On Friday we were able to take advantage of a unique marketing opportunity thanks to the support of the Portland Based band Pink Martini, a few donated bottles of Oregon Pinot from the Willamette Valley Winery Association and the coordination efforts of Jennifer Yocom from Portland Mayor Sam Adams’ office. Thanks to Jennifer’s relationship with the band and the band’s willingness to help market Oregon, we were able to obtain twelve tickets to the Pink Martini concert friday night which was the first of three performances this weekend at the bowl. Since it was the season closing weekend, there were even fireworks! There was also a very cool Oregon presence. During the show band leader Thomas Lauderdale must have mentioned that the band was from Portland, Oregon at least ten times. He also brought along special guests with interesting Oregon ties.
First up was NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro who is friends with the band. He also is from Oregon and surprisingly can really sing! Who knew? Towards the end of the show Thomas introduced another Oregon native to the stage – Jane Powell. For those of you who don’t know who Jane Powell is – check out her credits – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0007225/. Jane left Portland for Hollywood before she could graduate from Grant High School but Thomas told me at the party after the concert that not too long ago Jane was given an honorary degree from Grant. At the end of the concert the band brought up even more guests from Oregon including none other than Sam Adams’ Arts and Culture advisor Jennifer Yocom. Jennifer was in LA for vacation and the band insisted that she be a back up singer for the final song – Thomas even introduced her to the audience. All in all it was a very cool night and everyone we invited seemed to have a great time. We hope to look for more opportunities where we can partner with other “Oregon Champions” in the future.
It wasn’t all just a party on Friday though. I did have a few productive meetings earlier in the day. I met producer/financier Jeff Geoffrey from Blue Rider Pictures. We had a great meeting and talked about a possible trip up to Oregon to discuss further potential projects and perhaps a panel discussion where Jeff could provide some great insights to aspiring film makers. Whenever I’m in LA I always try to stop by Electric Entertainment and did so this time. Their lot was jammed packed so lots happening there (stay tuned!). I also made a presentation to four business units within the Walt Disney company. It was a great opportunity to pitch Oregon to two units within their feature department, ABC, and Disney’s cable operations (Disney Channel and ABC Family). Ironically one of the execs was going to the Pink Martini concert that night and we were able to get him into the after party which was cool.
All in all I think it was a successful trip. Based on a few calls I got on Friday, I hope to have a formal announcement on something soon – maybe two!