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Media Inc Magazine appoints Scott A. Capestany Editor-In-Chief

jessica-1Jessica HowellAssociate Editor 

In an aggressive move by Media Inc Publishing, one of the longest running print publication companies in the Pacific Northwest with over 25 publications, General Manager of the group John Rusnak announced the appointment of Award Winning Film/TV producer and Indie Film business extraordinaire Scott A. Capestany to helm Media Inc Magazine as its new Editor-In-Chief .

Long before the internet, the publication began in the late 1980s as the sole media+film resource and news platform to complement the growing indie film scene in the Seattle, WA market and also to keep its readers up on film festival news, regional film productions and also help production crews members to find jobs.   Over the years, the publication circulated among a regional footprint throughout the Pacific Northwest stretching from Seattle to Portland and Eastern Washington as a well known staple among cinephites.

Early in 2015, Capestany was commissioned by the publication to write a few editorials on the current landscape of Film/TV productions in the region. His Summer 2016 issue cover story “TOP influential Women in Film and Media in WA State” gained the attention of Indie Film communities that quickly led to multiple partnerships with film festivals, businesses and organizations whose mission statements supported spearheading gender equality and diversity throughout Hollywood.  It was around that time Capestany was appointed EIC with full control of both the creative and business operations of the magazines publication platforms (Print and Digital).   “We are very excited to see Scott take this publication into the 21st century and look forward to seeing his new vision enhance the publications reach and growth”, said Rusnak.  MI Publishing ownership said they were quite confident in Scott’s abilities to carry the torch of his legendary magazine and has no doubt his choice as the successor will bring exciting new content, readers and partnerships around the world for the first time in the company’s history.

Soon after taking the reigns of the magazine, Capestany strategically invited trusted film industry colleague, film financier and Producers Guild of America member ANNE MARIE GILLEN into the fold to further connect him to the Hollywood circle of emerging Women in Film and rapidly expanding indie film world of new media financing and distribution.  “Scott’s resilience and drive over the years and watching him grow as a reputable player in the business was more than enough to join his team.” Gillen said.  “Scott is quickly evolving into one of Hollywood’s premier Impact Producers.  His explosive energy, ability to quickly formulate partnerships across industry platforms and communicate with the new digital age filmmakers and players is impressive”.

We got a chance to sit down with our new fearless leader to share with us his vision for the future of MI Magazine.

MI:  Congrat’s on your new appointment!  Seems things are coming full circle for you as a writer and journalist.

Scott A. Capestany:  Seems so.  Having been a writer for many years, I’ve had the thought in the back of my mind that someday running a magazine might be something I could really get excited about.  So when the ownership group approached me, the timing just happened to be perfect.  As things evolved this past summer, I focused my attention in building a new team that would support and stand behind the new branding of the publication and my ongoing vocal advocacy for Women In Film and diversity in the industry.  My strategy from day one was to produce a publication both print and online that equally shared viewpoints from men and women filmmakers (50-50) from around the world.  Another component I’m excited about is adding a SPORTS and artist lifestyle segment to the publication that highlights the explosive new media growth in the entertainment space.  With the ambition to eventually offer more of an international publication online to compliment and grow our regional print publication from its original roots in the Pacific Northwest.  

MI:  So writing and reporting has always been in your blood.

SAC:  Absolutely.  It all started when my High School journalism teacher a million years ago recognized my love for writing and unique approach to engaging my subjects that he recommended me to the local city (Redmond, WA) newspaper to do a weekly editorial for them called “man on the street”.  It involved me engaging with random people around town and asking them questions on current world affairs.  During that time, I would spend many days after school in the photography dark room developing hundreds of photos I took for both the towns paper and our own school newspaper as the schools sports editor.   I wrote my first college editorial for the UW Daily in 1988 about the doping scandal of Ben Johnson of Canada in the Olympics that quickly got me phone call by the head track coach Ken Shannon to congratulate me on standing up for the sport.  I thought I was getting kicked off the team when he called me in! lol  Coming full circle to the last 10 years, I was the first Seattle based indie producer to create, host and produce a local TV sports show for local cable TV before streaming was available.  Luckily for me it was a smash hit and found myself court-side at the biggest pro and college sporting events covering their “not so mainstream” athletes and unique stories surrounding the leagues and organizations.  I call them the hidden jem stories.   So yes, this appointment truly circumvents my full love and passion for people, writing, movies and sports.    

MI:  How did you get involved in the Film/TV business?

SAC:  Well, shortly after attending a Sundance Film Festival around 1999, I found myself drawn to the energy of this extraordinary tribe of creatives called ‘Indie Filmmakers’.  They all thought much like me…outside the box..bucking traditional ways of creating and presenting visual arts.  I found a way to apply my business background I learned in my 20s and early 30s to this newly discovered world of brilliant creative artists.  I knew that I had something to offer the indie film world both as a writer, creator and most importantly someone who could connect and educate these creatives on the ‘business’ components of the industry.   Based on my own research over the years  (in meeting with filmmakers back then and now today), I’ve estimated roughly 1 out of 25 indie filmmakers know much about the business side of what they are doing as creates.  It’s mostly all about art and expression for them.  So the timing was perfect for me when I arrived.   

 MI: Tell us about the classes and workshops you teach around the world on this topic.

 SAC: Sure, it’ s that 1 in 25 sobering statistic that gets me excited and engaged with artists to help educate and teach them about the real and true dynamics of”Film Financing” in the 21st century and this new digital era.  It’s a completely different model than it was just a few years ago let alone in 2000?  Films today have to be made for a fraction of the budgets of yesterday for distributors and buyers to get excited about.  This is an awesome and attractive benefit for investors to explore and get involved in this industry now.  It’s a RED HOT investment era within the digital creative space!  The days of high risk indie filmmaking are long over.  Buyers today are starving for new content as the platforms for consumer consumption have expanded to provide thousands of new ways people watch movies and TV shows.   Where before, it was just in a theater or in their living room on the TV.  This is why Netflix is buying everything in sight.   They purchased more content last year (2016) at the Sundance film festival than any buyer on the planet during that 10 day festival.  Netflix, an online distributor of content buying movies at a film festival.  Say what??  Right! Not to mention the loads of original content that often comes out of film festival screenings and meetings with creatives.  For distributors these days it’s all about content that is globally appealing  and sales – something I’ve excelled at over the years as a creator and negotiator.   Again, timing….I happened to be in the right place at the right time when it came to offering something of value to these artists early on in both my career as a businessman (producer) and as a filmmaker.  I truly believe we’ve “Arrived” for indie filmmaking regarding  budgets, technology, audience engagement capabilities and the exciting new platforms in distribution.  Most every single distributor/buyer in the world is now looking at everything.  If you have content, series bibles, treatments, pitch decks and/or a sizzling proof of concept teaser, you are KING in this business.  Content is KING!  So it’s a great time to be a creative with compelling and engaging material.  

MI:  How would you describe what is taking place in the current landscape of Film/TV production?

SAC:  I call it the ‘Perfect Storm’ with the three most important  components converging simultaneously and changing so rapidly. Technology, creativity and consumption.  I’d say 80% of the people my age gave up in this business because of the lighting speed technology and the time it takes to develop and foster professional relationships.  You can now pitch a complete stranger in a hotel lobby after a conference and within days they are investing in your endeavor and doing business with you.  Technology has helped bridge the gap of uncertainty in our business. I’m glad I stuck around for this amazing moment in time.  The growth curve for many these days is too much to stay on top of, thus they drop out and revert back to archaic business models that no longer work in the modern world.   Thanks to getting my first computer in 1981 for Christmas,  I’ve always been a “techie” kind of guy that’s had a computer and cell phone for 30+ years and stays on top of the new digital landscape.  People laugh at me texting 40 words a minute with one hand on an airplane, but it’s they way the world works.  I get more done on my cell phone and tablet in a few days than most can do in two weeks.  Especially when it comes to engaging decision makers at the studio and network level as they mostly are in their 30s and grew up on their phones.  So I speak their language quite well.  Applying and harnessing the latest technology in my industry with at my fingertips daily allows me to navigate the terrain with ease and lightning speed accuracy.  Today’s landscape of film making truly is a manifestation of what I imagined it could become when I was a kid and young business professional in the 90s.  Most everything the imagination conceives in the story telling word can be produced on screen for worldwide audiences.     

MI:   What are some of your strategies you use as a producer?

SAC:  For me, it’s about connecting with people first, building those relationships with integrity and transparency then providing a win-win scenarios for our investors, filmmakers and creative artists.    As filmmakers, our industry is all about three things – relationships, timing and money. Understanding and applying these three vital components strategically through storytelling, trust and fearless transparency have always been my cornerstones of my producing endeavors.  The new look and feel of MI Magazine will reflect the dynamic changes in the current world of storytelling from an Indie producers viewpoint.  Our publications clients will be apart of all our new interactive events we will be hosting regionally, nationally and internationally.  We have partnered with numerous film festivals/organizations as their media affiliate that helps connect filmmakers with the world both digitally and through our print publications.  With the current explosion of digital storytelling platforms that now allow everyone the equal opportunity to collaborate together and express themselves creatively to the world, it’s literally a dream come true for me a filmmaker and journalist to be working in such an exciting time connecting the two worlds!  

MI:  What type of Producer are you?  Creative or Business?

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Scott A. Capestany pitching ‘My silent Voice’ on stage at the VARIETY Faith Based Film Summit. He was 1 of 12 selected from around the world.

SAC:  I’ve been blessed with the unique skill set to operate on both sides of the creative process effectively and efficiently.  Over the course of my professional career, I’ve worked in and around a wide array of industries I absolutely Love.  I’ve worked in the communications, hospitality, sports and entertainment sectors both in front of the camera (as a TV Host), on a playing field (athlete) and in a boardroom orchestrating business deals.  They all have involved me producing something that encompasses team building and leadership.  Producing is all about captivating an audience of business professionals, being effective in the pitch and then ultimately getting things done.  This requires a tremendous amount of courage and confidence. You have to be brave and a pioneer with your own vision and ambition.  I have always been one who comes up with quite profound and elaborate ideas and always seems to find a way to pull those thoughts and ideas together.  That’s what a film producer does.  He/She is the visionary and ultimate pitch person to the decision makers that these days are starving for fresh new profitable investment vehicles and original creative content.  My approach to all this has allowed me to communicate effectively on both the creative and business sides of each of my Film/TV projects and making an effective impact in the first 60 seconds of a presentation or conversation.   Not many producers can do this.  But with the new digital age now impacting the entire scope of the filmmaking process and business, I now refer to myself as an ‘Impact Producer’.  “When Scott walks in the room to pitch and talk business it’s like an explosion of engaging ideas and business initiatives that all lead to intelligent and practical revenue and creative streams of brilliance”, Says his Producer Anne Marie Gillen.

MI:  I’ve never heard of that kind of producer?  But love the sound of it! It sounds explosive!

That’s great to hear!   We live in a world now that if you can’t make an impact in less than 10 seconds in any given business, consumers and people for that matter simply click or glance away saying bye-bye to what ever you just said or offered.  When I walk into the room, I have everyone’s undivided attention with solid ice breakers of human experience and humor.  Then get right down to business.   An Impact producer is someone who can successfully create, implement and execute an explosive campaign for individuals or a team (In my case – filmmakers) that need to devise multiple audience impact strategies.  Using a passionate spirit as the primary fuel cell.  He/She is a master speaker and fundraiser for these campaigns and can effectively secure key partners, affiliates and execute or oversee  all the campaign stages simultaneously (social media, marketing, PR, fundraising, film festival tour and screenings strategies, etc.) and evaluating the level of overall audience engagement across all platforms.  Before, during and after the project has been completed.    

MI:  What other projects are you involved in as a Producer/Writer and creative now?

We are involved in multiple projects in a variety of production stages.  We’ve recently optioned the sequel to Escape from Alcatraz currently titled ‘After Alcatraz – Surviving the Escape’ that was actually written by the son (Kevin Bruce) of J. Campbell Bruce, the original author who wrote the book that was made into the famous movie with Clint Eastwood by Paramount Pictures in the 70s.  We also are in the development stages of a very exciting action/adventure film THE RAINFOREST.  We also have a magical family film MY SILENT VOICE in the packaging phase that’s about a young deaf girl, her love for horses and her heroic journey to the equine winners circle.  We are also in pre-production of a magical Holiday tale REFLECTIONS IN TIME.   A magical film about a homeless boy who meets a very extraordinary eye Doctor whom takes the boy in from the streets of Seattle and helps him establish a new perspective on life through his magical set of antique eye glasses. { Listen to RADIO INTERVIEW.}

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Scott’s Radio Interview with KKNW

 I’m also interfacing with a handful of producers on some very empowering documentary and live action projects that have quite unique themes.  One of my personal favorites is a TV series titled THE ADVENTURES OF SAMMIE DRAKE.  An adventurous children’s live action TV/VOD series that is in development.  This is a captivating story about a young girl who just graduated from the 3rd grade and convinces her parents that she’s old enough to join the family treasure hunting business.  If you remember the adventures of Pippy Longstocking and the illuminating moxy of little Punky Brewster (of the 80s) with a dash of Nancy Drew mystery, then audiences and especially little girls will quickly identify and connect with Sammie and become fans of her and the brave adventures she undertakes.  Doing everything just as good and even better than the boys!   

MI:  Having a current look at your pallet of films you have on the go, it seems most revolve around themes of empowerment, hero journey’s and social issues.

SAC: Without a doubt!  We are all about telling stories that uplift, inspire and empower others to action.  Capestany Films was founded on these principles and believe that creativity has no discrimination (age, gender, disability, etc.).  We also feel that films produced, created and directed by women and members of marginalized groups in particular deserve equal treatment in the press and equal opportunities in the entertainment space.  Which leads me to share another big initiative we have in 2017 for the magazine as a whole (if I may).  Beginning in 2017 this year, 50%+ of the content will be dedicated to projects, stories and events featuring women in front and/or behind the camera + members of marginalized groups.  I was raised by a strong, resilient, outspoken and brave mother that always encouraged us boys to be fair, treat people with dignity and also be transparent.  So I have a very special place in my heart when I see or create stories that touch on these themes and are told from a female perspective.  I’ve never been one to see gender, race, age, disability or whatever when collaborating and conducting my way of life personally or professionally.  I’m the type of guy that just simply sees the best in everyone and especially if they’ve overcome radical odds to achieve their goals.  Everyone in the world has a unique story ready to tell.  Women and African Americans and other groups (LBGT, Disabilites, etc.) have been fighting for equality in Hollywood for decades not to mention in the everyday workforce.  so I’m very pleased to say we’ll remain on the front lines supporting these creatives from a PR and press standpoint.  

MI: Tell us about your vision and new direction you are taking with MEDIA INC MAGAZINE.

SAC:  We are currently laser focused on re-branding the publication and designing effective “Impact” campaigns for our new generation of readers, influencers and strategic partners.  We’ve already partnered with multiple film festivals as their media affiliate providing coverage and connecting with indie filmmakers to help them promote their projects with solid press coverage.   It’s one thing to get a write-up on an unknown blog and another thing to get a write-up in a regional magazine print publication and have a professional digital link coming from that legitimate digital source.  One of the first things we jumped on was the social media platform that this publication had very little exposure on.  We’ve grown our twitter, IG and FB pages 500% since taking over and still primed for fresh new engagement daily.  So being a fresh new print publication in the digital world has worked to our advantage growing our communities and engagers.   We are already becoming a well known media publication outlet both Nationally and Internationally within the Indie film world.  We are already slated to covered Whistler, Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and  Cannes Film Festivals .   Which is allowing us to expand our coverage in new markets.  We are also very excited to add two new segments to the publication; SPORT and ARTIST LIFESTYLE focusing on stories of artists outside their creative lives and also sports stories that are intriguing and original.  Not typical sports reporting, but rather overview of how their leagues and organizations work together to engage the general public.  I have a long standing relationship with most of the Pro (Men’s and Women’s)  and NCAA organizations in Seattle and we will begin with a few great overview editorials for our Spring 2017 issue.  

MI:  What is the current distribution, circulation and frequency of the magazine?

SAC:  We are a quarterly publication circulating around 5K print magazines throughout the Pacific Northwest . We are strategically planning to expand circulation and take the publication nationally and  globally through partnering with international film festivals, industry organizations and sporting organizations. 

MI:  Are you currently hiring writers and editors to help with your editorial and digital platform expansion plan?

SAC:  Yes, we are!  In fact we are meeting with folks at film festivals and industry events in search for highly engaged creative writers that love Indie Film and also seeking and working with digital influencers that dig our approach and eager to help us grow our online presence.   We are also taking original editorial submissions by artists, publicists and producers covering their own film projects as well.  They are encouraged to submit their work to us directly via email 24/7.

You can follow MEDIA INC and CAPESTANY FILMS on Twitter/IG

For Scott’s full Biography – IMDB

Press:  RAINFOREST – Peninsula Daily News

 

 

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