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The PROMAX/BDA Blog--June 13th, 7AM

New York, Wed, June 13th:

The PROMAX/BDA conference got off to a roaring start late yesterday when filmmaker John Waters took center stage in the Grand Ballroom here at the Hilton. Working the standing room only audience like a veteran stand up comic, Waters was hysterical, zinging out more one-liners than Henny Youngman on a bad day. I have to admit that before I walked into the room, I wondered why a guy I’ve rarely seen on TV was speaking to this group of TV people! Now I know. Note to HBO–give this guy a talk show–he’s funny, charming, and very likable.

Mostly, Waters walked the crowd through his movie-making career, getting a smattering of applause whenever he mentioned any of his movie titles like Pink Flamingos, or Polyester, most of which I’m pretty sure the majority of those there had never seen. While he did talk about sex, drugs, politics and Paris Hilton, I only head him use him the F-word once, which wasn’t bad given that PROMAX billed his appearance for Adults Only, which I think is a first for any PROMAX session. 

Here are a couple highlights…on the drug ecstasy, Waters quipped, “A drug that makes you love everybody? Sounds like hell to me.” And in talking about President Bush’s twin teenage daughters penchant for drinking, he referred to them as “Jenna and tonic”. 

Right after Waters was the always highly-anticipated, annual session, State of Our Art, a showcase of some of the world’s most inventive and creative commercials, promos and PSAs. Again, the session was standing room only. There were many great memorable spots but one that stands out was a PSA for testicular cancer that made an hysterically visual point about the importance of self-examination.

The opening night party was a pleasant departure from past years, where off-site parties with loud music made it difficult to talk. This year, the party was right in the Networking Village, an intimate gathering right in the area where all of the displays and vendors had their set ups, giving everyone the chance to sip cocktails and network with other attendees.

Today schedule promises some interesting sessions including Roeper Reviews the Promos and the keynote address by former President, Bill Clinton. Look for comments on this later this afternoon.

If you’re here at PROMAX and want to comment, send me an e-mail at