May 4, 2009
If you've been in Boston for more than a few minutes, you've probably heard Joan Quinn Eastman's voice, and most likely seen her at a social event or even in a movie. The multi-media maven has been involved in Boston's emerging film and television business for years, but has recently taken on a few more projects that are bringing Eastman to whole new audiences.
"Business today means you have to have a lot of projects going. You have to be working on new projects...you can't be afraid of doing new things or using new technology," she says.
Eastman has been the staff announcer on WBZ and has done voice- over work on numerous commercials and corporate projects for several years. She's a weekly contributor to the local edition of the nationally syndicated TV show "ISoldMyHouse.com" and does a podcast for Movie News.
A veteran of the local film scene, she has been branching out "connecting East Coast film projects with West Coast producers," she told us. "I have five projects in consideration. Leading the pack are two romantic comedies, one very dark and both with a twist. All would be Boston-based," said Eastman. "I'm working with others to create a film fund to produce a slate of locally produced projects and help keep the New England film industry thriving."
Eastman's also working on a historic epic, which may end up being produced by partners from both coasts. "I just got back from the West Coast and with ongoing meetings in NYC as well as Boston and another trip out West is planned in the upcoming weeks, sometimes I don't know which time zone I'm in," she said.
Eastman has worked with her husband Dan on projects that have explored his Native American heritage including traveling in support of the HBO film "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." But Eastman is equally proud of her own Irish roots and will gladly show off her EU passport to prove her dual citizenship. Her grandmother, Bridget Kelly, was from Roscommon and her paternal grandfather, John Christopher Quinn, was from Galway. When she met Aidan Quinn and his parents for a screening of "Wounded Knee," they promised to do a genealogy to see how they are related. "I just know we are," she said.
For a guy who could have been just another statistic of the economic downturn, famed "Cheers" bartender Eddie Doyle is a very upbeat guy. The announcement of his being laid off from the Beacon Hill pub where he had held court for decades made headlines around the country and when he hung up his apron one last time, hundreds from the community rallied to continue Doyle's charity efforts.
"My pals sure gave me a great send-off. It was the only event I have been to that I knew every person attending," Doyle told us in an e-mail. "The ticket money that was raised was almost $5,000, so they rounded it out and I had them send out $1,000 to each of the five charities of our annual 'Cheers for Children' holiday fundraiser. That auction event lasted 29 years - our 30th would have been in December. They had no wish to continue it there. We may start anew next year somewhere. Lord knows that charities like The Friends of Floating Hospital and the Globe Santa will really miss our annual donation."
Doyle confesses he's in the process of adjusting to his new, more quiet, life. He's returning to efforts to write a book and has already gotten a lot of thoughts on paper, he said, and he's getting his house ready to sell -- in a few years. "After having lived there for 35 years, you can imagine all the stuff we have accumulated," he said. "We'll get there."
While Doyle might not be working on Beacon Street anymore, he will have a constant presence there. The city will be erecting a street sign with his name that is expected to be in place by Memorial Day. He's also featured in the Improper Bostonian's Beloved Bartenders issue and worked a St. Patrick's Day shift at the Quarterdeck Restaurant in Falmouth at the request of his old friend Tommy Leonard and his boss Dave Jarvis.
The whirlwind of affection and recognition toward Doyle isn't lost on him, but -- as he always did as a bartender -- Doyle is quick to introducing a dose of Irish reality. "I should really count my blessings, to have so many folks reach out to me with best wishes after everything hit the fan," Doyle said. "But I had one guy ask me at my party, 'What's it like to attend your own wake?'"
Somewhere between his State House schedule and his community stops, state Representative Brian Wallace, (D-South Boston, Dorchester), continues to make time for his writing. The veteran lawmaker reports he has not only completed his second book, "Night Runner," but he is also shopping the book and a screenplay to prospective buyers. The "Night Runner" screenplay was written by Los Angeles screenwriter B. J. Nelson, who signed onto the project after reading Wallace's first draft.
Readers may notice a familiar theme and name or two in "Night Runner," which is set in 2013 and is a fictional story of five friends who run the Boston Marathon. One that pops out to us is the mayor of Boston in Wallace's future, state Representative Linda Dorcena Forry, Wallace's colleague at the State House. Asked about his prediction of the BIR publisher's family member moving into City Hall, Wallace said: "I think I may be right on the mark with that one."
What's resonating with the movie makers in Los Angeles, Wallace said, is the Boston Marathon.
Ron Shelton, who directed 'Bull Durham' and 'Tin Cup,' told me that the Boston Marathon has always been a subject of interest to [Hollywood], but nobody has written a book or screenplay which captured the spirit and pageantry of the event." As usual, Wallace is keeping a busy social calendar when it comes to Boston's creative community. He was on hand for the opening night of the Boston International Film Festival where he presented "What Doesn't Kill You" writer/director/actor Brian Goodman with a proclamation from the House of Representatives for Goodman's commitment to making films in South Boston. Goodman's film, which stars Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke, is about two childhood friends who turn to crime as a way to get by and was filmed entirely in the Boston area -- including several locations in South Boston.
On a quiet weeknight in April in the back room of Doyle's Cafe in Jamaica Plain, a few dozen folks gathered to celebrate the Boston Globe's publication of two books on Senator Ted Kennedy. (It's here where we beg the reader's forgiveness as my editor, Tom Mulvoy, was a key player working on "Ted Kennedy: Scenes from an Epic Life," which is a photographic history of the senator's life culled from the Globe's archives. This writer also contributed to the project.)
The two books, both from Simon & Schuster, cover both the public and private life of Kennedy, whose birth was announced in the Boston newspapers because his grandfather, John F. "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, was mayor of Boston.
As can often happen with events hosted by newspaper editors and reporters, some of those who worked on "Scenes" and "Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy" were absent from the friendly book fete because news was happening in Washington. So although "Last Lion" editor Peter S. Canellos was working on the day's news, three of his team, Bella English, Neil Swidey, and Don Aucoin, were on hand to sign copies of their narrative biography of the Massachusetts senator.
Globe editor Marty Baron attended the party and congratulated the team as did Mayor Tom Menino. Others who made their way to the party were former Globe chief photographer Bill Brett, who wrote an essay for "Scenes," Janice Page, editor of the Globe-produced book projects, Globe staff members Brian Mooney, Linda Matchan, Kevin Cullen and Doug Most, former Globe writer Charlie Claffey, and Northeastern journalism professor Bill Kirtz. Both books are available in book stores and through the Globe at BostonGlobeStore.com/Kennedy.
Carol Beggy is a longtime Boston-area journalist who most recently co-authored the "Names" column in The Boston Globe.