "In Her Shoes", Cameron Diaz walked along 21st and Sansom, or who can forget the Sixth Sense. Lauren Graham and Jeff Daniels filmed right at 21st & Delancty in April, Demi Moore and Parker Posey in May. My photos were published in People, people are interested in celebrities, Philadelphia is in the films, people will come. How can you measure that, you just know it will happen?)
Pinkenson stated “It is unfortunate that Rep. Marsico does not understand how the tax credit is crucial to the ongoing and growing film industry in Pennsylvania,” the Film Office said in a statement. “We know next year’s budget is going to be tight and there will be a battle over the film industry tax credits, as other groups try to get more for their own industries.”
The program, in its second year, provides a 25 percent tax credit to films that spend at least 60 percent of their budget in the state. For the current fiscal year, the program is capped at $75 million.The Greater Philadelphia Film Office is a film commission that creates jobs and grows the film and video industry in the region. The Film Office officially serves southeastern Pennsylvania. The office claims film-and-video production has generated $2 billion in economic impact since 1992, the year the office was created.
Nicole Ross, Director, Marketing & Multicultural Affairs, kicks her heels up at the party
Paula Jones stopped by as she was preparing to co-star in a movie about Bill Clinton called "The Blue Dress"; Former Mayoral candidate Sam Katz was very interested in hearing how she was going to prepare for the role.
Oh wait I just checked the web site: The Blue Dress - Starring Paula Jones and Matthew Lesko, will The Blue Dress, with a budget of just less than a million dollars, be the independent movie hit of 2009?

Paula asked me not to take any bad pictures of her, especially with her mouth opened. I told her I would try, but I was going to be shooting my favorite candid shots. She didn't know what candid meant and kept pointing at me.Mary and Matt owe me a phone call, I thought I would blackmail them with this photo. If they call, I might take it off.
This was the press release put out the day after the GPFO Party:

Paula Jones, star of “The Blue Dress,” a comedy about Bill and Monica, [would like to thank the City of Philadelphia]. Finishing her first visit to the “City of Brotherly Love,” Ms. Jones will share her experiences, including her warm welcome by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. From eating her first genuine Philly Cheesesteak to admiring the City’s architecture, to socializing with the many supporters of the arts, Ms. Jones is already looking forward to her return for filming in the Spring.

‘The Blue Dress’ (PG-13) is a non-political comedy about a lonely President Bill Clinton who meets Monica, an intern who is infatuated with him (inspired by the Starr Report). The movie revolves around their secret affair from July 1995 to January 1998, during the Paula Jones lawsuit. The film ends when Matt Drudge, founder of uses the Internet to finally scoop broadcast news of the biggest presidential scandal since Watergate.
I didn't always keep my promise about the mouth thing. but she kept pointing as if to tell me she knew i was there. She was sweet though, with her southern accent and charm.
Daniel 'The Wig Man' Vovak, (born May 15, 1972) is an executive producer and ghostwriter for Greenwich Creations, a production company for movies and books.

Vovak was given the nickname "The Wig Man" by John DiStaso, senior political reporter at the New Hampshire (Manchester) Union Leader.[20] According to his website, Vovak wears the wig because:
  1. It is a clever idea to help movie audiences remember him,
  2. It saves millions of dollars in advertisements with free media coverage,
  3. It evokes the Whig roots of the Republican Party and its reliance on the founders' version of the United States Constitution.[22]
Mr. Vovak told me that he is filming this movie in Philadelphia because of the Tax Credits. He will then go to D.C. to film the exteriors. So whether you like the subject matter or not, I welcome their money to the Delaware Valley, and especially for employing our film crew, staying in our hotels and eating at our fine restaurants.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Tonight I was working on a few photos for deadlines and about 1AM the computer went crazy. Thankfully my in house IT person was in the next room so I woke him up. He's working on the problem now. It's a good thing that events that I've covered this past week are left on my memory cards just in case this happens, so I just went to his computer and re did all the work I did in the past few days working off those memory cards. Of course anything I shot in the last week can't be written about on the blog as it will be in the paper on Sunday, the Society Section on Wednesday and in Philly Magazine Online next week. What to do, well I did have some random shots from earlier days. I went to Tinicum Park at the end of November. What a beautiful place right outside Philadelphia across from PHL, near the aloft hotel. In October I went to NYC to photograph the NY Film Festival. Before I got on the train I noticed these huge banners at 30th Street Station, although the banners were promoting adventure books, they were really promoting Scientology.In NYC I ran into Jennifer Lopez at Cipriani's in Tribeca. Without the strain of crowds and overly excited fans, J-lo gave it up as we say in the biz. She had her bodyguard stand on the side, which allowed me to get the photo. It's important to get the "Fashion Shot" without cutting off her feet. Gotta get the shoes in. Behind her was LA Reid, and then behind him was Nicole Ritchie. This was the night she was wearing the silver headband, which is often published lately when she is written about.
Tuesday night I was at Table 31 as you know. I forgot a few pixs to share. Here's Nina Tinari, who seriously you might know is my new "It" girl. Fascinating to talk to, beautiful to look at, and well, well connected. I don't always know the important who, what or when's that should be captured for an interesting read on Philly Chit Chat, and Nina is generous in the assistance with introductions. Here she is with Tony Rufo Sr. a local residential developer, Rufo Properties;
Here's Julie Coker, GM Hyatt Penn's Landing with Michelle Davis. Thanks to the Hyatt Penns Landing and the folks along the river for stepping up and saving Philadelphia's traditional fireworks on New Year's Eve.
Next week December 17, 2008 the buildings along Broad Street are lit for the holidays.

6:15 pm - Lighting Kick-Off Ceremony (The Bellevue, 200 South Broad Street)


5:30 - 7:30 pm - Ongoing Entertainment & Food

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

GIRLZ NIGHT OUT AT TABLE 31 with Donna Coghlan and friends

The other day I was chatting with my friend Donna Coghlan, you know Donna I've told you about her. She's my guardian angel. She didn't know me from Adam and befriended me a few months back, she liked my blog and she knew what I was trying to do with it - Promote Charities, their events and the people who attend them, a Philly Social Diary. Donna mentioned it was Girlz night out at Table 31 and I should stop by and get to know the girlz. Around 6:30PM I left the day job and headed over to Table 31Where Donna and a few girlz were gathered to eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart. Here's Donna Coghlan with Table 31's Chef Chris Scarduzio
The restaurant was modestly crowded for a warm Tuesday night. Michelle Davis leaning on Amy Burnham, Molly Napolitano (who recently located from Florida), Nina Tinari and Donna Coughlin. Amy enjoyed her very dirty martini with a dash a spearmint "It tastes like a little summer's eve on my tongue." she said. (Missing Julie Cooker, just realized forgot those shots, sorry. email 12/31/08 info please.)
Missing from the above, but never to far Dana Spain. OK when I was chatting with Donna the other day she mentioned she was getting together with Dana and Stephanie, and I was like I go right by there on my way home. "Stop on in" Donna said. I was like OK dokey, I meant to me this was perfect as these are a few people that our subjects that I want to cover. Two of the women that are involved in charities, parties and if they got to know me, and trust me then I could accomplish one of my goals which is to extend awareness to these charities that might not get the coverage they deserve, especially during this horrible economic times where the darn Inquirer is laying off people I admire left and right. (I have to say I really like this photo of Dana, very fierce)Plus for me it was good to chat with these women instead of just photographing them and moving along, because when I am at these events I don't want to miss that great photo, but I also don't want to take anytime away from them from catching up with their friends. Friends from Dana and Molly reconnect in PhiladelphiaCase in point, Stephanie Stahl, I have met her a few times. I photographed her the other night at a private holiday party, I didn't get her husbands name because when I took the photo I tapped them on the shoulders, asked and then after the shot they went back to talking. I emailed her the next day and she responded. Now I feel that I have broken the 4th wall, as they say on Broadway, and I will know her husband's name the next time, or I will be more comfortable to ask quickly.
She's got legs, she knows how to use them
She never begs, she knows how to choose them
She's got a dime all of the time
Stays out at night movin' through timeThen the boyz came. Note to self: Do not play with camera
adjustments before going to an event to photograph it. 2)
Yes, it's OOF (out of focus) people will notice, but it is a
cute picture. Bookending the bunch: Susan Helfrich stops by with her friend
Dr. Sherri Edelman of Triune Chiropractic services
mind body and health care. With Nina, Donna and
Charlie Pasquale
Afterwards, Nina and I hung out for another hour
eating and chatting (mmm salad with pears and greens,
and the tuna tarte.) That girl can eat me under the table,
OMG. If we went into OCB they would have a scared
look that I would eat my weight in food, but they
should really worry about skinny mini Nina. Who told me
wonderful stories about the Tinari Thanksgiving.
Still waiting for the pictures on Facebook, but I did get
this video:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Martha Stewart at the Philadelphia Williams & Sonoma signing her new book

Have you ever actually tried making a Martha Stewart dessert? Well Chef Michael Casillo and Chef Margaret Schaum of Williams and Sonoma have, and did. For the Martha event they made 1,000 Gingerbread Pumpkin cookies which were offered to the fans waiting in line.
Martha approved of and took a snap to remember.
Martha gets prepared. Reads her blackberry which her assistant is holding; would this be labelled "Just like us?" in Us Weekly, well drop the assistant then we'll talk. This would have been a good point for Martha to stand, hold the book and let me get a few shots like that, as I requested, but it didn't happen. It probably doesn't matter either as she's been signing all over the country and the photo has no value except that it's the standard photo that one should get.
Williams-Sonoma limited their sales to 250 to the people waiting in line, some since 2PM like Blair Cappuccio (of Wash DC) with mom Karen Demarchy and new friend made while standing in line, Maureen Fratantoni

lucky for 94 year old Mrs Cappella, Martha's folks kindly sent her to the head of the line and get the very first signature from Ms. Stewart, leaving the her daughter and grandson to tough it out and wait their turn in line.
She enjoyed some soup cooked to perfection, from the same book she is holding, by Chef Michael Casillo and Chef Margaret Schaum of Williams and SonomaDonna and James Kane with daughter Imena
Neal_Orzeck_Chuck_Honabach_Michael_Ness and Karen_Hicks_
After a few shots, I ran to the John Legend event at the Comcast Center, yes this one was that long ago. Sometimes to stay current I have to play catch up later. You're almost caught up.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I've got so much to think about. Hey! I think I love you! So what am I so afraid of? ... I'd better stay around and love you. Do you think I have a case? I think I love you
- The Partridge Family 1970

Last week WYSP held a "Welcome Back to Philadelphia Party" for The Partridge Family's Danny Bonaduce. Of course Danny has come a long way from the Partridge Family, in the news, notorious for the better part of two decades whether it's the hard knocks of being a child star, outspoken on issues close to his heart, a reality show that ended in a big bang, or countless other rumors and innuendo's what Danny Partridge, er I mean Bonaduce is most famous these past two decades is being a hard ass, rockin' DJ at various radio stations in the USA.

Hardworking Danny still maintains an afternoon drive program via satellite in LA at KLSX too, but his main focus is here in Philadelphia and he loaded up the truck and moved to center cityDanny's radio sidekick Shila
Hard Rock Cafe center piece
Megan McCaffrey, Amber Tyson, Monica Kanninen and Michelle Levy, from Harmelin Media
Bonaduce has spent a lifetime in show business. His radio career began in Philadelphia and brought him to Chicago, Detroit, New York and Los Angeles, where he was among the most listened to personality in the market.

Francine Battaglia and Mary Barsky, from Barsky Diamonds. I love their billboards, makes me want to go out and buy a diamond. Also doesn't hurt with the name recognition, I loved Barsky in the morning, so their advertisements stick in my head.Gotcha shot as Paula Jone would say, but that will be explained another day.
Danny pointed to the ceiling and noted that the Partridge family doves logo was next to the Pink Floyd pig
Suby Ross, WYSP, Jim Loftus, GM WYSP, Danny Bonaduce DJ WYSP, Andy Bloom - Program Director WYSP, Michael Braunstein - WYSP
Gavin McCay the creator of the fusion concept , promoter Matthew Ray, model Nick DeJulius and Scott Conant of Socialite Productions

Party at the Hard Rock Cafe
Next Saturday is "Running with the Santa's"; Another First for Philadelphia. THE FIRST RUNNING OF THE SANTAS was held on December 23, 1998. 40+ Santas arrived at Pitcher's Pub in Manayunk donned in red and white and pub crawled up and down Main Street.
In 2002 The Running of the Santas relocated to South Street, Philadelphia. By 2003, the Run amassed hundreds.
In 2005, Minneapolis kicked off their first Running of the Santas. Now the Santa's run occurs in over 10 Cities in the USA and 3 countries.

For the past couple years the running of the Santa's parade starts at 12PM from Finnigan's Wake and ends at McFadden's Winterfest featuring Running of the Santa's Saturday, December 13th, 2008!! Sponsored by Coors Light and Coors Banquet. (Proceeds benefit Alex's Lemonade)
L-R from McFadden's Mike Driscoll, Sue Rosetti and Al Tucker

Cheers to a happy reunion here in Philly, Danny was born and has worked in Philly before, and a doubly happy life with his girlfriend Amy Railsback (who is also his manager). I had a chance to speak to Amy, and she is a great yang to his ying. We all need that balance. But both Danny and Amy are easy to approach for photos or autographs (so much better than that Jennifer Anistion). SO when you see give them a big hello, they don't bite, they love the fans and they are glad to be in Philadelphia. (A photo from this event appeared in the Inquirer yesterday)

Oh and on my way home I saw that free Tylenol Cab roaming Market Street. From 12/1 - 12/7 these cabs were giving free rides in Center City. This was my one and only sighting, and I was in the mood for a walk, so basically I have no more info on them, except they didn't help this women with the 3 bags he had to unload from the cab.