Sasha Stone of www.Awardsdaily.com has just written one of the most brilliant pieces on the Oscars and how they work and the people behind them, as embodied by the late Ronnie Chasen, who was shot to death in a car, Mercedes, in Hollywood last week. Reasons and assailants unknown.
It’s called “Why They Matter” and Sasha convinces us that yes, they do. The “they” being Press Agents.
As she carefully elucidates just what it is that the best publicists do, she is illuminating all our Oscar-obsessed lives, and the life of a great lady, who seemed to be respected, if not beloved by all who knew her.
I did not know Ronnie Chasen. She worked on the Left Coast and I do not. But we both work on the Oscars. Me, as press, and she as a press agent, and Sasha knew her very, very well. And dealt with her on nearly a daily basis.
Sasha excerpts a very elegantly phrased email she received from Ms. Chasen, who was horribly murdered in L.A. last week, for those of you who live under a rock.
The whys and wherefores of her being so savagely gunned down in her own car, no less, are unknown and baffling to all who knew her.
Sasha, a deeply moral person, takes the high road and tries to describe to all her readers just what it was that made Ms. Chasen so good at what she did, which was getting her clients Oscar nominations and sometimes the Oscar itself.
So she spends most of her time, in her carefully worded and thoughtful piece, describing what press agents, specifically OSCAR press agents do.
Yes, they, are a breed apart, and it’s a specialization. To know how to get their client the nomination, then to get their client the award. If they can. And they do have to use, us, the press, just as much as we use them.
It’s their job. It’s essential, in this media-saturated age. And yes, as Sasha so succinctly puts it, “It’s their job to put the right film in front of the right people at the right time.” And it’s not as easy as it looks.
And there’s MILLLIONS of dollars spent on each major Oscar campaign. And there’s millions of dollars to be made at the box-office for the films that get those nominations and those awards. Lately one has to include the Golden Globes in that mix, too.
And as much as people like to read about it and debate about each and every thing online, I can’t EVER remember one single piece of writing that puts it altogether so completely.
And press agentry is something that the average movie-goer, someone who is not in”The Biz,” really doesn’t understand. Perhaps it is too much information. But for me, whose life is nothing but hot-and-cold running press agents, this piece on Chasen, was elucidating.
People who think about Press Agents, if they ever think about them at all, think of J.J. Hudsucker and Sidney Falco in “The Sweet Smell of Success.” Well, that was a different era. And it was depicted as awful. Very dark.
Sasha is showing us in her beautiful way, the OTHER side of what a press agent’s life is like. It’s a brilliant piece of writing. ANOTHER one. Sasha does it every day! And I find myself on a daily basis, saying “Bravo, Sasha!” You’ve GOT to read “Why They Matter.”
And Ronnie Chasen I guess symbolized for Sasha who knew her so well, just what that is.
R.I.P. Ronnie Chasen