North Six has been working with King Kong for many years now.  Not only is their customer service unparalleled, but their fleet of motorhomes is always clean, reliable, and exactly what we need to support our photo productions.

" Kyd Kisvarday—Producer, North 6

You guys are the BEST!

" Marie D’Amore—Production Supervisor, HSI

I wanted to give Rich another glowing report, He was AMAZING on our shoot. The most helpful driver I’ve ever had. I’ll definitely be requesting him on future shoots.

Thanks for everything guys!

" Adrienne Burton – Freelance Prod Coordinator

King Kong… top notch service, incredible drivers, clean, well equipped vehicles, on time—every time! Thanks guys…. you ROCK!!!

" Elaine Lee—Producer 5th and Sunset Los Angeles

We truly enjoyed working from the Helios, the attention to detail to make it an Eco friendly asset to our industry should be commended. The quiet workspace you get when running on the solar power is delightful! Rob was pleasant to be around and always willing to help out. Thank you Rob and King Kong for bringing us the Helios!

" Rochelle Savory-Assistant Production Supervisor
King Kong has the best equipment & drivers in the biz.
" Tom Baker – gangboss
Thanks again for helping out with our party. The restrooms worked out great and the service was awesome as usual!
" Steve Brazeel

Thank you so much for lovely Eko lav — definitely the nicest port-a-potty I’ve ever used!

" Amanda – Producer

The Helios is a great motorhome. Not only is it energy efficient but it offers a large space for production to work in. The copy machine is great because you can wirelessly print and make color copies and send faxes. The satellite phones came in handy when we realized we didn’t have any cell service on location. We received several compliments throughout the shoot day. Crew walked into the motorhome in awe of such a beautiful space.

" Courtney Witherspoon-Production Coordinator Three One O

King Kong has great motorhomes and the best drivers in the business. Working with you guys is always easy and a pleasure.

" Cat Burkley-Portfolio One

…the moho was super nice, everything was great! I will definitely rent it again!!

" Susan Borbely – Prod Coordinator

We’ve used the Helios twice now and have been quite impressed each time.  It has everything production could want AND it’s earth friendly! We will use the Helios on every job in which we need a moho.

" Mario D’Amici—Production Coordinator, Beef Films

Just wanted to say thanks for the awesome customer service. Our driver was friendly and professional. He arrived early and had everything ready to go for us. The motorhome was clean and in perfect shape. Every detail matters on a shoot to help keep everything running smoothly. We love working with King Kong!

" Jamie Williams- That Girl Productions

I just wanted to send you a quick message and let you know how amazing Rich is. I have hired motos from all over and this was by far our best experience. Really nice to work with great people

" Crystal Raymond- Chinese Laundry

The drivers were awesome to be with.  Hard working drivers!!   It really stands out when the drivers jump in to help set up base camp, and tear it down.  Not to mention always having a fresh green tea for me just when I needed it every time.  They really were great and I’d ask for them anytime we get vehicles from you. Thanks!

" Mary Brooks – 3 Star Productions

Rusty, Bruce and the guys at King Kong were a crucial asset to my photoshoot.  They took a lot of stress off of my plate and came through when I needed them, allowing me to focus 100% on the production.  Without a doubt, King Kong is now my go-to for production vehicles and I do not hesitate to recommend them to my colleagues.  And, not only is Rusty the best and most helpful driver I have ever had the pleasure of working with, he is also awesome with a fog machine!

" Brett Spencer-Producer,

You guys did a phenomenal job with the Helios. And Rob, as always, went above and beyond for us.

" Dan Kae—Assistant Production Supervisor

Archive for October, 2012

Coke bears skewered in biting satire

October 31st, 2012  | 

This is the video that Coca-Cola doesn’t want you to see.

Its famous Polar Bears are skewered — as is the whole soft-drink industry — in an anti-sugary-drink video to be released Wednesday. Behind it: Alex Bogusky, the culturally influential ad legend whose former agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, has created ads for such hot-button clients as Burger King, Domino’s and, yes, Coca-Cola.

Bogusky left the agency world in disgust two years ago. Now, he’s back in a new role: taking on the cola industry along with advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest. The move comes at a time big makers of sugary drinks are being challenged by legislators and consumers from New York to California. It’s all about winning the viral PR war.

The video’s goal: to show the ill effects of drinking too many sugary beverages. The papa bear in the animated video, The Real Bears, not only suffers from erectile dysfunction, but also contracts type 2 diabetes, which forces him to have a “grizzly” leg amputation. The video ends with the polar bear family pouring their cola into the ocean.

“You know the American diet has gone the wrong way when it’s considered normal to drink massive amounts of liquid candy,” Bogusky says. “This is a cultural wake-up call.”

But executives at Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association say the video is bunk and its statistics wrong.

“This is irresponsible and grandstanding and will not help anyone understand energy balance,” says Coca-Cola spokeswoman Susan Stribling. “It also distorts the facts while we and our industry partners are working with government and civil society on real solutions.”

Pepsi declined to comment. But ABA spokeswoman Karen Hanretty says, “CSPI is better at producing videos than they are doing math. People are drinking fewer calories from soda — and have been for a decade — so how can soda be to blame for rising obesity?”

Aside from political work that Bogusky has done for former vice president Al Gore, this is his first ad since leaving the agency business. It is bound to raise social-media eyebrows and is expected to go viral after it is posted at

Happy Halloween from the Yamauchi

October 31st, 2012  | 

Latest election spin is marketer PR

October 30th, 2012  | 

There’s a brand new spin whirring around the elections, but this time it’s not coming from the candidates. It’s coming from PR-hungry marketers.

Several top consumer brands — including Pizza Hut, JetBlue and Cabbage Patch Kids — are dangling PR stunts that are election-themed and consumer-engaging. To attract eyeballs, they’re also wacky.

“The media loves stunts,” says PR guru Ronn Torossian. “If you want to clear the clutter, well-timed, creative stunts can make headlines.”

Or, they can implode — particularly around elections. “Emotions run very high,” warns brand consultant Tracey Riese. “Being identified with one side or another will alienate half your audience.”

STORY: 7-Eleven, Boston Market, Maker’s Mark get political with ads

Here’s the PR lineup:

— Free pizza for life. Pizza Hut on Tuesday will announce plans to give free pizza “for life” to any consumer who asks President Obama and Mitt Romney if they prefer sausage or pepperoni pizza during the Town Hall debate on Oct. 16. (That means a $520 gift card every year for up to 30 years.)

Yes, debate questions are pre-screened, but Pizza Hut hopes someone will ask it, anyway.

The choice of sausage or pepperoni is irrelevant, notes marketing chief Kurt Kane, since with Pizza Hut’s Dinner Box promo, you can get both and breadsticks and one side dish for $19.99.

“Neither candidate has clarified their message,” explains Kane. “For a brand like us that knows what we’re about, it’s an opportunity to get the message out.”

— Free trip out of the country. JetBlue is promising “Election Protection” to about 1,000 disappointed voters whose candidates lose — with a chance to win a free flight out of the country (and back) the day after the election. “We decided to give people a chance to follow through on their claim to skip town if their candidate comes up short,” says Marty St. George, senior VP of marketing.

— Cabbage Patch candidates. Cabbage Patch Kids maker JAKKS Pacific will be auctioning on eBay, via a fundraiser for Rock the Vote, a line of dolls that look like the two candidates — and their VPs. (There’s also a Michelle Obama doll.)

“We’re part of pop culture,” explains Jennifer Caveza, senior VP of marketing. “Attaching the brand to the election is a way to reinforce its relevance.”

But value is in the eye of the beholder. In a similar fundraiser in 2008, the Obama doll went for $8,400, but the Sarah Palin doll pulled in a cool $19,000.

Picture taking tips for Halloween

October 29th, 2012  | 

The glowing pumpkins, the trick-or-treating, the ghoulish costumes—all are best shot after dark when the lighting can get pretty tricky. Today’s cameras, and even some smartphones, are up to the challenge, if you do take the time to do more than point and shoot.

Follow these tips to make the most of those after-dark shot and even scare up a few ghosts.

General low-light strategies

Raise the ISO Level: One of the easiest changes you can make to compensate for low light is to raise the ISO setting, which makes it more sensitive to light. The more sensitive it is, the faster the camera can take a photo, which will reduce the amount of blur caused by camera shake. One caveat: If you push the ISO number up too high, you’ll start seeing noise, those grainy-looking imperfections you see most easily in solid-colored areas. So you’ll want experiment to see where your camera or smartphone realistically tops out.

MORE: Tips for taking great fall pictures from

MORE: Comprehensive camera reviews from

Use HDR mode for composed shots: Many cameras and smartphones have a shooting mode called HDR, for high dynamic range. Basically, in this mode, your camera takes two or more shots at different exposures and then combines them so you get detail in the lightest and darkest areas. If there’s any movement, though, the shot will be blurry. On the other hand, it may be the only way to get a shot in very dark situations, especially with a smartphone.

Use a tripod: One reason why so many low-light shots don’t come out well is because it’s really hard to hold a camera or phone still long enough to take a crisp shot. Using a tripod takes that factor out of the equation. Also, try using the camera’s self-timer mode to avoid the movement that inevitably occurs when you press the shutter button.

Use a fast lens: A fast lens will let more light through so you can take your pictures faster, reducing the potential for blur. You can tell how fast a lens is by looking at the maximum aperture. A typical camera will have a maximum of f/3.5. A good camera will come in at f/2.8 or lower. Even smartphones can have fast lenses, like the iPhone 5 with an f/2.4 lens and HTC One X with its f/2.0 lens.

Jack-o-lantern shots

The best time to capture a shot of jack-o-lanterns is at twilight, or 20 minutes after the sun goes down. At this time of day, the glow from the jack-o-lantern will produce about the same amount of light as the night sky. With everything equally lit, the camera will have an easy time capturing the details everywhere in your shot. If you miss this 20-minute window, you can turn on HDR mode.

Adding ghosts to your photos

To create a shot with your camera, it will have to support long exposures—at least 8 seconds. For an 8-second exposure, you’d have the person in the frame for about 5 seconds and then exit for the remaining 3 seconds. The result is a double exposure in the space where the person stood, which gives him or her a ghost-like, translucent look.

If you don’t have a camera that supports double exposures, you can merge two photos together in Photoshop Elements or another photo editing program that lets you layer one photo on top of another and control the transparency of those layers.

Creating spooky silhouettes

Any object—or Halloween costume—that’s readily identifiable by its shape is a good candidate for a silhouette shot. Before sunset, find a spot with a clear line of sight to the sky with your subject’s back to the sun, so your subject won’t have to compete with other objects on the horizon. As the sun is setting, take photos of your subject with the flash turned off. You should have a window of about 20 minutes before the sun is too dark to act as a backdrop.

Toyota pitches hybrids on HSN network

October 29th, 2012  | 

Having seen cosmetics, jewelry and pots and pans hawked on TV infomercials, Toyota took to the home-shopping airwaves Sunday to see if it could drum up interest in its hybrid cars.

Toyota officials said they were thrilled with the results. Spokesman Steve Curtis said they received more requests for product information after the first hour than they had expected to get all day.

HSN, formerly the Home Shopping Network, says it’s the first time in its 34-year history that an automaker pitched its lineup to its audience, which is about 90% female.

Toyota used three one-hour blocks to explain its hybrid lineup. Normally, products are sold on HSN, but Toyota couldn’t directly sell the cars because of state dealer franchise laws and other complications.

Toyota says it was drawn to the network by the chance to have the time to fully explain its technology. “A lot of our research shows people don’t understand how hybrid technology works,” says Ed Laukes, a Toyota vice president.

The toughest sell on the novel idea was inside Toyota. “My team was skeptical,” Laukes acknowledges. They weren’t sure that a product demonstration on HSN worked to burnish the brand, or ultimately, to sell cars.

But Laukes says he was impressed by HSN as a classy operation with a strong reputation and ironclad return policy. It also got around not being able to sell by encouraging viewers to call instead to get free coffee mugs and to qualify for $1,000 certificates for free gas or HSN shopping credit if they go through with a car purchase.

On the broadcast, a pair of Toyota specialists enthused about the features of various Prius models, as well as hybrid versions of the Camry and Avalon sedans and Highlander crossover. They kept hammering on their impressive gas mileage, while urging viewers to call for the promotional items.

HSN executives say they were thrilled by the “unprecedented” event as more evidence on how far the channel has come. These days, HSN features celebrities such as chef Wolfgang Puck and also is selling more sophisticated products such as laptop or tablet computers.

“We have an engaged customer, and they turn to us for expert advice,” says Bill Brand, HSN’s head of marketing.” As for viewers not being able to buy: “We’re selling the idea this is the right car for them. It is less about selling and more about inspiring.”

Ian Beavis, executive vice president of Nielsen Automotive and former U.S. marketing chief for Kia and Mitsubishi, says Toyota might be making a good move.

“If you can get (the time) for the right price and at the right time, it is a perfectly acceptable environment to reach women,” Beavis says. “New technology is intimidating, and women, in particular, don’t enjoy going to a dealership. This environment allows them a long-form tutorial approach that can demystify hybrids and fully explain the benefits.”


October 29th, 2012  | 


October 29th, 2012  | 

Apple shortage pushes up prices

October 23rd, 2012  | 

12:11PM EDT October 8. 2012 – There’s an Apple shortage this fall, and it’s not the iPhone variety.

This year’s apple crop is shaping up

as the smallest since 1986, down 14% from 2011. The core problem: a March warming spree that prompted trees to bud early, followed by an April cold snap that killed off apple blossoms. The weather pattern destroyed 52% of New York’s harve

st, nearly 90% of Michigan’s and soured crops from Canada to North Carolina, says Mark Gedris, of the U.S Apple Association.

The fallout is expected to push up retail prices on individual apples by as much as $1 a pound, boost juice prices 20% or more, crimp regional supplies of prized local varieties and take a slice of the lucrative export market. Tony Freytag, marketing chief for Crunch Pak, a leading sliced apple marketer to Wal-Mart, Costco and Kroger, says price hikes could be more severe later this year and early 2013 in the Midwest and Northeast as local supplies, which can be stored for several months, dwindle.

In New York — where legislators contemplated emergency tax relief for growers — some orchards are charging $8 a gallon for cider, more than double the national average price of gasoline. Some of the state’s prized varieties, such as Empire, are especially hard hit, forcing orchards to cut back on roadside farm-stand sales and pick-your-own days. “I’ve heard from growers in the business for several g

enerations who haven’t seen anything like this since the 1940s,” says New York Apple Association spokeswoman Molly Golden.


Dennis Oulette, whose 90-acre orchard in Sterling, N.Y., was mostly sheltered by its proximity to Lake Ontario, says he may lose just 20% of his harvest. He’ll make that up by getting higher prices. “Demand is incredible,” says Oulette, 66.

Fourth generation Michigan apple farmer Mark Youngquist’s 180-acre orchard near Kent City will produce just 7,000 bushels this year. In a good year, he harvests 120,000. Youngquist says his workforce of 30 seasonal workers is down to six. Local roads, normally filled with trucks laden for packing plants, are deserted. “It’s like a ghost town. I’ve never seen a year like this,” he says.

Things could be even worse if not for Washington, the nation’s No.1 apple state. Its crop is expected to come in at nearly 109 million bushels, second-largest in history. “Normally, we have between 50% to 60% of the domestic market. This year, it’ll be nearly 80%,” says Rebecca Lyons, of the Washington State Apple Commission.

The state’s harvest already is yielding 16% higher prices for growers. Popular varieties such as Red Delicious are fetching about $25 a bushel, while exotics such as Honeycrisps are selling for almost $60. “It’s a good year to be a grower in Washington state,” Lyons says.

‘Esquire’ names Sexiest Woman Alive

October 22nd, 2012  | 

12:35PM EDT October 8. 2012 – Mila Kunis has snagged the title as Sexiest Woman Alive, according toEsquire.

Why Mila? The mag describes her as “the most beautiful, opinionated, talkative, and funny movie star that we’ve all known since she was nine.”

The Ukrainian-born actress, 29, is known from a variety of roles including Jackie from That ’70s Show, her supporting role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, her manipulative diva part in Black Swan, the voice of Meg on Family Guy, and her starring role alongside Justin Timberlake in Friends with Benefits.

Soon, we’ll see her in the spring release of Oz: The Great and Powerful.

In her interview with Esquire‘s Ross McCammon, Mila doesn’t talk about dating — Ashton Kutcher’s name doesn’t come up.

But she doesn’t shy away from getting political. “The way that Republicans attack women is so offensive to me. And the way they talk about religion is offensive. I may not be a practicing Jew, but why we gotta talk about Jesus all the time? And it’s baffling to me how a poor person in Georgia can say, ‘I’m a Republican.’ Why?”

She adds, “Some people don’t like to hear celebrities talk about politics.I don’t think I’m a celebrity. I’m a working actress. I think there’s a difference.”

Kunis follows in the footsteps of starlets including Rihanna, last year‘s Sexiest Woman Alive. The November issue hits newsstands Oct. 16.





Dwight Howard looks strong in Lakers debut

October 22nd, 2012  | 

2:17AM EDT October 22. 2012 – Godzilla took Tokyo. King Kong conquered New York.

Los Angeles, Dwight Howard has arrived.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost a preseason game 99-92 Sunday to the Sacramento Kings. No matter. The big deal was the big man: Howard made his Lakers debut and dominated, finishing with 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting, plus 12 rebounds and four blocks in 33 minutes.

Just being there was enough to get Howard emotional.

“I actually shed a couple of tears,” Howard said. “During the starting lineups, one of my teammates caught me, so I tried to hide it, but I was just excited. It is really emotional, because I hadn’t been on the court in a while. I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s a very humbling experience.”

KNICK DOWN: Amar’e Stoudemire out 2-3 weeks

The five turnovers and 3-for-8 shooting from the line, that’s expected. Howard hasn’t played in six months. Give the big man a break. Besides, the Lakers didn’t expect him to shoot free throws well.

Howard’s first score let everyone know his surgically repaired back, which knocked him out of the end of last season and kept him off the floor for the early part of the preseason, was fine. He took an alley-oop pass from forward Pau Gasol and slammed it through emphatically.

PHOTOS: Jeff Van Gundy says brother was blackballed

But he wasn’t perfect. He let a few balls slip from his grip and couldn’t complete at least one alley-oop. Those bumps are to be expected.


He was good, though. Good enough to give physical Kings center DeMarcus Cousins a hard time. Cousins, the Kings’ best player, was held to 16 points on 7-for-14 shooting and six rebounds. He also had five turnovers to go along with five fouls.

The surprise might have been that Howard played 33 minutes, but at this point in the preseason, teams are trying to get their starters serious minutes. Gasol played 36 minutes and the other three Lakers starters also played 33. Kobe Bryant scored a team-high 21 points.

The Lakers fell to 0-6 in the preseason.

“We lost the game, but there’s a lot of bright spots out there, and we’re going to continue to get better,” Howard said. “We’re going to get our timing down and start reading each other a little better, but right now we’re early in the process.”

Not everything was perfect. The Lakers pulled a little prank on Howard when it came time to take the floor. When it came time to run out to the court from the tunnel, point guard Steve Nash set Howard up by getting everyone else to wait as he trotted out alone.

“I just grabbed Pau and held him,” said Nash, a two-time MVP and fellow Lakers newcomer. He finished with six points, five assists and five rebounds.

Howard was dunked on emphatically by Kings rookie Thomas Robinson, but he had most of the highlights.

“You could tell his timing was off a little bit at times,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said. “A couple of times where he would have blocked a shot, he was maybe half a step late. Overall, he looked good.”

The Lakers, with Howard healthy, look potentially great.