GPFO 25th Anniversary

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Have you been anxiously awaiting the new sound stages and studio, SUNCENTER or are you just now hearing about it? I remember, maybe about a decade ago, talk of a Hollywoodesque, state-of-the-art sound stage for big budget movie making in Philadelphia, but I didn’t keep up on the progress. Well, this premiere film & TV production facility is here now, (final completion by the beginning of the year) and it’s located only 10-15 min south of the airport, perfect for ushering in & out LA celebs.

The Greater Philadelphia Film Office (GPFO) threw a spectacular 25th Anniversary party

in one of the sound stages on Sunday night (11.14.2010). Feastivities catered the event and obviously these people understand movie magic. The decor, the accent touches, the menu choices, the service and layout and design of the space – all created an atmosphere of fun, elegance and panache!

FOOD NOTE: Plenty of lovely eats. My choice for best butlered was the Smoked Chicken Bruchetta (like a pate). Instead of stations of food, Feastivities set up large, rectangular linen covered bars with stools, servers took your order off a menu. The portions are rightfully small, no limitations - order all choices or more than one of a favorite: Smoked Brisket Slider w/sweet potatoe fries and chipotle aioli, / Pangasius Fish served in a misoshitake broth w/wasabi mashed / Chicken Caesar Salad served in an Asiago crisp cup w/edible flower garnish / Butternut Squash Soup with Broccoli Rabe and Provolone Panini / Orechiette Martini - pasta shells and alfredo sauce with tomatoes / Mini grilled pressed Cuban Sandwich with homemade plantain chips. Desserts: Smore's, chocolate covered baked cheesecake, pies on sticks.

I created a facebook photo page – click HERE with more shots of the party, the celebrities, the pitchers and screenwriter finalists (sorry, I couldn’t fit everyone into this post) And I would expect GPFO website will soon link to pictures, as there were no shortage of professional photographers in attendance.

The VIP party was preceded by a series of GPFO events in the Suncenter Studio Offices. Notice the cozy background of the conference room. Pictured are the actors (Annette Kaplafka, Christopher Mann, Peter Patrikios, Karen Vicks) that read from the 5 scripts chosen as finalists in the
“Shoot In Philadelphia” Screenwriting Competition:
Mintz Meats, written by Steve Alten, The
3rd Best Thing, written by Katie Hennicke, Third Ball Kill, written by Steve Hochman, Experimentally Yours, written by Tom Turner, Sweet Jane, written by Tom Turner

About 20 pages or so were read from each screenplay, just enough to get a sense of plot and tone.

I’d like to offer Congratulations to all the writers fo
r getting this far with their works, particularly the Grand Prize winner – Tom Turner (Sweet Jane) (pictured). Long time associate of GPFO, Brian Wade was once again instrumental in the execution of the day’s events.
Next was PhillyPitch 2010 - Pre-selected screenwriters/filmmakers pitch their project to a panel of high-powered industry players for feedback and critiques.

Panel Members:(click names for bio
s) Derek Dressler, Mark Earlbaum, Andrew Greenblatt, Joe Gangemi, Mark Rosenthal, Ernie Vecchione, Patricia Weiser, Dawn Wolfrom.

These guys pitched an animated Sopranos like series call The Unwise Guys. The main comments from the panel were, tell me what it is about this series that demands it be told in animation, rather than live
action, as animation is so expensive to produce? The pitchers really couldn’t come up with an answer other than it’s more comedic than The Sopranos. They’d launch into funny tidbits about the series, but nothing that couldn’t be done with real people.

The pitch behind Life with Alicia is that the pitcher, Tatiana, would like to play Alicia. The panel was divided on whether or not you should lead with that in a pitch. It was not a deal breaker for Tatiana, who like anyone else, just wants backing and to get her work out there. Part of the story behind the series Life with Alicia is the struggle of being a working mom who often doesn’t have child care; and as life imitates art, Tatiana’s very adorable daughter was in attendance.
I caught these two pitchers together but they had separate pitches. Denise pitched The Heart Sees No Color a story about an inter-racial couple meeting and falling in love. The conflict coming from their respective families disapproval; and a back story of their kids trying to organize a charity race in Philadelphia. The main comment from the panel was, is this enough conflict for a whole movie, in today’s society where mixed couples are seen everyday? Basically, they felt it would ultimately depend on how well the script read.

Tom pitched a film titled The Romero Effect, taken from horror film director, George Romero. After the pitch, panel member Derek Dressler felt an apt description of the movie would be Dawn of the Dead meets The Office. But Joe Ganemi disagreed with him, saying he felt Tom was not pitching a comedic or satirical screenplay, but more of a realistic, dramatic horror film. He was correct, the problem being as soon as the average person hears Zombie, you laugh.

Walter and Rachel pitched a half hour puppet sitcom called Off The Leash (by the way, Rachel is a puppet maker) The basis of the plot has the puppets working as animators on a weekly series, so it’s like art inside art. For some reason, although we’ve all loved The Muppet Show for decades, the panel was stumped and just couldn’t get their minds wrapped around the concept. Which to me means these two will probably be the next big thing and then everyone will be producing puppet sitcoms.
Liz was amazing, not only did she have the most compelling screenplay by the sound of it, but she was a master pitcher! She used this excited little girl voice and was able to tell her whole story, super quick, throwing in very funny asides without missing a beat. The screenplay is called Red Coats about a group of guys who are obsessed with portraying Revolutionary War reenactments. The protagonist is having a midlife crisis and his psychiatrist recommends he change things up by leading his men to victory during the next reenactment, even though he’s the general for the British side. They’re a lot more layers, but you get the gist. One of the panel members saw Paul Rudd as the lead, but I think it would be a perfect vehicle for Kelsey Grammer.

In addition, about an hour after the pitch, I saw this woman in the ladies room, she was on the phone so I didn’t interrupt her, but I swear this is the same woman, Liz, in total party transformation. She didn’t have the little girl voice on the phone, so I think that was feigned for the pitch. If anyone can confirm or deny, I’d love to know.
(answered as of 11/22 see comments)

Next they brought out the big guns for the TV Script to Screen panel discussion.
Panel: (click for bios, although most are well known) Jeff Erb, Leslie Greif, Jules Lictman, Rebecca Creskoff, Danny DeVito, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson and Tony Danza.

The idea behind this panel was to give advice to aspiring artists on getting behind the scene, in the industry of television; whether your interest be as a writer, director, producer or actor.

(pictured rt with Tony Danza, writer Dan Reilly, Parisi Award winner)

I've been to a number of these types of panel discussions; famous people sitting across from you telling you how they got started, it creates a lot of energy and excitement! But the bottom line is always the same - hard work, determination, luck and relationships. There is no secret, nor are there ever any industry biggies coming out to cast, interview or read scripts in hopes of discovering some raw talent.

So, I’ll be the talent scout. I met two actors and a new filmmaker at the party, all three of which had a lot of charisma!

(lft to rt ) Actor/Producer, Bryan Payerl and Director (EPIC Productions) Jim Cocoliato. They are currently doing the festival circuit with their mini-feature entitled Out of Focus.


Sonia Vitullo, who has already gotten a break doing Forensic Files playing a strung out junkie. I haven’t seen it, but if this delightful and funny girl can play sullen and desperate, that’s good acting!

(pictured:Sharon Pinkenson, Joan Bressler & GP Resident winner, Katie Hennicke)

Proper adulation must go out to Executive Director, Sharon Pinkenson and Filmmaker Program Director, Joan Bressler, both women have been at the GPFO helm for 18 of the 25 years; committed to the mission of economic development and growth of the regional film production industry in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Read Carrie Rickey Inquirer article on the big business of making film in Philadelphia since the establishment of the GPFO.

Philly Events Calendar

ADD YOUR EVENT for FREE! - which includes SOCIAL MEDIA BLASTS!  Click AGENDA VIEW to see complete list of happenings.

Featured Post


Tinsel & Tine Winners for Preview Screening Contest Guest on The LAMB Podcast Lambcast #470: CAPTAIN MARVEL w/ Rich Kirkh...

Food n Film: BURNT

Food n Film: BURNT
Bradley Cooper has more than charisma, he has an over abundance of Chi, which radiates out from him; so for me, this role as temperamental and damaged chef Adam Jones, who also inspires great love and admiration from those around him, works on the level of characterization. In fact, I think he's among a very short list of actors who would be able to pull off being so self-involved and yet likable. Doesn't hurt that he really speaks French too! READ POST

Food n Film: CHEF

Food n Film: CHEF
Much of the movie centers around the father/son relationship, and how much they learn from each other. But the real star of the film is all the food preparation, every other scene made me groan with want of everything up on that screen! Particularly the perfectly roasted and rubbed brisket, the crispy fat of the pork belly, sizzling bacon and the much ballyhooed Chocolate Lava Cake. READ POST


The key to deciphering both the city it beautifully depicts and the man who eats it best - City of Gold

By Tinsel & Tine Contributor Denine Gorniak (The Bicycle-Chef)

What Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times food critic/writer, has done for food writing journalism and for the restaurants that he loves, the movie, City of Gold has done for Jonathan Gold and Los Angeles and its surrounding environs – it has planted taco covered kisses on them... READ POST

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE


...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.READ POST

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE
Six months into my 38th year of this life, I had my first panic attack. I didn't know that's what it was until months later. Symptom after symptom starting piling up on me until there were days I could no longer move my arms or neck. The doctors told me I was suffering from an auto-immune condition that they felt was most likely Lupus. And so began my much deeper journey and exploration into the world of spirit, alternative medicine, yoga, meditation and Eat, Pray, Love. READ POST


With a film like this, food plays a main character in the story and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the film's Food Stylist, Janine Kalesis.READ POST

Food n Film: WAITRESS

Food n Film: WAITRESS
In this 2007 film, Keri Russell stars as Jenna - a desolate diner waitress seeking solace in the art of pie-making. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she’s eager to escape her husband and her small-town hell and sets about to make a run for it by entering an out of town pie baking contest. READ POST


Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu! READ POST


I participated in WalkMS Philly on 4/30/16
Thank you to the readers who donated to the cause - It's not too late to support! Click badge below

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

Tinsel & Tine on

Tinsel & Tine on
Really love this platform, you feature your stuff and other people's stuff you follow, and it all configures like the front page of a newspaper. Click to see what I mean

Visit Our YouTube Channel

Visit Our YouTube Channel
View Q & A's with visiting Filmmakers to Philly

Philly Food and Film

Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


Cross Content Blogs


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tinsel & Tine was nominated for a VBA



group of 10,000 women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving comments

Women Online

The Blogstress Network

The Blogstress Network
Female Bloggers Unite

Contributor from 2010 - 2012

About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

Camera Tips


  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP