Category Archives: Entertainment Reporter

Millions Watch Dan Babic in viral “Watch Me” parody

18342193_10210704003969943_166645179443174327_n
Dan Babic and Caitlyn Jenner

“I didn’t wake up to be mediocre.” This simple mantra is what pushes Australian Television Host Dan Babic every day. He doesn’t accept anything other than excellence, and those who have followed his career know this to be true. He is truly extraordinary, and at just 23, he has emerged as one of Australia’s most high-profile entertainment journalists.

Babic’s online television show AfterBuzz TV has over 20 million downloads a week in 150 countries. He has interviewed some of the world’s most recognizable celebrities, such as icons Caitlyn Jenner and Kim Kardashian, as well as Academy Award winners like Kathy Bates and Brie Larson.

Entertainment journalism and hosting is something that chose me. As long as I can remember, it has been the only thing I have wanted to do,” said Babic. “We live in what appears to be such a dark world at times, so I live for my moment on screen where I can help provide escapism and take audiences away from the hardships they may be facing. I love the power it gives me to brighten one’s day and the ability to just make people laugh.”

In the parody music video of the hit song “Watch Me” by Silento, Babic does just what he aims to do, and gives audiences around the world the opportunity to watch a video and escape. The hilarious video features Babic dancing and rapping a line in the song. His reputation and popularity greatly contributed to the video’s massive success, going viral and amassing over 20 million views on YouTube alone.

“Although we truly believed in the project, nothing is more validating than knowing all your hard work has paid off. While we were confident in the final result, my grandmother taught me to ‘never count your chickens before they hatch.’ There is always that slight feeling of fear upon releasing a video to the world that your intention of proving joy and laughter could be ill-conceived and taken out of context. Reading all the comments from fans provides the upmost feeling of joy knowing that through my talent and work I was able to make someone smile. It’s why I get up every day and continue to have the success I have in the entertainment industry. I see what I do as service to others.”

The video, by YouTube sensation Bart Baker, is four minutes of talent. It was written by Eli Braden, who is responsible for some of Howard Stern’s, Jimmy Kimmel’s and Joan Rivers’ most successful content. Babic had always wanted to work with the writer, and therefore jumped at the opportunity when it arrived. Knowing the necessity of having a distinct leader in the industry who would not only boost views on the video, but also who have the ability to make audiences laugh, Babic was approached to be a part of the parody. There are several controversial moments in the video, which are necessary for the humor, and Babic’s role provides the light-hearted moment needed to capture audiences.

“Production chose not to take the risk of using an on-camera personality without a notable acclaimed track record and requested my work on the project. Having notoriety in the television industry is something I don’t take nonchalantly. I am well aware of that my regard is rare and the ability to entertain millions though my personality is a true gift. I was therefore thrilled to have the confidence and respect of acclaimed industry professionals and was very excited to collaborate with successful individuals at the top of their field,” said Babic.

The video largely takes place in a gymnasium, with various characters dancing in the background and appearing on screen. Regardless of his crucial role in the parody, Babic says working on the project was very relaxed and filled with constant laughter. He was working alongside comedic experts, an exciting experience for the television host. When shooting the parody’s make-or-break moment, he felt completely confident in his ability to use his improvisational skills to create laughter. He trusted his instincts, and helped make the moment triumphant and made a moment with darker humor very tasteful. His versatility is evident, and his cameo impressed many around the world.

“The parody was an instant hit, and Dan’s leading and critical role as a television personality held tremendous weight in the production. His role in the music video worked similarly to having film stars in music videos, as fans looked forward to seeing one of their favorite TV hosts in the music video, where he was even key in pointing out the surprising twist at the end of the music video. The parody video of ‘Watch Me’ garnered an incomprehensible 20 million views on YouTube, an impressive feat which highlights not only the immeasurable success of the music video itself, but of the impact Dan’s role had on attracting viewers to come and pick out his part. This, paired with overwhelming praise from fans as well as over 180,000 likes for the video on YouTube, is incontrovertible evidence of the massive commercial success of the music video, and of Dan’s leading and critical role therein,” said Heidi Jo Markel, CEO of Eclectic Pictures who has worked with Babic in the past.

The day-to-day structure involved each industry professional staying in their lane and using their well-regarded creative instincts to ensure the project’s success. Babic was surrounded by other industry leaders on the video, and when everyone from different fields came together with one goal in mind, it was the best part of the experience for the entertainment journalist.

“Working with notable, celebrated professionals in the entertainment industry is inspiring, the project allowing us to each learn from one another and admire each other’s unique gifts and rare talent. I’m a big believer that you are your environment and felt extremely grateful to be in the position I am in,” Babic concluded. “I never take this for granted and as a host live for bringing people together in laughter, entertainment and good times. With so many views of the parody, it is safe to say our work put a smile on millions of people’s faces across the world. That’s what the world needs more of after all.”

You can watch the “Watch Me” parody video here, and prepare to feel the sense of escapism that Babic always aims for, and always achieves.

Advertisements

British Journalist’s mandate is ‘percolating and sifting the information of the world’

BritWeek
Journalist Richard Bence specializes in travel narratives and is a fixture among world-class publications.

 

British-born journalist Richard Bence has an elegant, energetic and always expressive professional style. His capable navigation of the oft challenging post-print landscape has earned Bence a solid reputation as a versatile writer with a comprehensive grasp of subject and clarity of presentation. These gifts have taken him from a solid decade-plus stint as a travel writer to the loftiest pinnacles of specialized prestige periodicals and web presences, serving both as a contributor and editor.

Bence, who is equally at ease creating in-depth magazine features and effective public relations campaigns, realized his calling at an early age, thanks to none other than Superman and his “mild-mannered newspaper reporter” alter ego, Clark Kent. “I distinctly remember watching “The New Adventures of Superman” with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher in the mid ’90s and knew that is what I wanted to do,” Bence said. “It seemed incredibly glamorous and exciting, like having a kind of diplomatic immunity which gave you access to another world. Back then magazines held the keys to what was cool, they were the gatekeepers, the opinion-formers, the style makers. I wanted to be one of those people, percolating and sifting the information of the world.”

Bence wasted no time pursuing his vocation.

“I was fortunate to know someone at the Express Newspaper where I gained my first valuable work experience and never looked back. Every summer I would contact a magazine, GQ, Attitude, and get more experience, all the while becoming more and more certain that this was the career for me. It was my manifest destiny, and seemed like the ultimate rock and roll profession. It is ridiculously tough to make a go of it as a writer, but fortunately I have always been blessed with staff jobs.”

Gifted with two critical qualities—talent and instinct—Bence has distinguished himself at some very high profile outlets, as a contributor to the prestigious London Sunday Times Style, Condé Nast’s Tatler and as managing editor of Barclays Bank’s elite, invitation-only Little Book of Wonders website, among many others.

“I was a travel journalist for 12 years and that type of journalism will forever be part of my DNA, but things really took off in 2011 when I made the digital leap to become editor in chief of CoutureLab, a luxury e-commerce site for global nomads,” Bence said. “I was the conduit for Carmen Busquets, the high priestess of couture. That was interesting because I wasn’t so much telling my story but that of the chairman, a Venezuelan entrepreneur who entrusted me with communicating her message to the CoutureLab customer.”

From that auspicious assignment, Bence went on to become managing editor of Little Book of Wonders, where he specialized in developing inventive ways to help brands connect with Barclays’s ultra-high net-worth customers.

“This was a shift for me and allowed me to see the commercial power of content,” Bence said. “I had been helping places tell their stories for airlines as an inflight magazine editor. It was a natural progression to use those skills I learnt at the coalface of travel journalism to help enhance experiences for the global elite.”

He excelled in this new capacity, as Creative Director Laura Rule, whose clients have included Victoria Beckham and Mario Testino +, described:

“When Richard was at Couturelab, a leader in the field of online luxury, I commissioned him to consult on two luxury brand projects for Mario Testino +. Richard provided in depth and knowledgeable marketing research and inspired creative ideas, which in turn informed the brands vision on the projects,” Rule said. “Richard has achieved an incredible amount in a short space of time. Needless to say, I am always beyond excited by the results of our work together. Even as a consultant I consider him to be an excellent and highly valued part of my team.”

With a solid international reputation that’s made him a familiar, recognizable force at the highest altitudes of journalism, editing, promotion and marketing, when Bence relocated to Los Angeles he promptly began to expand his professional palette, adding broadcasting—for Monocle 24, a 24-hour online radio station with 400,000 listeners per month—to his already formidable resume.

“Since moving to the U.S. in 2014, I am fulfilling my ambition to become an expert on all things California and have found a special niche celebrating British creativity and innovation in Los Angeles,” Bence said. “As a print journalist, I focus mainly on travel, design and style, but more recently, I have gravitated towards the arts and on air journalism as the West Coast correspondent for Monocle 24. I get to talk about art, architecture, TV and film, which is a dream really. Radio is definitely having a ‘moment’ and I am glad to be part of its renaissance.”

The high flying Bence’s ambitions are matched only by his capabilities and his sterling roster of achievement is uniformly celebrated by professional associates.

“Richard has been an essential asset as a publicist and editor. His ability to establish connections and contribute to all aspects of editorial and creative direction at a high level has been fundamental to the success of our award-winning publications.” said Juliet Nilsson, Creative Director at Vind & Våg Publishing House. “I have no doubt moving forward that whatever journalistic role he will play his professional manner and highly skilled approach will be of significant benefits to future projects.”

Dean McCarthy: Australia’s Hollywood Insider


Dean McCarthy
Dean McCarthy (left) interviewing Niall (left from center), Louis (center) & Liam (right) of One Direction.

Dean McCarthy is the Hollywood correspondent for leading Australian entertainment news program, Scoopla. He interviews celebrities, attends red carpets and delivers the latest entertainment news to TV and radio programs all over down under.

At first glance you would think he actually walks the red carpet. His movie star looks are topped off with blonde locks and the perfect Hollywood smile. That’s not where the charm finishes though. Out of nowhere comes the thickest Australian accent you’ve ever heard. It’s polished, but undoubtedly Aussie.

He is the fresh new face of the Hollywood hosting world and quickly becoming a connected and well-respected member of LA press circles. He has covered every major award show and attends most of the major red carpet premieres too.

What’s even more interesting is how he ended up in Hollywood. The self confessed “boy from the bush” actually grew up in the middle of Australia, on a farm as the youngest of four boys. His first ever job was hosting his own radio program at the local station, 2TEN FM.

He attended boarding school in Queensland, where he excelled in speech and drama and was featured in various local and national TV commercials. After school he was accepted into the prestigious Queensland University of Technology’s Business School and had a part time role hosting “Cinema”, a TV program that aired on Briz 31.

It was when the producer of The Labrat, Camilla & Stav show offered Dean a gig as the movie reviewer on their morning radio program that things took off. “It was such an exciting time for me. I would wake up early and go into the station to review movie’s live on air.” Dean said.

Soon after, a friend submitted Dean for a unique modeling assignment, to be the face of a theme park in Australia called Dreamworld. His face was digitally created to look half wet and half dry, to promote the launch of a new water-park. Dean confesses that the reach of the campaign was overwhelming. “It was everywhere. They had me on busses, billboards, life size cutouts in malls, I even saw my face on a pizza box”.

Dreamworld
   Dean McCarthy on a billboard for Dreamworld in Australia (Photo courtesy of Dreamworld)

Dean then put his media career on the back burner and progressed with Austereo as one of their top advertising executives, eventually landing a promotion and transfer to their Sydney office, but his real dream of TV and radio never ever died. After months of auditioning, Dean was selected as a back-up reporter for The Dirt TV, an online program at the time. “The Dirt TV was fantastic. It was all about entertainment news, and I am fascinated by all things Hollywood and celebrity”.

In 2012 Dean was cast as a “fake” housemate on Big Brother Australia, a stunt by producers to drive ratings and controversy with the original 12 housemates. Shortly afterwards Dean moved to LA and his dream of reporting from the USA became a reality. His first assignment was to cover the red carpet of the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. “I was terrified. They placed me on the red carpet next to E! News’s correspondent, Khloe Kardashian. There I was, standing next to Khloe, interviewing A-List celebrities in Hollywood. It was the dream coming true in front of my eyes”.

The success of The Dirt TV continued and the online program became telecast during prime time nationally on Channel 11, ONE and Southern Cross TEN. The name then changed to Scoopla and Dean became the regular and key Hollywood correspondent.

Red carpets are now a breeze for this talented Aussie, having covered dozens of them and interviewed countless A-List celebrities. He confesses that his days of getting intimidated are long gone. “I don’t bat an eyelid anymore about who I’m interviewing. I interviewed One Direction in front of thousands of screaming girls, Tom Hanks in front of hundreds of paparazzi and I’ve sat down with Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence. They are all just people, exactly like you or I. The only difference is that everyone in the world knows who they are.”

Dean now also reports for Scoopla online, and often crosses during the national radio program, syndicated on the Today Network. He recently became the Hollywood correspondent for Hot FM and Star FM too. In September 2014, Dean joined the Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine team. “I interview celebrities and review luxury cars, houses, hotels, anything that our readers adore, really. I absolutely love it.”

His role with the prestigious magazine has opened up connections and contacts that Dean had never imagined possible, and even landed him cameo appearances on the popular TV show The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills, which airs weekly on Bravo.

With an intensely busy schedule, the determined reporter still manages to squeeze in his favorite past time, the gym. The results certainly show. “Second to my career, my greatest passion is health and fitness. I am obsessed with it. I train almost every day and I am very very dedicated. I have become even more focused on it since moving to LA and hanging out in Hollywood”.

At 30 years old, Dean has carved out his dream life and even his dream address in the exclusive Hollywood Hills. So what’s next and where does one go from here? “I want to build my career further in America. I am still very rooted in Australia, I’m in the process of building a home back in Aus as we speak, but while I’m here, I want to make the most of this incredible country and this exciting city”.