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Renowned movie publicist shows how to create film industry buzz

Loyola press release - November 8, 2010

One of Hollywood’s most renowned publicists, Rob Harris, will speak at Loyola University New Orleans on Monday, Nov. 8, giving an insider’s scoop on public relations in the film industry, including on-set wrangling of some of the industry’s biggest stars.

Harris will present a creative concepts class at 1:30 p.m. in the Monroe Library’s Multimedia Room 2. At 5 p.m., he will discuss “Careers and Entrepreneurship in Film/Writing,” in Monroe Hall’s Nunemaker Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public.

According to Jim Gabour, digital filmmaking instructor and artist-in-residence at Loyola, unit publicists provide a conduit between producers, cast, crew and the media during film shoots. By generating ongoing publicity during actual production, UPs help create buzz on films and spark potential audience interest prior to a film’s release.

Harris has worked as a UP on major motion picture films such as “Gladiator,” “Perfect Storm,” “Men in Black II,” “Hannibal,” “The Bucket List,” “Frost/Nixon” and “Men Who Stare at Goats,” among others. He also served as publicity manager on films as diverse as “Hotel Rwanda” and “Raising Arizona.”

Harris began writing for television in 1977 with the classic series “Laverne & Shirley.” In 1981, he became head publicity writer for 20th Century Fox and has since then gone on to become one of the most prolific UPs in America. Harris is a former vice president of publicity for Gramercy Pictures and is a member of the Motion Picture Academy. He is also a former nominee for the Les Mason Award, the Publicists Guild’s highest honor. Most recently, he finished work on a book, “A Year on Location,” detailing his international travels and intense work on five major films in a year.

For more information, contact Sean Snyder in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at smsnyder@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.