Media, Darling: Jessica Allen

Jessica Allen is an assistant editor at Maclean’s magazine where she writes and edits for the website in the areas of arts and culture, and makes podcasts and videos. After work, she maintains her personal food blog, Foodie and the Beast, and is the editor-in-chief of T Magazine, a bi-annual publication put out by Terroni restaurant, a Toronto Italian restaurant that she worked at for nearly a decade. During that time she completed a Master’s degree in the history of art at the University of Toronto and spent a year teaching art history in Florence, Italy. Jessica’s TIFF coverage in 2011, her first time reporting on the festival, earned Maclean’s a National Magazine Award nomination.


Did you
always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Well, as a kid I really wanted to be a
cashier, a waitress or a writer because I loved cash registers and typewriters.
I was very good at pressing buttons. Some might even say gifted. I also used to
host my own radio show that I’d tape on a little cassette recorder from the
living room floor, in private, when I was seven. Topics included: Why does my
brother like Star Wars so much? How
do you make musical instruments from stuff you find in the kitchen? How do they
make those Strawberry Shortcake dolls smell so good? And…Holy s- – t. I just
realized I’ve been a cashier, a waitress, a writer and a podcast host, which is
kind of like being on the radio. I have achieved all my childhood dreams.

Where
would you like to be five years from now?
Surrounded by friends and family at an
intimate, modest book launch. And maybe the book would have my byline. Or maybe
not.  But it would still be a lovely evening
with wine, cheese (fancy kinds) and crackers that would all be FREE.

Any
advice for people getting started in your industry?
Most days I feel like I’m still getting
started. But for freelancers, I’d suggest avoiding emailing an editor with,
“I’d love to write for you. What are you looking for?” It’s just a bit vague.
Do a little homework and see what sort of stories are making the cut and then
pitch a specific idea. And ideally, those queries should reflect who the writer
is, that they can write and that they have a clear idea for a solid story. If
the pitch is vague, boring and poorly written, chances are, the story will be
too.

What
are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Right now I subscribe to three
publications: the New Yorker, the National Post and Bon
Appétit.
My dad suggested to me 15 years ago, when I was probably reading Sassy, to start reading the New Yorker: if you want to be a better
writer, he said, then read good writing and cross your fingers that some of
that fine craft on the page will be absorbed. I don’t read each issue
cover-to-cover, but man, does it manage to both entertain and enlighten. I love the ritual of first looking at the contents
and mapping out what I’ll read. I’ll usually jump to something by my favourite
contributors, like Amy Ozols, Tad Friend or Calvin Trillin. And I especially
love that the stuff I might resist reading at first, usually ends up being my
favourite. Reading the National Post
is my morning ritual. I like to think that it keeps me sharp because I don’t
always agree with the positions of the columnists and trying to articulate—or
at least think about—why that is, is a nice little exercise with morning
coffee. And since Adam Rapaport from GQ
came on board as editor-in-chief at Bon
Appétit,
I’ve been thrilled with that magazine. And I do love television but don’t have
cable so I just keep watching my favourite shows in rotation: The Sopranos, Deadwood and Northern
Exposure
.
Best
interview you’ve ever had?
This September on
the red carpet of a movie called Quartet
,
directed by Dustin Hoffman and starring Maggie Smith and Billy Connolly. We had
a chance to talk with all three of them on the red carpet for the film’s
premiere at TIFF.  And man oh man did
they bring it! That is how you do a
red carpet. And their enthusiasm, humour and professionalism made me feel a
little less sympathetic to other celebrities who slinked their way down the
carpet, with little verve or vigour, giving one word answers.
Worst?
I once had a scheduled phone interview
with a Toronto chef of international renown. He didn’t answer my first three
calls. He picked up on the fourth though, but asked if I could call back in an
hour. There were a couple of more no answers. By the time I got him, he was
talking to three or four other people in the background at the same time as me.
That was a tough one.
Best
advice you’ve ever been given?
There are three, and they’re so simple
I’m almost embarrassed to tell you: First, I was doing a video with Maclean’s colleague Brian D. Johnson,
who’s covered TIFF for 27 years now and appears on CityTV every Friday to talk
about the newest movies to hit theatres. I kept flubbing a take and he told me
to slow down and pause if I didn’t know what to say, instead of blabbering on.
GENIUS! Second, Philippe Gohier, a former editor at the magazine who now works
at enRoute, told me not to be afraid
to focus on what I think the best bits are in a story: think about the stuff
I’d be most excited to tell my friends about. 
And finally, my boyfriend, after being appalled over how many times I
interrupted celebrities on
my first TIFF red carpet
—think Anna Faris, Chris Pratt and Brad Pitt—told
me maybe to stop interrupting people in interviews. It’s just that I don’t like
making people uncomfortable and would always fill in the awkward silences. If
you let them do it instead, sometimes magic will happen.
What
rule(s) do you live your life by?

I wish I had more
rules to live my life by, but here’s one: Be nice to people. And hopefully not
because your motivations are selfish: be nice to people, including the security
guard, the cashier, the 
sales clerk or the taxi driver, because
being polite and nice are just good things to be in a world that sometimes
lacks those basic courtesies.


What’s
the most important tip you can give PR pros?
I suppose to do a little research before
emailing a press release or pitch: For example, while I’d love to cover a media
scrum on the Hill in Ottawa that you’ve emailed me a press release about, there
are probably far more capable reporters at Maclean’s
to do the job, even ones who actually work in Ottawa. Also, peg the person,
place or thing you’re promoting to a specific section of the magazine or
website that you know would be a good fit for your pitch. And don’t be alarmed
if I choose not to write about those chipotle-yogurt-acai berry gluten-free
chips that you’ve sent. I’m sure they’re amazing, but our readers might not
understand why I just dedicated 500 words to them. 
Best
experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Last year was my first time covering
TIFF. I was so naïve and had to count on the kindness of PR strangers
(including you fine folks! But it might be considered gauche to recount here.) I
managed to connect with Jennifer Love of Duet PR, who practically held my hand
after I flat out admitted that I was new to TIFF and usually wrote about food. She
did her best to include me at events that might have a culinary focus. One was
a private dinner for a movie called The
Artist
where the star,
Jean Dujardin, director
Michael
Hazanavicius
and producer Harvey Weinstein would be
in attendance. Media wasn’t supposed to be there but I promised to behave and
be a fly on the wall. I ended up sitting with two of the smartest people I’ve
met working in media—Anne Thompson and Dana Harris of Indiewire—and had the time of my life. Hearing Thompson over dinner
confess that:
“I’ve been quoted in print as saying
Ewan McGregor has the most beautiful penis I’ve ever seen. Well, the title now
goes to Michael Fassbender,” was especially memorable, not to mention watching
the Weinstein brothers work the room, or rather, the room working them, and
being privy to New York PR sensation Peggy Siegel doing her thing, were like
scenes out of a movie on the business of making movies. And I
got a great little story out of it to boot
.

I hate?
Chicken on pizza, or in pasta. And
strawberries in rhubarb pie.


I love?
My bike. I ride it everywhere. Sometimes
in heels (don’t recommend.)


Reading?
Currently on the bedside table are A Room With a View (because I just
re-watched the Ivory-Merchant film), Philip Roth’s Zuckerman Unbound, and a food history called Consider the Fork.


Best place
on earth?
Lately, my couch, in home-time comfy
clothes, fire going (in fireplace), one of the above-mentioned TV shows
playing, with my feet on my boyfriend’s lap and a glass of Sancerre resting on
my tummy. (I will take a cheap Italian white, if funds are limited, which is
more often than not.)
Dinner
guest?
Daniel Day Lewis as Nathaniel in Last of the Mohicans, Matt Damon as
Jason Bourne and Brad Pitt as Tristan from
Legends of the Fall
. And if there was room, Russell Crowe as Gladiator. Okay, and Daniel Craig as
007. They would arrive in costume, and be in character the whole night. After
dinner, which I’d prepare at my place, we’d all go sit on the couch with
glasses of bourbon and watch the movies they’re in, or maybe deconstruct
episodes of Girls, and eat a Deep and
Delicious cake out of the container. I’ve said too much.


Hero?
Professionally speaking, Elaine Lui of LaineyGossip. Her writing is not only
hilarious, but it also, for me, blurs the line between high and low culture. If
I’m ever feeling lazy, I think of how much she works, and how she manages to
pump out copy on pop culture that is often so acute and illuminating that I
wonder why she’s not a f–king university professor. (Probably because having
your own gossip website is more fun, and you still get to do TED Talks on the
side.)
Favourite
app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
I use the LCBO App quite a bit. Probably
too much, actually.


Pool or
ocean?
Always the ocean.

Voicemail
or email?
Always the email.

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Rave: The Iceman premiere and cast dinner

In
the midst of TIFF, we were offered tickets to not only attend
The Iceman premiere, but were
offered a place at the cast dinner, sponsored by
RUDSAK Canada. It’s rare that we get a chance to actually see a film, since we’re so busy working behind the scenes, so jumped on this opportunity (and wanted to share the experience).


Hosted
at Volos, we had the chance to dine on amazing Greek food with the likes of Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Michael Shannon and director Ariel
Vromen. Right.

 Actress Winona Ryder at The Iceman premiere and cast dinner. 
Image source.

We
were blown away by Chris Evans’s warm personality, and Winona’s tiny waist! We were lucky enough to sit next to her for the dinner, which is basically a teenage dream come true. While we didn’t get a chance to talk much with her, she was gracious and lovely throughout the evening.


Ray Liotta does his best gangster face on the red carpet.


Based on a true story, Richard Kuklinski (Shannon) seems to have the model American life, living with his wife Deborah (Ryder) and three children. But while living in his suburban home, unbeknownst
to his wife and children, he worked as a contract killer for four decades, for
the Gambino crime family. Kuklinski passed away in 2006, while serving five
consecutive life sentences for murder. At this time, it was unclear how many
murders could be attributed to his career, although some estimates are as high
as 250. 



The film tells the tale of his secret life, how his family discovers what his real job is and his subsequent incarceration. It’s super interesting and quite amazing to see how someone could get away with…. 250 murders for so long.

Michael Shannon as contract killer/family man Richard Kuklinski. 
Image source.

Although this sounds like a heavy plot, David Schwimmer
and Chris Evans provide amazing comedic relief that left the
audience laughing out loud.


The cast shares a laugh at the Q and A after the film.

The Q and A
following the film provided further comedic relief – and we always love when a crew that worked on a film together show genuine love and respect for each other in a Q and A. An audience member posed
the question “What was the hardest scene to film?” followed by Ray Liotta’s answer, “Any scene with David Schwimmer.”

The
Iceman
hits screens in early 2013 – look out for it in a theatre near you! 

#TIFF12: Our fave parties and events

The endless parade of
Starbucks entering the building is slowing and the cases of Red Bull are nearly empty, and what we have left are the memories of an exciting, busy and hectic TIFF. As we’ve said before, this is
the busiest, yet most exciting time of year for us on the fourth floor. We had the opportunity to attend some
pretty awesome parties with our clients and wanted to give you the run-down of our faves as TIFF 2012 comes to a close.


Getting things started off right was the opening night party
at Maple Leaf Square. The red carpet party was attended by some great Canadian stars including Saad Siddiqui, Charlie Carrick, Charlotte Sullivan, Emily Hampshire, Jonas Chernick, Jian Ghomeshi and
Matt Sadowski. There was great dance music, delicious food and a definite energy in the air as TIFF was officially kicked off.


The first day of the Tastemakers Lounge began at 6
a.m. at The Intercontinental Hotel. Excited for a segment with CP24 Breakfast, we got down to business with interviews from Saad Siddiqui and Charlie Carrick. Then
we were thrown off our game when we were asked to be part of the show’s Friday
Morning Dance Party. A little bit of Duran
Duran’s Girls on Film never hurt
anyone!  You can check us out enjoying (embarrassing?) ourselves on live TV here.


We heart the motto this year at the Tastemaker’s Lounge.
Rac Boutique’s Bazaar, part of Fashion’s Night Out on the sixth floor of The Burroughes
building was super busy.  Still in the
office, we could hear the sound of heels clicking up and
down the stairs as Toronto’s most stylish shopped and sipped champagne.  Oh right, and hung out with Adrian Grenier
who also attended and left with a pair of Sully Wong shoes and an Altea tie.

The Drake’s Overdrive Party was a great time. With a long
line and a packed house, it was definitely a place to be last Thursday night. There was great music, great cocktails with clever names (James Dean and Steve McQueen – can you get any cooler?) and a mobile tattoo parlour by Sailor Jerry offering free tattoos and haircuts.  What else could you want? Oh right, a celeb sighting! Adrian Grenier swung
by later that night to hang out, adding even more excitement to an already-exciting party.



The amazing Sailor Jerry Airstream trailer, where party-goers got free tattoos!

Friday morning at the office was full of excitement when some
of the girls reported back about the Soho House Looper after party.  In their
most stylish get-ups, our girls were in the presence of the city’s most talked
about stars: Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who were out
celebrating their opening night film. 
There was much buzz about gorgeous Emily Blunt and her adorably funny husband
John Krasinski, better known as everyone’s fave Jim Halpert on The Office.


Image Source.
Saturday’s HELLO! Hollywood party at The Ritz-Carlton was also a highlight. Our
Rising Stars , Charlie Carrick, Connor Jessup, Tatiana Maslany and Charlotte
Sullivan were hanging out with Love It or
List It’s
Hilary Farr, CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi, the Drake Hotel’s Jeff Stober and actors Jonas Chernick and Emily Hampshire. There was a huge crowd and lots of mingling and industry chit-chat that took place in the swank Ritz ballroom.

Sunday afternoon brought along the Annual Canadian Film Centre barbeque, which celebrates the “independent creative spirit” and is always one of our favourite TIFF events. We love the casual vibe and delicious smell of grilled burgers, which makes for a nice change from the dim party lights, high heels and fancy passed appetizers we’ve been seeing all week.  There was even a Jason Priestley sighting which brought us back to the great “Brandon vs. Dylan” debate (we can’t wait for his turn in an upcoming Canadian Stage production – stay tuned!).

Another fave of ours is Festival Music House which ran for three nights this week. The MOD club held intimate concerts by
 Adam Cohen, Wintersleep, Yukon Blonde, Young Empires and Down With Webster. We made some new musical discoveries, loving the sets that Humans, Monster Truck and Hey Ocean! brought. Although these are big names in the music scene, the whole event had a very different vibe.  It was an intimate
setting where we got to rock out in a really chill venue with film industry peeps.



Shawn Hook sings his heart out, Down With Webster’s drum solo, part of our FMH crew, and Monster Truck rockin’ out – #FestivalMusicHouse memories.

In between all of these amazing events, and little cat naps,
we are excited to see our city buzzing with excitement.  We’ve been out and about and feeling
Hollywood in the air.  The bright lights
of T.O. are providing us with endless amounts of energy that we’re hoping will
last take us through the last few days of the festival.








#TIFF12: Getting swaggy at Tastemakers Lounge

Tastemaker: Someone who popularizes a new fashion or trend; a
role model or someone worthy of imitation.

Us rock-it-eers know great products and brands when we see
them, so we’re pumped to share the details of this year’s Tastemakers Lounge,
hosted during the Toronto International Film Festival. For the eighth year,
local and international guests visited our revamped suite at the
InterContinental Hotel to indulge in the exceptional products Tastemakers
Lounge is known for showcasing. We’re proud to be Canadian and try to rock
Canadian labels as often as we can, and Tastemakers Lounge is no exception.

Eli Roth and Lorenza Izzo came by Tastemakers to check out
our goodies.
Films are what TIFF is all about, but there’s always an eye
on Festival fashion. Yorkdale Shopping
Centre
 guaranteed Tastemakers guests left the lounge with special
gifts, from a Tiffany & Co. limited edition bracelet to Microsoft’s new
Arc Touch mouse. 

Director Brandon Cronenberg, Antiviral, checks out
Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

We want guests to look as good on the outside as they do
underneath, and La Senza made
sure this was the case. They showcased their new line of lingerie called Beyond
Sexy, gifting a bra and panty set and gift cards for future shopping. Catch the
line in stores September 17.

TIFF Rising Stars Charlotte Sullivan (left) and Tatiana
Maslany (right) are excited about their Beyond Sexy lingerie from La Senza.

Actors are always in front of the camera, and after TIFF,
they’ll need Indeed Laboratories’ products to keep them looking fresh and
paparazzi-ready. Talent were treated to fan favourite products eysilix and
peptalash, for flawless looks when the cameras flash.  

Tamara Podemski,The Lesser Blessed, loved
her eysilix gift from Canada’s own Indeed Labs.

Demeter Fragrance Lab’s fragrance bar kept guests smelling
nice and fresh, especially with scents like rain, dragon fruit, and a TIFF
favourite, popcorn.

Waving to cameras and signing autographs for fans means
hands need to look their best. Kiss provided an in-lounge mani with imPRESS
Press-On Manicure and Nail Dress, a spiced up version of do-it-yourself nails
on the go. We didn’t forget about the toes; Emjoi’s MicroPedi, a portable
hand-held pedicure, was a welcome take-home item.

Hilary Farr of Love It or List It gets a KISS
nails manicure.

Bobble provided durable, trendy and eco-conscious water
bobbles while Tea Emporium made sure our lounge guests had a calming moment to
themselves by selecting their own personal blend of tea. Other products
gifted include Viviscal Maximum Strengh for naturally beautiful hair and
Kimberley’s Own granola, 100 per cent vegan and gluten-free granola.

Emily Hampshire, star of My Awkward Sexual
Adventure
, with the bobble selection at the lounge.

Toronto is a foodie-centric city, so we went beyond gifting
the best in Canadian fashion and accessories; we included tasty treats as well!
Stars snacked on cupcakes by Le Dolci, popchips in flavours like Sweet Potato
and Thai Chili Lime and Kimberley’s Own granola.

Rob Zombie and wife Sheri Moon Zombie enjoyed Kimberley’s
Own granola while at Tastemakers.

Of course we didn’t forget about our gentlemen guests. The
staff of John Allan’s,  a men’s grooming service and club, were ready to
provide shoe shines, hair clean-ups and mini manicures. Guys need cuticle trims, too.

Jarvis Church of the Philosopher Kings makes the most of a
John Allan’s shoe shine. 

With all the swag we gifted, it’s a good thing we had totes
from Me & You and Sully Wong’s duffle so guests could carry everything
they got.

Musician Adam Cohen loves his Sully Wong duffle. 

Guests
who stopped by include: Adrian Grenier, Brandon Cronenberg, Eli
Roth, Rob Zombie and Sheri Moon Zombie, Adam Cohen, Sarah Gadon,
Connor Jessup, Tatiana Maslany, Charlotte Sullivan, Emily Hampshire, Jonas
Chernick, Gabrielle Miller, Vic Sahay, Deco Dawson, Amy Berg, Laura Mennell,
Tonya Lee Williams, Gage Munroe, Michael Friend, Sam Yu, Steven McCarthy,
Spencer Van Wyck, Georgina Reilly, Matthew Cooke, Sheila McCarthy, Yannick
Bisson, Jarvis Church, Tamara Podemski, Rachel Wilson, Douglas Smith, Charlie
Carrick, Christa Campbell, Reece Thompson, Hilary Farr, the cast of 
Foxfire,
Rosey Edeh (Global News), Tara Spencer-Nairn, Liz Trinnear (MuchMusic VJ),
Maika Monroe, Siddarth, Zaib Shaikh, Annika Marks, Kristen Gutoskie, Agam
Darshi, Lorenza Izzo, Abdallah El Akal. Whew!


Adrian Grenier kept calm and got his swag on while in town
promoting his movie 
How to Make Money Selling Drugs.

We’re having such a blast at TIFF 2012 this year and couldn’t be
more proud of Tastemakers Lounge – we outdo ourselves every year. Thank you to
our exceptional sponsors and those who make Tastemakers possible, we couldn’t
do it without you and the amazing products you provide each year.

Visit our Facebook
page
 and Flickr
site
 for more pics from the lounge.

Check out some of our past
Tastemakers posts
 and discover our amazing history.

#TIFF12: Festival Music House

The place to be mid-TIFF? Festival Music House! We’re looking forward to being there for the next three nights, at this event that showcases live Canadian music to visiting TIFF industry folks.

One of the most sought-after parties of the festival, FMH is back at the Mod Club for its annual
three-night long concert, from Monday September 10 to Wednesday, September 12, at the Mod Club. This year features Canadian music
talent from a range of genres and it’s a pretty stacked lineup:



Monday, September 10:
Jeremy Fisher, Adam CohenKathleen EdwardsWintersleep and Monster Truck.


Tuesday, September 11:
Humans, PS I Love YouHey Ocean!Dan Mangan and Yukon Blonde.


Wednesday, September 12:
Shawn Hook, Jason CollettGrand AnalogYoung Empires and Down With Webster.


Yes, it is an intimate, invite-only event where directors, producers, writers and music supervisors rub shoulders. If you’re not a part of the industry, you can still get a sense of the nights that are about to unfold, with this playlist that we’ve put together. Put it on and it will feel like you’re there, almost.


Follow all the action at #FestivalMusicHouse and #rockitTIFF!


Media, Darling: Teri Hart

Movie Entertainment’s Teri Hart burst into living rooms in 1996 as host of The Movie News (later known as @
The 
Movies) with an infectious charm and irrepressible energy that has made her a favourite with viewers and movie-stars alike. More than a thousand interviews later, Hart has become a fixture on red carpets, press
junkets and film premieres, connecting film fans with all aspects of Hollywood
and Hollywood North – from scorching hot, A-list celebrities to up-and-coming
local talent.


In
addition to Movie Entertainment – on-air at The Movie Network and HBO Canada and online
at themovienetwork.ca – Hart can
be heard weekly on Entertainment Extra,
a weekly 
entertainment show on NewsTalk 1010, and contributing segments for Astral 
Radio stations Virgin, Boom, and more.

Hart’s
interviews include the “who’s who” of Hollywood – Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt,
Julia Roberts, 
Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg and Will Ferrell. She is
also an ardent champion of emerging Canadian filmmakers and was among the
first to turn the spotlight on Canada’s
now-established storytellers such as
Michael McGowan, Sudz Sutherland and Deborah Chow.

Born
in Brantford, Ontario, Hart studied broadcasting at Humber College where she
found her
passion for entertainment journalism. 
Before joining The Movie Network, she held several 
on-air positions, including stints at Toronto radio stations Q107 and CFNY and CKNX.  
Hart is a member of the Broadcast Film
Critics Association
(BFCA), Women in Film and 
Television (WIFT), Canadian
Women in Communications
(CWC) and the Academy of 

Canadian Cinema and Television.




Website: www.themovienetwork.ca/movie-entertainment/
Twitter: @TeriHart


Did
you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the
horizon?
Being a lawyer crossed my mind, but my fate was sealed when I started
working at the movie theatre as a teenager; I knew I wanted the smell of
popcorn “topping” in my life forever.  

Where
would you like to be five years from now?

Carpe Diem.


Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Know the business! Watch the movies! Understand the org. chart, know how your company makes money from your position and get involved with as many different business units within the organization that you’re working for. 

What
are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
The New Yorker, New York Times, Deadline.com and of course, I watch the Canadian daily
entertainment shows.

Best
interview you’ve ever had?
 
Atom Egoyan for The Sweet Hereafter. I loved the movie and
he was so gracious and interested 
in having a detailed talk about the film; it was the perfect combination of hard work meeting a willing subject. There was also the time that Ryan Gosling practiced his line “do you
wanna get 
outta here” from Crazy, Stupid, Love with me but I loved that moment
for very, very different 
reasons.

Worst?
There’s always that moment when you’ve been standing on a
carpet for hours and you find yourself screaming another human being’s name and
they simply walk by. That’s soul crushing.

Best
advice you’ve ever been given?

There’s always time for wine.

What
rule(s) do you live your life by?

Do the right thing. It’s usually the easiest decision.

What’s
the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Know who you’re talking to and be honest. We all need favours once
in a while. I’m usually on your 
side.

Best
experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Understanding that specialty TV might not be conventional but we
can deliver true movie fans. I
love when that’s understood.

I
hate?
Judgement.

I
love?
Girl’s nights.

Reading?
Right now, inevitably press notes and a back issue of The New
Yorker
. Eagerly anticipating two 
books from friends: Richard Crouse’s Raising
Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of the Devils
 
and Jian Ghomeshi’s 1982.

Best
place on earth?
Lake Nipissing with the sun setting, my three nephews laughing in the
sand, a backgammon and a 
cribbage board close by and glass of wine in hand.

Dinner
guest?
Fine dining with George Clooney or Ryan Gosling.
Spaghetti with my husband.
Ice cream with my nephews.


Hero?
Spanx inventor.

Favourite
app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?

Pool
or ocean?
Pool.

Voicemail
or email?
Email.

2012
TIFF film you’re most looking forward to?
The Master or Argo.

TIFF12: Behind the scenes at TIFF

On the eve of TIFF ’12, the busiest time of year on the fourth floor, the building is abuzz with phone calls, scheduling, organizing, and the inevitable rescheduling.  With visions of
red carpets and fabulous parties in our dreams, during the day, the rock-it promo team is running on pure adrenaline, and loving every minute of
it! Today, we give you an inside look at some of the awesome events that we’re working on for this year’s
festival because, as busy as we are, this is also the most
exciting time to be a publicist in Toronto.

On opening day, we’re starting off on the
right foot with a shopping event to coincide with Fashion’s Night OutRAC Boutique is hosting its second annual
Bazaar which promises an amazing shopping experience. Held in the historic Burroughes
building on Queen Street West, The Bazaar will feature vendors from across Toronto who
have joined forces to offer the best of the city’s fashions to the public. 

While some of us will be helping Toronto’s most fashionable, others will be at the
Drake Hotel to celebrate the launch of TIFF with a blow-out bash sponsored by Stella Artois and Sailor Jerry. Bring your
inner rock star and take advantage of free tattoos and hair cuts from the
Sailor Jerry Airstream and party along to performances by indie
superstars Still Life Still and Dinosaur Bones before The Darcys headline the main stage.

The Darcys
Image Source

From
September 10 to 12, we’ll be working at
the third
annual 
Festival Music House, a three night concert taking place at the Mod Club. This invite-only,
intimate concert series provides a platform for both seasoned and
up-and-coming Canadian acts including
Kathleen Edwards, Wintersleep, Yukon Blonde, Young Empires and Down With Webster.

Down With Webster
Image Source

We’re also representing some all-star Canadian talent, including Jian Ghomeshi, Emily Hampshire, Saad Siddiqui and Jonas Chernick.  We’ll be escorting clients down the red carpet at events while juggling with
interview requests, movie screenings and late-night parties.

The girls of the fourth floor will also be seen nightly at Soho House Toronto, as it acts as host to some of TIFF’s hottest parties. The evenings feature signature cocktails from Grey Goose, great music and a chill vibe, making it a hotspot for visiting talent.

With all this on the go (and more!), being a publicist  is kind of reminiscent
of being a Girl Scout; we always have to be prepared. There’s a constant checklist running through
our brains and here are some items/life-savers that you can find in our
cutest (yet most functional) purses (cross-strap, natch) at any time from September 6 to 16:

  • A pair of squishable flats
  • Pens/hi-lighters
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Extra cell phone!
  • Vitamins
  • Water
  • Hair elastics
  • Gum 
  • Band-aids
  • Energy bars, snacks and Redbull
  • Lip gloss
Stay updated throughout the
festival by following our Twitter hashtag
#rockitTIFF. We’re ready for you, TIFF 2012! 
Here’s to the start of a wonderful 11 days full of hard work, a bit of glitz, a dash of glam, tired
feet, late nights, and a whole lot of fun!