Blast Off to Mars
What it’s like to cover a Hollywood movie press junket.
After beating early morning rush hour traffic, I finally arrived at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California. I had my questions ready for the cast and crew of the movie, Mars Needs Moms.
I was covering a press junket for the movie, which “invades” theatres on Friday, March 11. I couldn’t wait to meet the actors in the movie I had just seen the night before at the Universal CityWalk Cinema in IMAX 3D®!
Members of the press were provided with a delicious “only-served-on-Mars” breakfast right before we were called to the conference room. The delicious "UFO" scrambled eggs, the scrumptious sausages covered with Mars' red dust (peppers) and the red bacon really satisfied my appetite!
Seth Green (Milo), Simon Wells (director and co-writer), and Robert Zemeckis (producer) walked up to the stage and took their seats in front of a banner showing the surface of Mars. I marveled at how performance capture allowed 36-year-old Green to portray 9-year-old Milo!
I raised my hand to ask a question, and when the woman holding the microphone finally gave me the hint that I would be next, they called “time’s up.” I was a little disappointed, but my questions were answered during the roundtables.
I had thought at a round table, the tables would be round, but the cast and crew actually sat behind a rectangular table to answer questions from the press. Roundtable is a term used for when several reporters are conducting interviews together. It has nothing to do with the shape of the table.
The biggest treat of all was getting one-on-one interviews with the cast and crew! Every actor had his or her own suite. Disney publicists brought press members to each room. I spent about 10 minutes with each member of the cast and crew talking and laughing. I felt that I could really connect to the heart of the movie as we discussed about their characters.
“I think you ask very good questions,” Joan Cusack (Milo’s Mom) replied when I asked her if she looked up to Milo’s Mom’s example of love. “It sounds like you have a very good mom, and you’re really smart, and that’s a really interesting question.”
I was ecstatic because I had spent a lot of time coming up with the questions. My mom was also on cloud nine when I told her Cusack praised her for being such a good mother.
Covering the press junket was a great experience for me. I had a blast, blasting off to Mars! Check out my movie review.
PHOTO: Actors (from left) Joan Cusak (the Mom/Good) and Mindy Sterling (the Supervisor/Evil) with Kid Reporter Cassandra Hsiao at a press event for the new movie Mars Needs Moms. (Photo Courtesy Cassandra Hsiao)