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Industry Star of the Month

Tim Tompkins, Times Square Alliance

Tim Tompkins August 1, 2006 - Tim Tompkins believes ���there is no doubt that New York���s image to the rest of the world is how Times Square is portrayed on film.��� Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, has been an advocate for film production within the famous stretch of land, which runs from 40th Street to 53rd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues, since he began working for the organization in the winter of 2002.

An important factor in allowing filming within the busy streets of Times Square is to ensure that film productions are mindful of the core activities of the tourists, retailers, and everyday New Yorkers. Tompkins encourages a positive relationship between the community and film crews who come in to shoot for just a few days, and those who are an everyday staple of the Times Square environment, such as "Good Morning America" and "Total Request Live." He recognizes the importance of these shows that ���broadcast a positive image thousands of hours a year��� in their Times Square studios.

Some of the greatest musical performers in the world have performed live in Times Square for various concerts, award shows, and New Years Eve specials throughout the years. Tompkins was an advocate for allowing Billy Joel to perform ���New York State of Mind,��� which opened the 2003 Tony Awards, as well as for Garth Brooks��� performance during the 2005 Country Music Awards.

Tompkins��� promotional efforts also reach into the theatrical community, another staple of the area, also dubbed ���the Great White Way.��� The Times Square Alliance has partnered with the Actors��� Equity Association, whose offices are located within Times Square, to host a number of events through the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS charitable fund. In June, they presented a Dancers Responding to AIDS event, celebrating the Summer Solstice and featuring dancers from Broadway productions and NYC dance companies performing on Military Island at the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue. For the past eight years, Actor���s Equity has also held Broadway Barks! in Shubert Alley, a pet adopt-a-thon which features the season���s top Broadway stars, and raises money for the city���s animal shelters and adoption agencies.

The importance of the publicity that film and theatrical productions bring to the area is felt throughout the entire economic landscape of Times Square. When Universal Studios wanted to hold a promotional event for King Kong on Military Island in December 2005, featuring appearances by the director and cast from the film, as well as a life-size King Kong sculpture, Tompkins recognized how the association with the film would translate into more visitors. ���I am supportive of the notion that film shoots and broadcasting are part of a long term promotional and marketing strategy that pays off in hotels, retail sales, and theatre seats filled,��� explained Tompkins.

Abby Baram, a summer intern in the Mayor���s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting, interviewed Tim Tompkins for this feature and contributed to some of the other articles in the July and August newsletters. In the fall, she will continue her Public Communication and Marketing studies as a senior at American University in Washington, DC as well as her internship at Allied Advertising and Public Relations where she has been working as the SONY Pictures intern since March 2005.
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