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Daily updates on what's up in Coconut Grove and beyond including Brickell, Coral Gables and Midtown Miami

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

What's to become of the Film Office?

It has come to our attention that our friend, Robert Parente, right, will be let go from the City's Office of Film and Cultural Affairs. Due to the budget crisis, he will be the last of his department to go on February 19, 2010.

At the
Mayoral Debate at the Museum of Science, in September, I sat near Robert and he told me at that time that his whole department had been let go. It was only him left. We wondered how such an important department could be treated that way. The Film Office and Robert, particularly is responsible for Burn Notice being based in Miami, actually in Coconut Grove, he brought "Marley and Me" here, the Jennifer Anniston movie, and so many other projects.

His office would handle permits and woo film projects to the city, he was a liaison between the film companies and the city and county many times. I have joked with Robert that he was the one responsible for the closing of major causeways so that Martin Lawrence and Will Smith film car chases for "Bad Boys."

He was involved in all the arts and events that happened in town. I have been on committees with Robert. All films, movies and tv shows relied on Robert's office. Just a few weeks ago, Robert was presented the Golden Coconut Award from the Chamber of Commerce for all of his work. We were part of a last group to leave the luncheon that day, there were four of us who didn't know when to leave, we were having such a good time, they had to finally tell us the restaurant was closed.

Keep in mind that the film office is very important in that it brings movies, films, commercials, and such to the city, which in turn gives the city unimaginable amounts of free publicity when these productions are aired around the world.

I am wondering who is going to deal with the film companies now and who will "sell" Miami as a filming destination? What about Burn Notice?

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Michelle Niemeyer said...

I'm betting on a Spanish media crony of The People's Mayor to fill the job. Looks like he is now taking care of his people. This should come as no surprise to any of us. As they say, "be careful what you wish for."

Sorry, Robert. You know I love you, man!

February 09, 2010 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well who handled it so successfully before Mr. Parente took the position? The Chamber the local net office where the filming took place.
Maybe we didn't get as much film industry as our city deserved.

February 09, 2010 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Liliana Dones said...

Not only the Arts, but the Grove, has lost a true friend in the City's administration. Robert Parente's help in promoting commerce in the Grove, whether as a founder of the Madhatter Art Festival, or as an involved volunteer in the Chamber's many events, in the BIC Marketing Subcommittee, and as the person chiefly responsible for ensuring that Coconut Grove and Miami are showcased weekly in one of the hottest shoes on television will be sorely missed.

Robert has a wealth of talent, from training dolphins which he did at the Seaquarium, to being a top-notch photographer, but the enthusiasm and dedication he showed for his job as Director of the Mayor's Office of Film and Cultural Affairs truly helped but Miami (and the Grove), in the cultural fast-lane. It is a shame that the new administration saw fit to step on the break.

When I served as president of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce, I greatly relied on Robert's unwavering support and sense of ethics, and will always be grateful to him.

I know that wherever Robert applies his many talents, they will serve to greatly benefit, and I hope that wherever he does applies them, he will always remain close to the Grove.

Liliana Dones

February 09, 2010 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More shortsightedness from the guy you all loved so much. Good job!

This is what happens when you put stupid people into positions of power. I wouldn't trust someone of Regalado's intellect to walk my dog.

February 09, 2010 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Regalato heard things that required change in this particular office. Lets see what
improvement he will bring, before you jump into something you know nothing about.

February 09, 2010 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone in the Grove liked Robert so what do they do they (our City leceted officials) get rid of him. Do you all see a patern here?

February 09, 2010 8:03 PM  
Blogger C.L.J. said...

Anonymous 11:20 AM obviously hasn't been living here very long, or doesn't work in the entertainment industry, or he'd know that before the office was created, Miami had more than a decade with no TV series being filmed, and not very many movies.
Whoever decided to get rid of the department is a bone-headed mouth-breathing turd-for-brains. That department brought in millions of dollars every year.

February 09, 2010 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no better ambassador for the city, no one who genuinely cares more about his city and its people, no one more generous with his time and attention than Robert Parente. It's the city's loss. I know it won't be long before someone puts to use Robert's prodigious talent, savvy and warmth. Onward!

February 09, 2010 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it has something to do with this audit.
From the Herald
"The city's Film and Cultural Affairs office spent $1,206.60 at the Dog Bar Store, a South Beach animal boutique. Among the purchases: A Swarovski pink metallic collar for $82.98."

February 10, 2010 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Liliana Dones said...

TO ANON 8:51

It is a shame that the Herald's own cutbacks seems to have seriously depleted its Fact-Checking Department.

The Herald article you quote incorrectly and unjustly attributed that purchase to the City's Film & Cultural Affairs Office when in fact it was the purchase of an individual that no longer works for the City, who at the time was in a department that ran cultural events in the parks such as concerts etc. which is not even remotely related to the department Robert ran.

I guess the word "cultural" was enough for the Herald to jump to the wrong conclusion and tar Robert's office with that erroneous brush.

So please nip that in the bud.

February 10, 2010 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not herald fact check or error.
It is the auditor of the City of Miami that named it such. And it was about a year ago when it happened.
one more comment
How could Robert bring Marley and me here? If anyone read the book it was based in Miami. With a good portion in Coconut Grove. The scene filmed where the dog takes the chair was supposed to be in green street not in the beach where it was filmed in the movie.
I am sure he is a great guy but he did not single handed bring everything down.

February 10, 2010 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the audit goes there is so much more that will reveal itself in the coming days. The Miami Herald was just the tip, how about the unpaid bills and litigation looming.

February 10, 2010 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tourism is the biggest business in South Florida.

Films and TV shows filmed in Miami are a "clean" business that provides huge pay to hundreds and often thousands. More importantly scenes from films and TV shows show off Miami's weather and beautiful locations to millions of tourists worldwide. (Burn Notice is seen in over 100 countries.) Miami needs someone to promote Miami to the film industry and Miami needs someone to help with the paperwork. Robert Parente did a fine job.

February 10, 2010 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Robert Parente said...

Very heart warming most of the comments I have read...One correction: The Miami herald made a (HUGE) mistake in saying the office of Film and Cultural Affairs had any thing to do with the critical audit. The dept. responsible was the special events office of the Parks Dept. The credit card called into question belonged to Ms. Julie Mansfield. My dept. had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with that expenditure. Not one of my expense reports were called into question. I was a careful steward of the taxpayers dollars.

February 14, 2010 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Robert Parente said...

"How could Robert bring Marley and me here?" Let me tell you my part: I volunteered to be a judge of the Miami Short Film Festival. So while most of you were home, enjoying dinner with your families, I, along with my fellow judges, were slogging through the numerous entries; one of my fellow judges was David Frankel (a grove resident) who had just wrapped his latest movie, "The Devil wears Prada". When I asked David what was next, he told me about Marley, which was set to shoot some scenes in West Palm Beach and then head to the state that had the best incentive. I invited him to see the Grove Expo Center,and the rest, as they say, is history.
But, it is true that it's a team effort and a lot of things clicked to make it work...That said, if I had not been a fellow judge with David, that film would not have shot here in Coconut Grove.

February 14, 2010 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Robert, I think anyone that actually knows you knows that you're hard working, honest and creative.
Don't let a few idiots that love to play Monday morning quarterback try and tarnish your achievements.

Are you up for a run at a commission seat?
I know an arrogant, selfserving, lying hypocrite that's ripe for the picking....

John El-Masry

February 15, 2010 5:54 PM  

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