Hollywood on the Potomac

'The Martini Shot'

April 5, 2015

We weren’t surprised that George Pelecanos has a short Bucket List; after all, he is an award-winning author as well as a producer for The Wire. With 19 books under his belt, multiple producing credits and non-stop offers, it’s no wonder the list is short. It’s impressive though: “I’d like to direct,” he told Hollywood on the Potomac at a book party in his honor at The Woodley hosted by Andy & Mike Manatos, Jim & Ted Pedas and a Q&A with Garrett Graff, Editor Politico Magazine. “I think I could do a good job at that. And, I’d like to make a Western.”

Pelecanos is a proud Washingtonian of Greek descent who started working with his dad when he was 11 delivering food orders from his diner.  He has worked as a line cook, dishwasher, bartender, and woman’s shoe salesman before publishing his first novel in 1992.  “I was a kid,” he told us reminiscing about working with his dad. “It was a turbulent and exciting time for a boy.”  Those experiences were the impetus for his crime writing based on the underbelly of Washington.

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House of Cards Designer

April 2, 2015

“I have not met Dr. Biden,” New York Designer Alvin Valley told Hollywood on the Potomac just prior to her arrival at Ann Hand Boutique in Georgetown for a special trunk show in his honor.

Often referred to as The King of Pants, the Cuban-American was recently appointed to the White House’s Initiative on Educational Excellence to work with and inspire Hispanics of heritage, like himself.  “The initiative focuses on empowering Hispanic students to make new choices. A huge amount of Latinos go into the Army or Marines, but this initiative is working on encouraging them to get higher education and to dream big,” he recently remarked on how he hopes to encourage Hispanics.

Not to diminish that initiative, but guests were more interested in his affiliation with Season 3 of House of Cards for which he designed the wardrobes: “I met with Robin Wright. Most of the time I work very closely with the person who is wearing them.”

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A Cautionary Tale

March 29, 2015

Imagine, if you will, that you and a colleague are working on a project and a month or so later you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a maelstrom. That’s exactly what happened to Neal Broffman and colleague Elisa Gambino while on a shoot for Johnson and Johnson’s maternal and infant health and their global initiative in Africa in March of 2013.  The shoot was like any other shoot and would have continued to be such had they not also been working alongside Sanjeet Tripathi.  We’ll connect the dots.

Broffman and  Gambino are two former longtime CNN international journalists based out of CNN’s London, Rome and Moscow bureaus for more than a decade. They covered revolutions, upheaval and human triumph across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. They subsequently created One Production Place with a collaborative approach to film-making grounded in their vast experience for a unique artistic vision. But what happened in March of 2013 was not on their storyboard.

“The day we came back from the shoot, Sanjeet went back to New York and Elisa and I went back to Atlanta. We had worked together for a couple of weeks,” Broffman told Hollywood on the Potomac. “It was on that day we got back that was the day Sanjeet found out that his brother Sunil had gone missing. We offered as much emotional support as possible and helped with some video work while they were looking for Sunil.”  Both Broffman and Gambino followed the story for a month from Atlanta.

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