Monday, December 6, 2010

Franco would like to thank The Academy…

At least I hope he get’s the chance to!

From the Academy Award Winning Director of last years, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Danny Boyle sure doesn’t seem to disappoint with his newest: 127 Hours!  James Franco stars in this extraordinary true story about a mountain climber who becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive. The movie has only been released in selected theatres worldwide and in my area, is currently only playing in one measly Toronto theatre. How sad am I? I just don’t have the time at the moment to drive down there to see it, even though, I have to say, I am incredibly desperate to watch it after the reviews I’ve been hearing/reading about! Here are some examples to hopefully get you as excited as I am:

‘127 hours scales the heights of film-making’- USA TODAY
’Outlandishly Entertaining’-NEW YORK TIMES
’Triumphant and Enthralling’- ROLLING STONE
’One of the greatest performances of all time!’
‘James Franco gives a tour-de-force performance’-THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
’Celebratory and Spellbinding from start to finish’- GQ
& received FOUR STARS from Roger Ebert (that's HUGE!)

Personally, I LOVE James Franco as an actor. When I found out about this role, I definitely was very excited for him. He has always tried hard in his past roles, but has never really achieved anything significant. Though, his enthusiasm for acting, willingness to take on challenging projects, and movie star good looks have finally paid off for him by the looks of it. I think this movie will demonstrate the maximum talent that we KNOW Franco is capable of showing us. Much like Johnny Depp becomes Captain Jack Sparrow, Franco will become climber Aaron Ralston, a role which, if played by anyone else, might have just been the story of some guy trapped in a hole.

I’m just going to make sure I brace myself for the scene where Franco ‘cuts off’ his arm. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty squeamish about gore and blood and rumour has it that during the premiere some people actually passed out during the scene. I’m betting that I will need to watch it a few times over before I can truly appreciate the moment with eyes wide open! But squeamish or not, I’m sure the movie does leave you wondering about what YOU would do if you ever found yourself trapped in a similar situation.

The film has been nominated for other prestigious awards already, but will we see it at the Academy Awards? Regardless of popular belief, I personally hope that we see both Danny Boyle and James Franco holding the golden statues while the world gives them a standing ovation! I think Franco finally deserves a moment of glory. (and I haven’t even seen the movie yet!!)

I think it will be a little more than 127 hours before I finally do (I wish it was released closer to me), but I can’t WAIT to critique my pre-movie analysis! Here’s hoping I don’t pass out first!

Here’s the movie trailer, Enjoy! :)
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The 30th Anniversary of John Lennon’s Death

Today we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon, an inspirational icon to us all. Even though I wasn’t around during the Beatles era, I have grown to appreciate their music and have developed a love for the band. I could say that they were to my mom, like the Backstreet Boys were to me, but I still don’t think that that would be a good enough comparison. They were SO much more to people than any boy band could ever come close to being.

So, that being said, today we honour the memory of a remarkable man who was a part of a worldwide phenomenon, leaving behind a legacy of songs reminding people to “Imagine” a better world.

You’re always in our thoughts John! May you continue to Rest In Peace. <3

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Winter Wonderland in the UK!

Surprisingly enough the UK has been under a severe weather alert for the past couple of weeks!! Temperatures in parts of the UK have plummeted to the coldest on record for November! Not to mention, heavy snowfall has put them into a deep freeze! What the heck? I thought that was OUR deal?! 

The worst part of it is that British winters are typically mild, and cities and towns are generally ill-equipped to deal with heavy snowfall. With the worst-hit areas buried under up to a foot and a half of snow, officials and road crews were struggling to keep up. Several local governments were running out of sand and salt — with certain towns racing to their beachfronts to collect extra sand! Unlike in Canada where we spend billions of dollars on our snow removal plans! By the time we wake up in the morning, our streets and sidewalks are ploughed and ready for business! In the UK, EVERYTHING COMES TO A STANDSTILL! literally......! Travellers can say goodbye to open airports and functional highways and roads and HELLLOOOO to major traffic jams and chaos! The funniest thing was when I learned from Nick's dad during our trip to Canadian Tire that he'd like to purchase a snow scraper for his car, so he no longer had to use his credit card to scrape the ice off the windows in the morning!! :O? what? Seriously, this is how unprepared people are for the snow, because they aren't used to good old Canadian winters like we have here! And WE complain? Trust me, we don't have it bad AT ALL when it comes to the big chill.

Britain's weather office has warned that if the cold keeps up through the end of February, this will be the country's coldest winter in three decades. Who woulda thunk it? Maybe now they will re-consider their snow removal budget and tactics! They are definitely in need of some good crisis management!! I sure don't want to see them struggling any longer in snowy and icy  conditions that’s for sure!I have family over there!!!
snowy uk
Even weirder still though is the fact that we, in the Hamilton area, are strangely living in some sort of nook! EVERYWHERE around us is dusted or buried in the white stuff, and yet we always seem to escape the storm!! I don't get it. But I guess I'm not complaining either? Even though Nick is DESPERATE to experience a great Canadian winter (he thinks we're lying when we tell stories of the past!) Remember those days? I wonder if we will actually re-live that again this year!! I guess I WOULD like to see Nick's eyes light up like a child again! haha especially considering the UK stole his glory for the first time that he isn't there to experience it!
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Everybody Needs a Mentor!

As a Political Science Graduate from McMaster University, I entered Mohawk's Public Relations program not knowing what exactly to expect! One thing that I honestly (embarrassingly) did not expect, was the existence of a Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS)! It turns out that there is in fact a CPRS, and with a Hamilton Chapter to boot! But wait, it gets even better! The CPRS also offers a Mentorship Program for students and PR people alike to take part in! Wow..who knew, right? Not me! But I was sure glad to have found out about it! I took a shot and filled out an application for a spot as a mentee in the program, crossed my fingers for approval, and was accepted shortly after (yay!). I have never been happier with my decision to do so! 

In the early weeks of the program, three guests from the CPRS came to speak during our Program Planning class. Ginny Jones, Christina Jean-Pierre, and Frank Florio provided us with an overview of the industry association and introduced students to the CPRS Mentorship Program. The presentation that they gave led me to make one of the most beneficial choices that I possibly could have made. We were told that being a mentee can help us develop personal and professional skills and insights that we will hold onto for a lifetime. Some of the benefits of joining include (as listed on the CPRS website):

-  Access to an intermediate or senior practitioner in your field of interest who can serve as a guide and confidant as you progress in your PR career.
An opportunity to gain valuable industry skills and knowled
  Building essential networking skills, as well as, establishing a network of PR contacts through your mentor.
- Guidance with writing your resume, developing your portfolio or other career advice. 

In addition, mentees are required to attend four out of five mentorship events, and will actually work as a team to plan one of those events for our mentors. Only four out of five events?! Now, that is not a lot to ask and will not at all interfere with school work, if you prioritize your time.  One thing that I have found from being a part of the program is that I want to attend all five events, especially considering that the more involvement you have in this professional community, the better the experience and learning process you get from it! Plus, you come out of it with a mutually beneficial experience combined with an everlasting relationship between you and your mentor. Who doesn't want a mentor, really? I personally believe that whether or not you feel confident in your PR ability and networking skills, consider the mentorship program experience and what you will gain from being a part of it. Networking is SO important in this profession, and being a part of the CPRS community can really help you with that, especially when you attend the events. I have attended two events so far and have been 'wowed' with the experience, conversational value, people I have met and the things that I have learned.  

This is my mentor Mark Gregory, Managing Partner of Locomotion Communications and Public Relations Ltd.: 

The other beauty of the program is that you and your mentor can create your own personalized meeting schedule tailored to your needs!! Whether that be through e-mails, phone calls or face-to-face meetings every two weeks or every month, is up to the two of you! Mark and I meet every other Monday from 9 until 10 in the morning at his office, and also communicate regularly through e-mail. Mark is a wonderful mentor with an extreme passion for the industry, who offers me a plethora of knowledge and experience to help guide me towards my goals. We have had many intelligent conversations that have been incredibly inspirational for the both of us. One of the main messages that I have learned from him so far is: That I CAN, and I WILL! :) Thanks for that Mark! 

And this is a photo of myself, and a few classmates at a CPRS event held at the Burlington Golf and Country Club on November 3, 2010. The event was the first of a three part lecture called "Professional Development: Navigating Your Career" delivered by Roxanne Cramer, President of Cramer and Company.(

For any future PR students reading this blog, I encourage you to take my advice, find a CPRS sector near you and become a mentee when you get the opportunity! For my current classmates not involved in the program, you sure are missing out on a great overall experience, but I still encourage each and every one of you to attend the events, as you will not be disappointed! Strategies and tactics are an essential part of any communications plan. However, developing a set of our OWN strategies and tactics for our personal plans in life are just as important. Since I know that one important strategy is to develop and use networking skills to learn and make career advancements, a GREAT tactic for any PR person in-training would certainly be to take part in the Mentorship Program offered by the Canadian Public Relations Society. It is a privilege to be a part of and you are gauranteed to come of it feeling both enlightened and inspired. Make sure that you DON'T MISS OUT! 

If you want to gather any further information regarding the CPRS and what it has to offer, visit their website at: Tweet This