Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New York Times Features Omaha's Film Streams

Decide for yourself whether an account for the New York Times of Omaha's new Film Streams two-theater cinema casts the city in a favorable light.

"When Omaha Met Cinema," was written by Eric Konigsberg and published in weekend editions of the New York Times.

Konigsberg moved away from Omaha to attend high school and college on the East Coast, but his parents still reside in Midtown. An accomplished writer for several publications, Konisgsberg's recent book, "Blood Relation," is an account of his great uncle, Harold "Kayo" Konigsberg, who was a vicious Mafia enforcer currently serving a life sentence in prison.

Writes Konigsberg:

"When I grew up there, in the 1970s and ’80s, Omaha was a great place to live if you were interested in insurance, softball leagues, college football, steak or hamburgers.

I took an interest in a great many of those things (the exceptions being softball and insurance). But my parents, transplanted New Yorkers, were under-stimulated — particularly my film-buff mother, who lamented the tendency of local moviehouses to decline (as “foreign films”) most anything that didn’t star Henry Fonda or Benji."


Omaha photographer (and former UNO Gateway staffer) Chris Machian shot the photo that accompanies the article.

19 comments:

SkersNFins said...

It's sad, really, that a native son would help perpetuate the stereotype. When American Idol tapes the zoo and Old Market, only to show a corn maze, you expect it. When ABC calls Memorial Stadium the "third-largest city in Nebraska on gameday" while panning out of the stadium to the fields beyond, you accept the cliche.

Has Omaha traditionally been rich for art-house movies? By way of comparison, probably not. But I know I've never seen a Benji or Henry Fonda movie in the theaters there, either.

I live in Florida now, and enough people still believe my house in Omaha had cows in the backyard. Thanks for nothing, Eric.

Horatio Caine said...

Maybe this guy knows Jennifer Windrum and her penchant for hacky stereotypes.

That awful Idol bilge she tried to embargo, how embarassing not just for this area but as a stand-alone idea.

All the originiality of an early Mariah Carey CD - sing everybody else's stuff. Ma and Pa Konigsberg must have left lil' Eric locked in the attic to not get out and see everything else this great city has to offer.

Go away Eric and J-Dub.

Anonymous said...

Just another case of people feeling the need to proclaim, "I am much cooler than the city I live in"

Okay, cool. You like art films. It still doesn't make me want to have sex with you.

Anonymous said...

Okay, cool. You like art films. It still doesn't make me want to have sex with you.

March 18, 2008 2:05 PM

Why Not...

Anonymous said...

Sounds pretty spot on to me.

Anonymous said...

It's that syndrome people get when they spend time in the eastern United States -- suddenly their sh*t doesn't stink and they've completely forgotten the place that made them what they are.

Don't believe me? Got two words for you -- Steve Pederson.

Anonymous said...

Matt Perrault is Gay.

Anonymous said...

So did he actually mention Film Streams in the article?

Anonymous said...

Who, Perrault?

Jennifer Windrum said...

Since many of you missed "the rest of the story," let me fill you in. Our agency had the opportunity to show the American Idol crew around town to get the "Omaha" shots they needed for the show. Just fyi, I used to work for the city of Omaha, so I am a HUGE proponent of all the progress Omaha has made in becoming the cosmopolitan city that it is. We took the Idol crew to a host of spots around town. They told us they wanted shots that show Omaha's uniqueness, as well as what Omaha is known for (i.e. Omaha Steaks, Mutual of Omaha, etc..). We created an itinerary and had only 4 hours with them...it was raining, so this hampered some of the locations they could shoot outdoors(so, they decided to get indoor shots of the zoo the next day, among other places). Our itinerary included the following locations:

Boys Town, Henry Doorly Zoo, Rosenblatt Stadium, South 24th Street, Stockyards Exchange Building, Memorial Park, Mutual of Omaha, Old Market, Gene Leahy Mall, Lewis and Clark National Memorial, Claas Manufacturing (world's largest combine--they WANTED to go there--, Omaha Steaks, Abbott Drive, Heartland of America Park, Riverfront, Saddle Creek Records, Hollard Performing Arts Center and Orpheum Theater. While we didn't get to all of these places within the 4 hours, it is important to note that American Idol did not use ANY OF THE FOOTAGE SHOT ON THIS DAY IN THE OMAHA AUDITIONS SHOW. None of us knows why none of this footage was used, but it could be because it was a rainy, gloomy day. Even the producer we worked with said he knew Omaha was a "cool" city, so he wanted the footage to be representative of the city---as we did too. But, as we all saw, that wasn't the case in the show. It is almost as if the tapes of footage from that day got lost, ruined, or something. We don't know..and we can't get back in touch with Idol to find out. As for the crop circle, this was an idea we had as an agency to execute ourselves. The Idol producer WANTED it in his show, so, thus the reason you see it ALL THE TIME. Why do anything related to corn? Because we knew Idol couldn't come to Nebraska and NOT show corn we tried to give our "national corn image" a modern twist by doing the corn maze. And, like it or not, Nebraska is the 3rd largest corn-producing state in the country....major economic driver of our economy. You cannot escape that no matter which way you slice it. We were just as disappointed as the rest of Omahans when none of the footage we escorted them around town to shoot was not included in the show. We were, and continue to be baffled. But as former journalists, we know lots of things change in the editing suite. It's unfortunate, but that's reality. As for the embargo, that was American Idol's DEMAND to us. The entire crop circle project had to be embargoed until AFTER it aired during the show. We finally got word from the producers that it was going to air, thus my embargoed release distribution. Did I send it to a wrong outlet--absolutely. Thus the leak on that website, as well as this site. Other major outlets I had communicated this story idea with previous to the release distribution told me to send the release along with the embargo warning so they would be reminded that it was embargoed. Other outlets did receive the email from me without a prior conversation. Is it good practice to send a "blanket" release to reporters - as a former reporter myself and now a PR person - my honest answer is no. But, with only a few hours notice from Idol that the crop was going to air, we had no choice but to get our message out to a wide audience in a very quick manner in order to accomplish what we were assigned to accomplish. I got responses from top tier outlets that had no problem receiving my embargoed release without prior notification - none of them negative (except for the one outlet I fully admit should not have been included to receive the release as it was a PR watchdog group). My BIG bad, I admit. But, people do make mistakes. It's easy to criticize others, that's half the fun of blogs for most people. Hopefully, though, this answers a few questions I've read, such as: "Why was the release embargoed, how stupid is that?" - "Why would we even use corn in a project?" -There is usually more to every story. If you missed it, you can watch the video of us escorting the Idol crew around town to see what was shot in that 4hours that never made it on the show at: www.sramarketing.com/americanidol

Anonymous said...

Keep it up Jennifer, and we'll stick you in our "local babe naked cat fighting league". Maybe you could team with Amanda M. in a cage match against Amazon Omarosa Hammond and Fubar the Magnificent. In case you're wondering..... this is about as serious as anyone takes what you have to say.

--nebbish Nate--

Anonymous said...

Jennifer--
Have you ever heard the word "overkill"? What part of "PR Flack" do you not understand?

The length and shrillness of your comment alone negates any damage control you may have been aiming for.

In addition, you are not raising the respect level of your profession (and PR needs all the respect in can engender).

A good PR professional would not leave any fingerprints on the American Idol/Omaha event. Any PR professional would have sense enough to know the New York Times article on Film Streams knocked your event out of public consciousness, and it should have remained there.

(Note: I was in class the day they tought paragraphs)

PS: In case you haven't figured it out, I am patronizing you. You made a dumb move, now you are overreacting to an event no one cares about, in a forum whose readers appear to be sex-focused slackers. Work on your critical thinking skills...and your temper.

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:31...

"(Note: I was in class the day they tought paragraphs)"

Were you in class when they "TAUGHT" spelling???

Horatio Caine said...

Well done, 11:31 AM, well done.

Still, another microanalysis needs to be done. Hold on, slackers, this may take awhile, so pull up your trousers and get ready to scroll.

First off, the meltdown is 821 words divided into TWO paragraphs. I could stop there, but let's move on.

1). Since many of you missed "the rest of the story," let me fill you in.
How original, paging Paul Harvey. Your trademark line is being abused.

2). Our agency had the opportunity to show the American Idol crew around town to get the "Omaha" shots they needed for the show.
Is there really a need for quote marks around Omaha? An opportunity to show them around – opportunity obviously missed. Must be cool to be able to use “insider” slang.

3). Just fyi, I used to work for the city of Omaha, so I am a HUGE proponent of all the progress Omaha has made in becoming the cosmopolitan city that it is.
FYI is all caps. Thanks, we forgot you used to work for the city (audible smirk). Ending a sentence with is is unacceptable. Must have also missed sentence day.

4). The next 177 words – too many to regurgitate here.
Never been to the ‘Hollard’ Performing Arts Center (n isn’t even near r on the keyboard, so the pro must think that’s the real name). Of course they wanted to go to the home of the world’s largest combine, they had it all figured out and found a fish that would take the hook for the right hourly rate. Abbott Drive, now that’s a treat for any tourist, nice one to offer on a list.

5). While we didn't get to all of these places within the 4 hours, it is important to note that American Idol did not use ANY OF THE FOOTAGE SHOT ON THIS DAY IN THE OMAHA AUDITIONS SHOW.
Is there really a need to yell? 11:31 AM was right; temper, temper.

6). None of us knows why none of this footage was used, but it could be because it was a rainy, gloomy day. Even the producer we worked with said he knew Omaha was a "cool" city, so he wanted the footage to be representative of the city---as we did too. But, as we all saw, that wasn't the case in the show.
Tokyo Rose couldn’t have said it any better. Again, caught, cleaned and cooked.

7). It is almost as if the tapes of footage from that day got lost, ruined, or something.
You’re kidding, right? Just like Slick Willie never had relations with that woman, that’s the best you’ve got? I’ll let the slackers/vultures have fun with this one.

8). We don't know..and we can't get back in touch with Idol to find out.
You really expected that call to be returned? “Fix me a sandwich before you leave.”

9). As for the crop circle, this was an idea we had as an agency to execute ourselves.
This admission is stunning considering it’s a big reason this diatribe is even underway. Using this to attract new clients? I can hear the pitch now – “Need a hackneyed, worn-out idea regurgitated that brings to mind aliens and hayseeds. Trying to perpetuate a stereotype? Just pay us bushels (pun intended) of money and we’ll do you right.”

10). The Idol producer WANTED it in his show, so, thus the reason you see it ALL THE TIME. Why do anything related to corn? Because we knew Idol couldn't come to Nebraska and NOT show corn we tried to give our "national corn image" a modern twist by doing the corn maze.
See numbers 6, 8 and 9. Maybe they could come to Nebraska and show something not related to corn if the hacks they hired to drive ‘em around had an original idea. No, #9 does not qualify as an original idea. A corn maze a modern twist? I’m starting to get dizzy.

11). And, like it or not, Nebraska is the 3rd largest corn-producing state in the country....major economic driver of our economy. You cannot escape that no matter which way you slice it.
Remember, no one is embarrassed by corn, it just isn’t necessary to wag a finger at the reader. Temper, temper with the like it or not. Originality is all we ask; we already know it’s a big part of the economy. Thanks for educatin’ us rubes.

12). We were just as disappointed as the rest of Omahans when none of the footage we escorted them around town to shoot was not included in the show.
Beginning with when, the negation structure of the sentence is frightening.

13). We were, and continue to be baffled.
Oh the fun everyone can have with that line. I’ll start the carnage – Perpetual, adj. Lasting or enduring forever or for an indefinitely long time; eternal; permanent. See Baffled PR flack.

14). The 251-word defense of the embargo.
We get it, you’re a former reporter. Did you used to work for the city? I don’t think that’s ever been covered. Goodness, it took fewer words to accept Japan’s surrender in ’45. Again, point goes to 11:31 AM.

15). If you missed it, you can watch the video of us escorting the Idol crew around town to see what was shot in that 4hours that never made it on the show.
Not something I’d be crowing about. Wait, that wasn’t very original of me – crow, corn, scarecrows are in cornfields. Having read this I’m turning into a hack. Must… stop… now.

I’m tired, it’s time for a poop and a nap. Anyone else care to chime in? The carcass is yours.

Anonymous said...

5:26, you so hit the nail on the head, wasn't sure if there was much anyone could add. You already have J-Dub deboned, filleted, cooked, fried, and eaten ('scuse the visuals that come to mind)...but I'll try.

J-Dub, yes you worked for the city...but it was OMAHA. That's roughly the equivalent of being the h chair violin player with the Pisgah Philharmonic. No matter how many new ballparks, zoo animals, and useless "indie" music venues get thrown into the mix....as soon as the local politicians or alleged business men open their mouths, people from the real cities know they're dealing with Green Acres.

What's even more amazing is that your ego is so fragile, that you can't handle people like me on an anonymous blog roasting you. Maybe this explains why you will forever be a low level marketing person in what Dolly Parton aptly described as a "little bitty piss ant town". Might we suggest trying some professional therapy, dear? I hear it's worth the money.

--Mr. Haney, Alf & Ralph, Fred Ziffle, Arnold the Pig, and Sam Drucker--

Horatio Caine said...

6:08 AM - Well done, that was fantastic. My favorite was 'useless "indie" music venues get thrown into the mix.' I'll see you at the next rehearsal of the Philharmonic.

Horatio Caine said...

6:08 AM - Well done, that was fantastic. My favorite was 'useless "indie" music venues get thrown into the mix.' I'll see you at the next rehearsal of the Philharmonic.

Anonymous said...

There is only one Alison Steele and she was in NYC RADIO.. who is this perosn and where is she today !

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