Hollywood on the Potomac
Washingtonians are addicts……..no, not that kind. Washingtonians are addicted to Lists. Why else would hundreds of guests pour into the The National Building Museum on a wintry night for Washington Business Journal’s Book of Lists celebration that brings together “the most influential, most connected, and most informed people in Washington?”
Sponsors and top executives kicked off the New Year by recognizing hundreds of power players representing every local industry from health care and technology to accounting and real estate. The event was filled with lots of networking opportunities, cocktails, photo stations, elegant bars, and Ridgewells’ new 2015 menu.
The Grand Budapest Hotel wasn’t always that way – grand, that is. According to Peter McPartlin, whose Paintbrush production company produced the Oscar nominated film, it was actually shot in a vacant, run-down department store ……. Görlitzer Warenhaus department store to be exact …… and in Germany, far more than a stone’s throw from Budapest …… 903.5 km to be exact.
“The first thing that really comes up in filmmaking is you have to decide where you want to shoot the movie and a lot of that is driven by tax incentives,” McPartlin told us. “For Grand Budapest, it was Germany. Wes Anderson (director) found this fantastic department store and of course has to have it, has to have it!! You look at the picture and you know it’s a Wes Anderson movie. Come to find out, the department store was in bankruptcy. The first idea from Wes of course was ‘just buy it’ and then sell it. I didn’t think we wanted to be in the real estate business with Görlitzer. This actual department store, just by Wes going the extra mile, ended up being a huge blessing and it was really cool.”
Tom Toles doesn’t mince words; he doesn’t have to. The Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post takes on social and political issues with art…….such as deflategate, the sports scandal currently surrounding the New England Patriots as they head into the Super Bowl to pair off with the Seattle Seahawks on February 1st. Some think the scandal is just hot air; Toles thinks it’s food for fodor. #DeflateGate
We asked Tom how he gets inspired and if he ever gets creative block: “Inspiration is like the grain of sand in an oyster. The world is full of irritants. You try to make pearls out of them,” he said. “I feel like I have creative block every time I sit down to draw. It is the demon that must be battled and beaten.”