Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cannes - Headhunter debuts as "Riding with Elvis"

I received a note of a change of the films name as it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. G. Edward Stanley's autobiographical production with had the title "Headhunter" changed its name to "Riding with Elvis". I actually like that name better as it is a clearer description of the impact that Elvis Presley had on G. David Stanley's life.

Nextel All Star Challenge

The Nextel All Star Challenge is somewhat of a homecoming for many of the NASCAR drivers and it is a "permanent" all-star game "race" which is held every year of Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, just outside of Charlotte.

The top Nascar drivers in the world compete for a $1 million dollar prize. It is an exciting night usually filled with some tight racing and wrecks as there are three segments of 20 laps each, so it is more like a sprint to win.

The week here in Charlotte in the Spring that includes the Nextel Cup and the Coca Cola 600 is called Speed Week. We have a "Speed Street" in downtown Charlotte that includes most of the major sponsors of NASCAR and three stages of musci.

This year, I was working at the race handling the suites for NASCAR, Speed Channel/Fox Sports, Purina, CarQuest, and others. The suites were along turn 4 which is the last turn before the finish line. It is an exciting place to be sitting. The suites are glass enclosed with seating for about 50 people and come with their own bartenders and buffet.

Being a concierge is about a 10 hour day. This job is part host, part security, and part maintenance. In addition to playing host, things go on in the suites from fixing the air conditioning systems to painting and putting up logos and artwork, to setting up the televisions (and handling the remote controls) for each suite.

I had a chance to meet and mingle within most of these suites this week and got to meet some of the event planners and sports marketing people who are responsibile for making sure their company's clients are having a great experience.

Cannes - D. Edward Stanley and The Headhunter

While I was working on the film Leatherheads (George Clooney - December 2007 release) and working my way beck to contacts within the film industry, I received a call from a friend from San Francisco that I needed to talk to a business associate and mentor of hers, named D. Edward Stanley.

I was not really familiar with him or his name. She told me to go to his website, and to look at some of the projects he was working on and to give him a call to introduce myself. I was somewhat busy with filming "Leatherheads" and in the midst of working on working on this blog, so I did not get a chance to call right away. David was heading out on a long motorcycle ride. About 10 days later, as I was sitting in Starbucks, I called him and spoke to him for about thirty minutes about film production and business plans, building teams and executioin of those plans.

David turned out to be one of the sharpest people I have spoken too. He also turned out to be the step brother of Elvis Presley and had actually grown up in Graceland since the age of four and being one of Elvis's bodyguards at age 16. He had just completed ab autobiographical movie called "Headhunter" which he was promoting at the May 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It was a movie about his life as Elvis' bodyguard and the experiences he encountered on tour with Elvis. D. Edward Stanley was "The Headhunter".