Media, Darling: Paul Boynett

Veteran producer Paul Boynett has been working in the entertainment/television industry for over a decade. He got his start in the showbiz industry at Much Music, were he worked as an overnight tape operator, had a few editing and producing gigs at Much Music and StarTV, then finally settled at Bravo! as an Associate Producer. He is addicted to anything by The Beatles, Clash or Led Zeppelin, is a self-proclaimed Ontario craft beer expert and thinks that Jack White should produce every record made. 

Other fun facts about Boynett: opera makes him cry, he loves when Norah Jones goes country and he takes his single malt and blended Scotches seriously. 

With the bearded dragon (the lizard, not Boynett).
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
No. I was either going to be a screenwriter or an air traffic controller.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
On the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t expect to start out doing what you want. I wanted to be a producer but when nothing was available I took an editing position. Although I wasn’t great at it, it gave me a better perspective on storytelling (I knew what worked and what didn’t) and when I did become a producer, I had a much better idea about how to do the job.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Setanta, HBO and anyone showing soccer. I am addicted to The Onion A/V club.  A must-visit site for pop culture junkies. I listen to NPR’s “All Songs Considered” and “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” (a very funny look at the week’s news headlines styled like a ’50’s quiz show).

Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
Stephen Colbert in Montreal was the best. I got to talk to him alone for about ten minutes while camera was setting up (this was about three months before he left The Daily Show to start The Colbert Report) and he told me a great story about how when he was growing up, he was embarrassed by the stigma of being from the south. So much so he tried to hide his accent when he went to college at Northwestern. A very, very smart guy – as all great comics are.

Wilford Brimley (the diabetes commercial guy) was the worst. He thought I mistook him for another actor (which I didn’t) and it became very awkward.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was an editor and got tense as deadlines approached, a senior editor told me never to panic – it always gets to air.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Never discuss politics with friends.

Never say something behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face.

Don’t waste your energy reacting to someone who is nasty or negative.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Tell me why whatever it is you are promoting works for my show(s). With an email inbox that sometimes is bursting at the seams, it is easier if I know immediately why something is a good fit for us. 

Also, although my hair looks like Einstein’s, I am no genius. Sometimes there is an angle to a story or event that is not obvious to me, so show me.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.  
Anytime someone arrives at an interview with all the materials (clips, photos, etc.) I need to put my story together makes me happy. Having to follow up and wait for story elements is frustrating and sometimes means missed deadlines.

I hate?:
Waking up before 10 a.m.  Oh yeah, also, gardening.

I love?:  
Waking up after 10 a.m. Manchester City Football Club. My dogs. (Two Italian Greyhounds and a Chihuahua).

Among The Truthers by Jonathan Kay.

Best place on earth?
It’s a tie – Austin, Texas and Venice, Italy.

Dinner guest? 
Hank Williams.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)? 
NPR App (is this sounding pretentious?).

Pool or ocean? 
Neither, I am deathly afraid of sharks and I hate chlorine.

Voicemail or email?