Guest Blogger Ed Simmons

Marketing Widgets-Michael Jackson Movie Release

Marketing Widgets-Michael Jackson Movie Release

…..Ed Simmons for a long time now has been the point man for Tony Ward Studio when shooting in Los Angeles. Assistant to TW on the set in LA, accomplished photographer in his own right and blogger, writes about the pending opening of LA LIVE and Michael Jackson’s last rehearsal tapes. Photographs of Ed courtesy, ……..

Ed Simmons Lights Up

Ed Simmons Lights Up

There has never been anything like this. The only thing I can think of that come’s close is six big screens, at the Sidewalk Cafe in Venice, all tuned together, to the Andy Griffith Show. It’s a coin toss as to which has more social content. Wait a minute, its not even close; Andy Griffith gets it hands down.?p?
Well, there is still hope for the world. I saw a Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Truck out making deliveries. There are still clubs like the Troubadour. These theaters, at LA LIVE will open in a big way. When have you heard of a movie theater complex with a grand opening covered by World Media? People are flying in from over seas, standing in line for days, to buy movie tickets. Has to be a first!

I am, and always will be, a fan of talent. As I see it, (doubtful that I will), the movie “THIS IS IT”, is about a whole lotta nothing. Videotapes of rehearsals for a concert tour, that never was. As the foundation for a documentary, about a successful Michael Jackson tour with such a demanding schedule is an important part to laying down the story. But there is no story here. This is about wringing out one more pound of flesh.

I had spent no time at LA LIVE prior to going to work in construction at the theaters. It had always been no mans land around there. Any media coverage of the area, up until now, had always been of civil unrest issues or a Laker championship victory celebration. Lot’s of coworkers in construction parked down there, while working on the towers of LA back in the eighties.

I went down looking for work once a couple years back, after returning to Los Angeles from Philly. I ran into my old boss, Jose, from the Cathedral project in Central Los Angeles. He couldn’t put me on; he had just thinned out his crew. After wrapping up work on the theaters, I thought I’d spend a little time around lunch, to see what kind of traffic moved through.

This is a sports and entertainment complex on a grand scale. Dozens of eateries line the open courtyards. I guess they got a no competition clause in their lease. The only coffee to be had is Starbucks. I was getting a little sugar and cream in my coffee during my break, when this sweet young thing came up beside me, to fix her tea. I gave her a little more room, excused my self for spreading out so much at the small counter. I’m at about that age, when young women, see me as someone sweet, fatherly, somewhat harmless. I really have fun with it.
I don’t kid myself, I’m still breathing! She said I was fine, I thanked her; I told her she was fine as well!!!

There are a lot of condominiums surrounding this complex. Not enough people making real money though to fill them up. I thought I’d find lots of people out and about at lunch, after all, about 72 degrees, clear, crisp, autumn air, any other city, this would have drawn them out for sure. I’ve heard this place has been coined the “Times Square of the Left Coast.”

I don’t think I counted more than twenty people at any given time, moving through the courtyards. That must be all wishful thinking. Maybe when the Ritz Carlton wraps up construction, all the pieces will be in place. Now here’s a crazy thought; how about an Organic Pharmacy Super Store, complete with an Old School Soda Fountain, that would sure draw some people in?

Seriously, the problem here is there is no money! More people need good jobs for something on this scale to work and trickle down doesn’t work anymore. It was only a couple of days after Michael Jackson died that work began when promoters developed their new widget. Across the news, word of rehearsal video surfaced. Suddenly, a movie that would be ready for a late October release became the latest MJ headline.

Some big deals had to be cut, timing was paramount. These folks were in court before the poor man was even in the ground! The date for the movie release wasn’t just pulled out of a hat. I worked in construction on the theaters at LA LIVE in the beginning of September. In a little more than a week on the job, I had it all figured out. There is nothing personal in business. I guess this is what makes it all OK. At the end of September it was announced, the Michael Jackson movie, a compilation of rehearsal videos that was posthumously titled, “THIS IS IT” would premiere in all fourteen new theaters, being built at LA LIVE. It is clear to me that the promoters were all over this financial opportunity. The spin was well crafted.

The public was told the rehearsals were video taped. How the world lost a tremendous talent and that the comeback of Michael Jackson would have been triumphant. We all now would have the chance to see the concert that was never to be.

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Ed Blogs Yeeha.Org/Art

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