Friday, May 28, 2010

Sharon Oreck

Sharon Oreck is a film, video, and commercial producer. Between 1984 and 2000 she was the owner-operator of O Pictures. She is an Academy Award nominee and the recipient of a Grammy Award, two Women in Film Awards, and several MTV Awards. Her new memoir is Video Slut: How I Shoved Madonna Off an Olympic High Dive, Got Prince into a Pair of Tiny Purple Woolen Underpants, Ran Away from Michael Jackson's Dad, and Got a Waterfall to Flow Backward So I Could Bring Rock Videos to the Masses.

From her Q & A with Amy Benfer:

Looking back, the '80s seem like a golden age of music video. Did that seem true at the time?

People keep telling me over and over that their childhoods were really affected by music videos. I was at a club in Argentina with 25-year-olds and they were all like, "You did Sheila E 'Glamorous Life'! Oh!" We did not have any idea that it was perma-fodder. We just thought, "Oh, it's like newspaper work. You write it, and then the next day, you write something else." But because of the Internet, it will live forever. I think that people look back at it and think of it as a golden age. And the reason for that is it was a free time. You could do anything. Nobody was micro-managing it; no one was paying any attention to it. No one was managing what was being seen; it was not p.c., it was not corporate-approved; it was just what people really wanted to do. MTV is over now, in terms of music programming. That's why it was a golden age; because there is no more music programming. There is no age at all.

Your first work as a producer was on Sheila E's "The Glamorous Life" when you were 29 years old. Was it typical at the time to have a young woman working as a producer?

In the music video world, there was no standard at all. Nothing was typical because there was no industry until 1982. When I entered it, it was still pretty much the Wild West. When I went in and declared that I made 10 percent of the budget, that is not the industry standard, believe me. I would never...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue