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Anderson Cooper at PromaxBDA conference
Spike Lee with his PromaxBDA award

Anderson Cooper at PromaxBDA conference
Anderson Cooper at PromaxBDA conference

Anderson Cooper Gets Another Show,
Spike Lee Gets Achievement Award

EVERAL distinguished personalities, including Elmore Leonard, Spike Lee, and Anderson Cooper, brought inspiration to the annual PromaxBDA conference in June at the New York Hilton. PromaxBDA is the leading global association for marketing, promotion and design professionals in the entertainment industry.

In a Q&A with Erica Hill, co-anchor of The Early Show on CBS, Anderson Cooper said heís happiest doing multiple jobs. Besides reigning on CNN, heís prepping to executive produce and host a daytime syndicated talk show in the fall.

"Daytime TV is good when we can share a lot and meet interesting people," he said. "Itís another way to tell stories."

He wonít leave news, which heís very passionate about. Heíll continue to do that on CNN. What he really loves as a reporter, he said, is going out in the field, covering wars and disasters.

"Weíll have enough daytime shows to cover a week, so I can still travel for my CNN show" where heís executive producer as well as anchor.

What exactly does an executive producer do?

"Iíve learned the EP doesnít do very much," he cracked.

Next day TV interviewer Charlie Rose queried Spike Lee. The film producer said he does everything on a shoot. Heís involved in the script, locations, the point of view and tons of interviews to promote the product.

"Iím not an objective documentary filmmaker," he said. "Michael Moore definitely has a viewpoint, and so do I."

Lee is an award-winning writer/director/producer/actor of independent film. He talked about how the Native Americans have been shortchanged by the media, and blamed John Wayne and director John Ford for portraying them not as humans but as beasts and savages.

"The media played a big role in the dehumanization and degradation of the native people," he said. "The Battle of Big Horn is a story I want to do. But if you regard the Native Americans as savages, then you know what kind of movie itís going to turn out to be. Itís a matter of viewpoint."

Spike Lee feels he should have won the 1989 Academy Award for his Do the Right Thing. His film was nominated but no cigar. After 22 years, it still hurts.

As he exclaimed, "Who won Best Picture? Driving Miss Motherfucking Daisy! Whoís watching that film today? Twenty-two years later nobodyís watching that film."

The vice president and CEO of PromaxBDA, Jonathan Block-Verk, came out to placate Lee with the Lifetime Achievement Award. It may not be an Oscar, but itís the top prize of the PromaxBDA Conference.

"Spike Lee is a premiere filmmaker and creative innovator who has transformed the storytelling landscape with his groundbreaking films," Block said.

"Iím honored to receive this award ó but Iím not dead yet," Lee replied.

Next year PromaxBDA will move west. The convention will be held June 12-14 at LA Live.


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