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 Producer and Indie Film business executive 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 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 Women In Film, gender equality and diversity throughout Hollywood. “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 the 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 invited trusted film industry colleague, film financier and Producers Guild of America member ANNE MARIE GILLEN into the fold to further support him in his quest to promote and connect with emerging and high profile Women in Film in Hollwood. “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. I’m eager to focus my attention this year in building a new team that will support and stand behind the new branding of the publication including my ongoing advocacy for Women In Film and diversity within the creative space. 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 those spaces. With the ambition to eventually offer more of an international publication online to compliment and grow our print publication from its original roots in the Pacific Northwest.
MI: Tell us more about the new direction of the publication and how it’s fitting into the new digital media space.
SAC: One of the first things we tackled was enhancing our online social media engagement component for our readers. We are now platforming our brand and editorial content aggressively and consistently on twitter. Many of our followers and engagers are some of the industry’s most active and vocal supporters of our primary editorial content coverage – Women In Film + Diversity in the Indiefilm space. Which helps with the growth of our audience and exposure for our partners. With industry news and press coverage PR now primarily being streamlined through the various digital platforms on smartphones and tablets, our plan is to continue to grow our audience through these new technologies. Secondly, we have launched a series of interactive social experiences and events for our community through LIVE broadcasting and monthly mixers at world wide film festivals in cities around the world.
MI: How did you get involved in the Film/TV business?
SAC: Well, shortly after attending a Sundance Film Festival in the early 2000s, 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 and bucking traditional ways of creating and presenting visual arts. I found a way to apply my business background to this newly discovered world of brilliant creative artists and help them. That’s when the producer was born. 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. Unfortunately, there is a very low number of indie filmmakers that know much about the business side of the industry. It’s mostly all about art and expression for them. It’s radically improved in the last 5 years with the explosion of digital technology tools now available for creatives to create, market and share their content by themselves. So the timing was perfect for me when I arrived into the scene.
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 film projects are you involved in as a Producer now?
SAC: My team and I are involved in multiple projects in a variety of production stages. Currently I’m attached as a Co-Executive Producer on a very powerful wildlife documentary called THE LAST ANIMALS. The Director Kate Brooks brought me into the fold to help and enhance the social impact fundraising campaign that’s currently underway prior to going to international distribution. Incredibly eye opening story about the illegal Ivory and Rhino tusk trades written by Academy Award Winner of “Best Feature Documentary” (The COVE) scribe MARK MONROE.
I’m also slated to work along side Executive Producer MATT MALEK at Foxtail Entertainment who recently EP’d the indy film ‘To the Bone’ (NETFLIX) starring Keanu Reeves and Lily Collins which was nominated for the Grand Jury Award at Sundance this year.
Capestany Films is also in the development stages of a very exciting action/adventure film THE RAINFOREST and a magical family film MY SILENT VOICE that’s about a young deaf girl, her love for horses and her heroic journey to the equine winners circle.
One of my personal favorites is an adventurous live action TV series titled THE ADVENTURES OF SAMMIE DRAKE that I’m creator and writer on. It’s a story about a young 9-year 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. Sammie’s bold and brave spirit allows her to do everything just as good and even better than the boys highlighting our support and advocacy of gender equality. We are also developing both an APP and VR interactive products with this series similar to the Dora the explorer brand.
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 have already covered or been invited to cover Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and Cannes Film Festivals this year. 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 through new media.
MI: What is the current distribution, circulation and frequency of the magazine?
SAC: We are a FREE quarterly print publication circulating around 5K+/- throughout the Pacific Northwest and West Coast Cities (Seattle, Portland, LA and global film festivals). We are strategically planning to expand circulation and take the publication to other creative markets through partnering with domestic and international film festivals, industry organizations and entertainment organizations.
All photos, images, soundbites and writings of Scott A. Capestany are COPYRIGHTED and protected under US Copyright laws.
Scott is represented by Beverly Hills lawfirm Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, LLP
For Scott’s full Biography – IMDB
Press: RAINFOREST – Peninsula Daily News