*

 

2.02.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: David Magdael

"I am always on the lookout for stories that we have not heard about or are still in the margins."



Hello, good people of the internet! It is time, once again, to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is David Magdael.


Who are you?

Hey, I am David Carlyle Magdael, President/CEO of David Magdael & Associates, Inc. -- a full service entertainment and public relations firm specializing in documentary and independent films.

I am the son of Angelina and Benny Magdael. Mom was born in San Francisco and Dad was born in the Visayan Islands in the Philippines -- Numancia was his province.

What are you?

• Business owner; problem solver; strategic planner;
• Public relations and marketing strategist for films;
• Co-Director of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival since 1997
• Graduate from UC Davis - Bossy - Cow Cow
• Grad School at UC Berkeley -- Go Bears!
• Advocate for Asian American filmmakers, artists and talent
• Advocate for all diverse filmmakers, artists and talent
• Soulful House Head
• Old Skool soul loving soul music, R&B, jazz, disco, house, classical and music that makes you feel good all over.
• Former mobile disco DJ
• Proud out gay man living with my partner over 27 years (in gay years that's x3 -- 81 years).
• Film lover
• Asian American
• Filipino American
• Ex accordion player

Where are you?

90015 - #DTLA. And often on an American Airlines flight between LAX and JFK

Where are you from?
Born and raised in the 209 - The Big Valley.
Stockton, CA in the 95206 - South Stockton! Corona Park!

What do you do?

Plan and implement marketing/PR/press strategies for films -- mostly in the documentary realm and then the Asian/Asian American arena for mainstream films. Documentaries speak to my soul, as I am always on the lookout for stories that we have not heard about or are still in the margins. I am at the Oscars® every year with nominated projects and filmmakers. Side note: I had always dreamed of being at the Oscars since I was a kid, and now I am there yearly either as a guest or working a client on the red carpet. Fortunate to be living the dream and to have a job I love. I am not a creative type -- I am the film audience -- so being a PR person for films fits me to a T... I have worked on nearly 400 films over a span of 18 years. dmagpr.com (shameless plug)

I speak and share resources/ideas/knowledge/experiences as an advisor to places like the Sundance Labs during the summer at the Sundance institute. I participate with a number of other institutions and film festivals around the world including the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca, SXSW, IDFA, Hot Docs, TIFF, Palm Springs, AFI Festival, Traverse City, Ashland and others. Listening and hearing about new stories, ideas and issues that filmmakers are exploring through their art really energizes me. Meeting new talented filmmakers inspires me.

Also, I often get called on to work on the larger films that have like Asian movie stars like Jet Li, Chow Yun Fan, Jackie Chan, Simon Yam, Jay Chou, Dong-gun Jang and others... As one of the few Asian American-owned entertainment PR firms, we often get those film projects and our relationships with the Asian/Asian American entertainment media is very strong. Our media just wants to be invited to the table and be part of the mix -- often studios forget about them. So, when I get the opportunity to bring them into the fold, they totally bring it and give the coverage.

My involvement with the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival through Visual Communications has been over 20 years since 1997. I get excited to help incubate and lift up our own artists and storytellers. It's important that we as a community grow and nurture our filmmakers and actors and artists. We need our own artists to tell our stories and make our movies. And we have the film festival as an avenue where our filmmakers get to exhibit their talent and their films. Every year, it gets better and audiences get hungrier and larger.

I am also one of the founders and organizers of the Asian Pacific Filmmakers Experience at Park City. This yearly gathering since 2002 takes place every first Sunday of Sundance in January. Last month's edition marked 14 years of this and was so inspiring to meet and see over 200 Asian/Asian American filmmakers and artists and actors and industry leaders to lift each other up and to come up with strategies and encouragement to keep our film projects out there.

This year, the Greg Pak-coined hash tag #AsAmCreatorRollCall was our theme and it truly underscored what we, as a commuinty need to do. We need to name check our own talent and artists so that the industry knows who these content creators are and also so that our own community knows who our creators are so that we can support them. Next year will be our 15th year -- so watch out! Come up to Park City and join us.

What are you all about?

Living Life to its fullest is what I am all about! It's way too short, and when it's done, well...

I am also about bringing opportunities to others who may not have had those and hopefully inspire them to their full potential. I am also about lifting our people up to proudly recognize themselves as Asian Americans and that they have something to contribute. Especially those in the entertainment arena who are in decision making roles -- would love for some of them to stand up and own their Asian American-ness. It's a great time to be Asian/Asian American in Hollywood, and we as a community need to embrace this moment and bring our stories and talent out there.

As one of the three Asian Americans and one of the handful of "people of color" who own and operate an entertainment and film publicity company, I hope that we can inspire others to go into this field of film and art. We need our voices and our perspectives, as they are unique, important and extremely valuable. I try to mentor folks along the way to hopefully get them to think about film publicity as a career. We need more of us out here.

I am also about staying woke, speaking up, and continually trying to keep encouraging this new generation of artists to hone their craft and keep making projects that reflect our lives.

What makes you angry?

People who don't "recognize" really make me angry: 1. Those who don't recognize the fact there are rich stories from so many different perspectives -- not just one point of view. 2. Our own Asian American folks in high positions who don't recognize that they have an opportunity to step out and make a difference, but they choose not to. It amazes me often that our own folks try to shy away from other Asian Americans -- only to find us all together at the end of the day. 3. Those who don't recognize they can mentor someone else so that we can grow our own community.

Other things that make angry:

• The white-washing of Asians in films;
• The fact that film studios are lagging in diverse stories and storytellers. Every year, people complain about #oscarssowhite, when the problem goes down to the studios -- they are at the core of developing and releasing films. Where are those stories? Where is the casting? We need our stories.
• Drunk people;
• Stupid acting people;
• Racism
• People who don't respect others or themselves;
• People without empathy
• Bullies