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!
Scott A. Capestany: Thanks. When the ownership group approached me, the timing just happened to be perfect. I’m eager to focus my attention with the new appointment in building a new editorial and mobile support 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. The ambition is to eventually offer more of an international scope of entertainment + media related content to our publication online to compliment and grow our print publication still in circulation 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 – Indie Film + Women In Film + Diversity in the entertainment space. Which helps with the growth of our audience and exposure for our partners and advertisers. 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 are aggressively partnering with top international and domestic film festivals as their exclusive Media partner. The partnerships and press coverage we have in place at high profile indiefilm meccas and markets such as Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, American Film Market, Seattle International Film Festival and Whistler International Film Festival to mention a few, help bridge the gap of emerging filmmakers and creatives with the rapidly evolving media world. Showcasing unique aspects of their festivals and events daily on our online platforms (twitter @MediaIncMag) and quarterly in print issues help connect more people to these unique film festivals and markets. We are also slated to launch a series of interactive social experiences and events for our community through LIVE stream broadcasting and monthly mixers at our partners and film festivals around the world.
MI: How did you get involved in the Film/TV business?
SAC: Shortly after attending a Sundance Film Festival a while back, I found myself drawn to the energy of this extraordinary tribe of creatives called ‘Indie Filmmakers’. They all seemed to have this contagious “rebel” almost “maverick” approach to getting things done. Doing what ever took with limited resources to get a film made, find an audience, buyer and move to the next project swiftly. Thinking outside the box and bucking the traditional ways of creating and presenting visual arts was what really drew me in. 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 very much about the business side of the industry. It’s mostly all about art and expression for creatives. It’s radically improved in the last five 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. Many people dropped out of the entertainment industry business because of the lighting speed technology and the time it takes to develop and foster professional relationships. So it’s really opened it up for new emerging creatives that understand the new digital landscape and are leveraging this technology to grow the “New Hollywood”. You can now pitch a complete stranger at a film market, festival or conference and within days they are investing and often times partnering with you in your endeavor. Technology has helped bridge the gap of uncertainty in our business. Content is King in this business more than ever before. With the emergence of digital distribution, everyone is looking for contact all all platforms and it’s more easy in today’s landscape to get projects pushed along to production if the relationships are there. The demand for content is unparalleled from any other time in movie making history. Netflix and Amazon combined are in the process of spending close to $10 Billion dollars for 2017 and likely to increase that aggressive content acquisition well into the future. So 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 of movie making. 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 since they came out and have stayed well ahead of the curve within the new digital landscape. Especially when it comes to engaging decision makers at the studio and network level. They most all have brilliant tech minds and quite savvy withing the new Hollywood digital landscape. So I speak their language quite well. Applying and harnessing the latest technology allows me to navigate the terrain with ease and lightning speed efficiency. 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 world now can be produced on screen for worldwide audiences and viewed at the touch of a button 24/7. And now in this quite extraordinary time, at a fraction of what it cost 5-10-15 years ago.
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 including our headlining project which is an action/adventure thriller feature film THE RAINFOREST . (See story on page 15). It’s a story about a group of international explorers and scientists that set out to a mysterious Rainforest to investigate a series of tribal legends, riddles and search for a ancient lost civilization myth. We also are working on 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 favorite projects that I’m a creator on is an adventurous TV series titled THE ADVENTURES OF SAMMIE DRAKE. 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, audiences and especially younger kids will quickly identify and connect with Sammie and her brave adventures. Sammie’s bold and brave spirit allows her to do everything the boys can do 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 “Editorial 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 globally distributed 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 700% 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 Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Seattle International Film Festival and the American Film Market this Fall. We are also very excited to add a new segment beginning with this publication – SPORTS. We’ll be doing editorials that have a new media focus within major organizations like the Pac-12 Network (See page 33) whom are expanding their digital new media footprint and audiences using the power of technology.
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). You can now find us on the racks (just to the right as you walk in the door) at LA’s largest Indie bookstore in Hollywood BOOK SOUP on sunset Boulevard. We are strategically planning to expand circulation and take the publication to other markets through partnering with domestic and international film festivals, industry organizations and entertainment entities that support Indie Filmmaking.
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