Listen to the audio for the full interview.
The COVID-19 has affected all aspects of life, but the entertainment, fashion, and arts industry has been especially hard hit. Giovanna Salas, CEO of Heart of Hollywood, decided to do something about this. Since events are a big part of the arts, Giovanna decided to step in and throw a virtual red carpet event that celebrates fashion. She is bringing a virtual fashion show to computer screens everywhere. She came on the College Talks & More show to share information about the Heart of Hollywood Virtual Red Carpet event, and about how her company helps aspiring actors and actresses succeed in Hollywood.
Giovanna, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us about your professional and educational background?
I am a filmmaker. I love art, and I want to offer a platform for all artists. I believe you have to be prepared. You have to study and you always have to find new resources to continue your education.
You started your education by studying physics and math, but you switched to the arts and entertainment. It wouldn’t seem like they went together, How did you make that change?
I have a different perspective. I do believe that they go together. I think that once you have a love for something, it never goes away, even if you change your direction. I wanted to study physics. I was not the best at math, I was okay, but I had a big interest. My teacher who taught me how to paint was a physicist and mathematician. I went for private classes, because I was failing math, and behind his desk was this beautiful painting. I was young at the time, and as many typical teenagers, I had some issues with my parents about what I wanted to study. I wanted to study art, and I wanted to study physics, but it was something my mother was not agreeing with. She wanted me to focus on one thing or the other. It just happened that I asked my teacher about the painting and I said, “I like it. Who is the painter?” He told me he was a painter. He asked me if I wanted to learn how to paint. That’s how a painting changed my life, my perspective. I realized that when you paint close to reality, you have to have a lot of precision. There are numbers in colors, and the colors are mathematical. There’s a lot of science in what we do.
What are the main obstacles new talent faces when they are trying to get into Hollywood?
New talent faces a lot of challenges, especially those that don’t live in Los Angeles. Perhaps they come from another state like South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Kansas, or they come from other countries. If you grew up in LA, and you went to school and college there, it gives you connections or information about potential connections to help you succeed in Hollywood. If you are not from LA it is more difficult. I think the industry, in general, is difficult because of the nature of the business. Having those connections and contacts is important, even though there are Guilds, but they are expensive to get into. Even if you get into a Guild, you have to have experience. That was another one of my inspirations, I wanted to make a healthy environment to network for new talent.
What is the Heart of Hollywood Motion Pictures? And why did you develop a more wholesome, positive minded, multicultural production company that was an open platform for all of those who had a dream of making it big in the entertainment?
Well, I was having a hard time. I was working my first movie. I was behind the scenes, and I realized that there some things that I disagreed with. I am a very positive person, and I’m always looking to make things better. It doesn’t matter where you are. I thought there needed to be more opportunities, even if you wanted to join a Guild and were able to afford it. I wanted to create an open platform for all artists, where they can access information of where they can go and where are they at. At one point, I was very down, and I was thinking, “Well, Hollywood doesn’t have heart. I’m going to create one.” So I decided to name my company Heart of Hollywood, and I wanted to make film productions affordable for other independent producers like myself. I also wanted to create a safe environment for younger people, like myself, and like many others. In my events, I always tell the people, “There will always be someone offering you something they are not supposed to such as power or leverage. Please let me know, because that person will be no longer welcomed at our events.”
Can you give us the details of the Heart of Hollywood Virtual Red Carpet Event?
This event will be held November 14th from 10am to 4pm Pacific Standard Time. Right now, we are in a time of COVID-19. It has been very difficult for everyone around the world. A large majority of events have been shut down. It’s causing a lot of things to change, but its really affecting the artists in a negative way. Artists always get hit the hardest when something happens to the economy. Funding for the arts gets cut, and people don’t really think about buying art, because they’re trying to save money. The artists who work full time in the arts have a really, really bad time, because all the events that we had planned here in Hollywood have been cancelled. I decided we needed to do something else. We needed to innovate. We needed to think about how we can put all these talents together in a safe way.
I thought about making a virtual event, and I started making phone calls. I started calling in some favors and I would say, “I have this idea. I want to put all the fashion designers together.” With this idea, we would also be creating jobs. For this event, we have 13 fashion designers participating from around the world: Germany, Malaysia, Indonesia, just to mention a few. With every production it takes at least 35 people. We’re trying to help artists and fashion designers by creating jobs with this event, even though it’s hard. We can help artists continue working, and we can showcase talent to higher-ups in Hollywood. We also want to include anyone who might have an interest in fashion, in cinema.
How will this virtual event be interactive?
It will be a combination of pre-recorded and live. During the event, we’re going to have chat bots open for three hours where the audience can ask questions. We’re going to have an assistant replying to your questions. We will be able to see each other through Zoom. It will be a combination of pre-recorded and live. It will also be a good opportunity to network with your favorite artists or designers.
If somebody was interested in attending the event, how much are the tickets?
The tickets are $130. I am offering a coupon code: 2121. It’s a $50 discount. When you support this event, you are supporting a lot of production behind the scenes. I think people will be surprised at what they are they going to see. It’s being produced in very high quality, like movie quality. We have been preparing for four months. One of the designers made an entire collection just for this event. You’re not going to find it anywhere else other than the Virtual Red Carpet Event.
Do attendees need to get red carpet ready for this event? Do I need to wear a gown to attend?
Yes, absolutely. You had to dress up for this event. It’s a red carpet event. For the best dressed female, we’re going to give away a pair of earrings. So get your best dress, the same for men – we want to make it fun. That’s why it’s a red carpet event. It gives you an excuse to get out of your pajamas and feel good about yourself by being a part of this event. Everyone will have a lot of fun.
Is there anything else that our listeners should know about this awesome event?
To find out more information about the Heart of Hollywood Virtual Red Carpet Event, they can go to Heartofhollywoodmagazine.com where they can learn more details about this event.
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