Long Island Pulse Magazine’s “Winter White Party” – Society-In-Focus to Photograph!

Hey everyone!  Thanksgiving is only a few days away and that means December is just around the corner!  Where did the year go??!  Anyway, we had such a great time photographing Long Island Pulse Magazine’s Island Harvest event last week that we’re thrilled to help announce their next party which is their big end-of-the-year holiday bash!

Last year’s party was SO much fun that we’re wondering how they can top the great food, fun music, professional dancers, and famous knife thrower The Great Throwdini!  With the help from our friends at Andrew Scott Events and the Event Kings, however, we KNOW they will put on a fabulous affair once again…

The Great Throwdini and Lana Firebird at the 2011 Pulse Holiday Party
The Great Throwdini and Lana Firebird at the 2011 Pulse Holiday Party

This year’s event is being called “The Winter White Party,” so you know what that means ladies…leave the traditional red holiday dress in the closet and throw on your elegant winter white gowns instead!  As usual there will be music, entertainment, and luxury raffles but also a holiday gift preview and a complimentary Gatsby style dinner (plus open bar for their VIP guests)!  The party is taking place at The Carltun at Eisenhower Park on Wednesday, December 5th and you must RSVP by November 30th to get on the list, so don’t wait, you won’t want to miss this one!

These Pulse parties are wonderful networking events, so if you’ve never attended one before, now would be a great time to start!  We at Society-In-Focus are looking forward to photographing all of your smiling faces once again and meeting lots of new faces as well.  Come pose for us in your beautiful winter whites and then download your photo from our website for a new holiday profile pic or order some prints for holiday gifts!  See you in a couple of weeks!

What: Long Island Pulse Magazine’s “Winter White Party”

When: Wednesday, December 5, 2012  5:30-9:30PM

Where: The Carltun at Eisenhower Park, 1899 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY

Attire: Festive winter white or business chic

RSVP by November 30th
631.289-4315 x.13 or

Long Island Pulse Magazine Hosts Annual “Island Tasting” to Benefit Island Harvest – With PHOTOS!

Despite the effects of Hurricane Sandy, Long Islanders joined together at Huntington’s Coindre Hall to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger.

Dessert Shots from Seasons 52
Dessert Shots from Seasons 52

Huntington, New York – Resilience was the overriding theme last night as three hundred guests poured through the exquisite doors of Coindre Hall, in honor of Long Island Pulse’s Island Tasting, the event to support Island Harvest, our island’s biggest food rescue organization.

The sounds of glasses clicking and joyous laughter, paired with gleaming light cascading off the chandeliers, made for a night filled with elegance, philanthropy, and vitality. Rather then bow to Sandy, Long Island Pulse continued their plan to host the fifth annual Island Tasting, to raise money and awareness for Island Harvest. Long Island Pulse Magazine’s Publisher and Editor, Nada Marjanovich addressed the crowd, “Under normal circumstances one in ten people accesses Island Harvest’s food banks. We can only imagine how that number will rise exponentially as the after shocks of Super Storm Sandy continue.”

Despite still damaged roads in this predominately water front town of Huntington, guests swarmed to Coindre Hall, to taste delicious offerings from over twenty of Long Island’s top restaurants and food, wine, and spirit vendors, as they bided on luxury raffles throughout the night and danced to the live jazz trio.

Tracy Kaplan, Pearl Losoia
Tracy Kaplan, Pearl Losoia

To stay posted on upcoming events hosted by Long Island Pulse Magazine, sign up for their newsletter on http://www.lipulse.com, and get connected through their social media sites, by visiting: facebook.com/LI.Pulse and twitter.com/longislandpulse.

Lee Simon, Kim Bow
Lee Simon, Kim Bow

About Long Island Pulse Magazine
Long Island Pulse Magazine is the largest magazine on Long Island, owning the Gold Coast, Hampton and boutique communities. The magazine is read monthly by 35-55 year old affluent professionals and has an ABC audited circulation of 100,000 copies monthly, qualifying as one of the largest regional magazines in the country. For more information, visit: www.lipulse.com

About Island Harvest
Island Harvest is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island. By relying on volunteers, in-kind services, and donated food, they devote more than 95 cents of every dollar contributed directly to their programs. For more information, visit: www.islandharvest.org

Press release provided by Long Island Pulse Magazine

Randi Shubin Dresner (Executive Director of Island Harvest) and Nada Marjanovich (Publisher & Editor Long Island Pulse Magazine)
Randi Shubin Dresner (Executive Director of Island Harvest) and Nada Marjanovich (Publisher & Editor Long Island Pulse Magazine)
Trevor Davison Orchestras and Musical Entertainment
Trevor Davison Orchestras and Musical Entertainment

Photos from the 2012 Island Tasting Event at Coindre Hall

View photos at SmugMug


Long Island Pulse Magazine “Island Tasting” November Cover Party at Coindre Hall – Society-In-Focus to Photograph!

While Long Island’s focus right now is obviously on the devastation left behind by Sandy, we are looking forward to returning to some sense of normalcy next week by celebrating Long Island Pulse Magazine‘s November Cover Party at Coindre Hall in Huntington.  This event is being called an “Island Tasting” and will feature food and drinks from some of Long Island’s premiere restaurants, wineries, beermakers, and chocolatiers! They are all joining together to support Island Harvest the charity dedicated to fighting hunger and rescuing food. All proceeds from the evening will benefit Island Harvest.  Some vendors expected to attend: Raphael Winery, Mirabelle, Alaine’s, Public House 49, Southhampton Publick House, Bobbique, Frisky Oyster, 2 Blondes and a Stove, Jellyfish, Wine U Design, Mitch and Toni’s, and more!

In our T.H.E. Fitzgerald Photography capacity, we recently shot a wedding for our second time at that venue and can tell you first-hand that it is a beautiful old mansion with a stunning spiral staircase, a courtyard in the center of the building, and warm crackling fireplaces in the foyer and ballroom.  The RSVP deadline has been extended so make sure you call or email Pulse today!

When: Tuesday, November 13th, 5:30-8:30PM

Where: Coindre Hall, 101 Browns Road, Huntington, NY

Cost: Pulse subscription or $10 at the door!

631.289-4315 x.13 or

Bride and Groom at the Bottom of the Coindre Hall Spiral Staircase
Bride and Groom at the Bottom of the Coindre Hall Spiral Staircase

American Masters Inventing David Geffen – Hamptons International Film Festival Film Review

Once again, I’m writing to provide you with a film review instead of a photo shoot 🙂

I recently screened “American Masters Inventing David Geffen” and definitely recommend watching the film if you are interested in music, film, business, or especially the three combined!

Watch Inventing David Geffen: Sunset Blvd. on PBS. See more from American Masters.


Notoriously press and camera-shy, Brooklyn native David Geffen reveals himself for the first time in this unflinching portrait of a complex and compelling man. His far-reaching influence as an agent, manager, record industry titan, Hollywood and Broadway producer, and billionaire philanthropist helped shape American popular culture for the past four decades. Witty, self-aware and candid, Geffen and over 50 of his friends, colleagues and clients, as well as other media luminaries, including Cher, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Elton John, Don Henley, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, the late Nora Ephron, Mike Nichols, Clive Davis, Barry Diller, and Irving Azoff are interviewed.


This film is such a well done documentary.  It walks you through the life of a true legend in terms of music and film.  I learned that when David Geffen puts his mind to something, when he wants something, he makes sure he gets it.  He grew up in Brooklyn and couldn’t wait to get out.  He was raised after the age of 10 by a single mother who always believed in him, but who never imagined he would make it big.  David worked his way up from a mailroom worker to a billionaire who created businesses from scratch and sold them for scratch.  It was so interesting hearing interviews with talent such as Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Mike Nichols, and even Tom Hanks.  I learned that being gay got David out of the Vietnam draft but also provided a big scare during the 80’s AIDS epidemic.  I learned that he had a relationship with Cher.  I learned that he will do everything he can to take care of those he is friends with, but you don’t want to cross him.  And most importantly (to me), I learned that David (and Elliot Roberts) truly recognized and respected songwriters, not just popular bands who might make them a lot of money.  The “soundtrack” to this film is obviously fantastic.  Songs from Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Jackson Browne, Elton John, Cher, John Lennon, The Eagles, Guns N’ Roses, and clips from “Risky Business” and “American Beauty” are peppered between over 50 interviews with people from David’s extensive career.  I have to say, however, that while I am impressed by his self-made success, it’s a little difficult to not hate David Geffen just a little bit.  I guess it’s often said that you can’t be successful without being a little shrewd and stepping on a few toes.

Since its 1986 premiere, American Masters has earned 24 Emmy Awards – including 8 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and 5 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special – the 2012 Producers Guild Award, 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, and 3 Grammys. Now in its 26th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV. For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.

“American Masters Inventing David Geffen” is a production of THIRTEEN’s American Masters for WNET. Susan Lacy is writer, director, producer, American Masters series creator and executive producer. Jessica Levin is producer.

“American Masters Inventing David Geffen” made its US premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival on Monday, October 8th and premieres nationwide Tuesday, November 20th at 8PM ET on PBS and locally here in NY on THIRTEEN.

Watch Inventing David Geffen: Always About the Song on PBS. See more from American Masters.

Simon and the Oaks – Hamptons International Film Festival Film Review

Usually we reserve this space for photos and reviews about events we’ve shot, but one of the other perks of shooting a film festival is that sometimes we get to review the actual films as well!  As I mentioned in my last post, I had some downtime during Hurricane Sandy to watch one of the HIFF movies, “Simon and the Oaks” directed by Lisa Ohlin.  I have to admit, when I popped the DVD into my laptop I had NO idea what this movie was about, who was in it, or where it took place.  It just happened to be the DVD sitting closest to me on my table when I was looking for something to watch.  Normally I’d read up on something before watching it to make sure it was something that I might be interested in spending a couple of hours on, but this time I just said to myself “surprise me!” and that’s just what this movie did…


An epic drama spanning the years 1939 to 1952, this is the gripping story of Simon (played as the adult by Bill Skarsgård, son of Stellan, and named by the Berlin Film Festival Jury as one of the Shooting Stars of 2012 for this performance), who grows up in a loving working class family on the outskirts of Gothenburg but always feels out of place. Intellectually gifted, he stubbornly persists in acquiring an education normally reserved for young men of the professional classes, much to the chagrin of his parents who fear that he will become stuck up. He finally convinces his father to send him to an upper-class grammar school, where he meets Isak, the son of a wealthy Jewish bookseller who has fled Nazi persecution in Germany.  Simon is dazzled by the books, art and music he encounters in the home of Isak’s father Ruben (Jan Josef Liefers), which makes Simon long to know more about his own family background. Isak, on the other hand, draws comfort from learning to do something with his hands, helping Simon’s dad (Stefan Godicke) make boats. When Isak faces trouble at home, he is taken in by Simon’s family and the two households slowly merge, connecting in unexpected ways as war rages all over Europe.

Simon and the Oaks is based on the Swedish bestseller of the same name, written by Marianne Fredriksson. It offers a unique depiction of fate, destiny and free will and vividly portrays the situation for Jews in Sweden during World War II.


This is a foreign film in Swedish and German with English subtitles, something I don’t mind, but wasn’t expecting when I first popped the DVD in for what I thought would be a night of mindless entertainment in the dark.  The film opens with some beautiful visuals of Simon daydreaming in his oak tree by the water but quickly evolves into a heady drama filled with themes about war, antisemitism, family, and of course love and loss.  My only complaint about the movie is that it seems as though not enough time is spent on each major topic.  Simon goes from being a child at the beginning of the war to being an adolescent celebrating the end of the war in the next scene.  His best friend goes from a sort of emotional breakdown from a traumatic childhood event to becoming a father without too much in between.  Granted, the movie would probably have been way too long if they tried to fill in all those details, but it just has the feeling of trying to pack too much into a couple of hours at the expense of a seamless plot.  Otherwise, I found the story line to be very intriguing, the visuals very captivating, and the casting very well done.  Young Simon and older Simon look like the same person and I thought the acting was superb.  There’s a reason this film received a record 13 nominations for the Sweden’s 2012 Guldbagge Awards (equivalent of our Oscars) including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Cinematography.


“Simon And The Oaks” has been a favorite book of mine for a long time. The reason I connect so strongly to it is of course partly personal. My mother’s family escaped from a certain death in Berlin to a new life in New York in 1939. Growing up as a survivor gave her guilt, but she, as well as the rest of the family, dealt with it by not talking about it. My mother suddenly died when I was five, so my brother and I moved to join our father in Sweden. He had the same method – avoidance – that meant that my mother was never mentioned again.

I was obviously very different from all the blond and blue eyed Swedes, but, just like Simon, I simply assumed I wasn’t as good as “normal Swedes” and I better not ask too much as to why.

When I was seventeen, we moved back to the States. I finally got to meet my mother’s family. To suddenly see people that resembled me, to get photos of and letters written by my mother, and to hear them talk about things that I thought I had been mad for thinking about, was quite an overwhelming experience. Finding out that I am Jewish, with all the ramifications, gave me a place in history. So, as you can see, I identify with Simon’s journey and his search for his place in the world.

Of course, personal identification with a character’s journey isn’t enough reason to make a film. Somehow, all my films deal with the same theme in one or another way – the theme of fearing and daring to find out who you really are, where you come from, and what are you standing up for it. I truly believe we all have an unconscious connection to our past, and that it is a part of every person’s journey to find out where they come from and what their place in history is.

It has always been my ambition to tell my stories on all levels – physical, social, psychological and spiritual. The story of Simon is of a young person’s journey – but it is also the story of the struggle between good and evil, between love and hate and between fear and courage. It is about the small choices we make that later define our lives.


LISA OHLIN – director

Swedish/American Lisa Ohlin has directed four feature films, as well as TV series and commercials. Her films have been nominated to a total of 21 “Guldbaggen” (Swedish Oscars) and have won three. She has won several awards abroad, among others the “Innovation award” at Montreal Film Festival for “Sex Hope and Love”, and “Best script” at Hamburg Film Festival for “Simon And The Oaks”. Her TV series “Kvalster”/ “Mites” was nominated for best TV series of the year in Sweden.
She was educated in Washington DC and New York and has a Masters of Art in Film from New York University.
After years of stage work in musicals during college, as well as a BA in drawing, Lisa devoted herself to painting for many years, and then turned to a successful career in film.
From 2007 to 2009 Lisa Ohlin was selected and served as the Swedish film commissioner for feature films by the Swedish Film Institute. Upon leaving that position, she directed “Simon and the Oaks”.  With a budget of  $7,5 million it is the fourth most expensive feature film ever produced in Sweden.
Ms Ohlin is currently directing the Pulizer prize-winning, Tony awarded musical NEXT TO NORMAL, for Stockholms Stadsteater. In the Fall of 2012, she will film the two concluding episodes of “Wallander”, the critically acclaimed crime stories of Henning Mankell.

Christer Nilson is the CEO of the production company GötaFilm AB, a company that he started in 1988. He also used to be the chairman of Föreningen Sveriges Filmproducenter (2005-2008) and is the Adjunct Professor of Film Production at University West. Here is a selection of his film and TV productions; “Between Summers” (1995), “The New Country” (2000-TV), “Slim Susie” (2003), “Saltön” (2005 – 2010-TV), “Details” (2003), “Offside” (2006), “How Soon Is Now” (2007-TV), “Everlasting Moments” (2008), “Simon and the Oaks” (2008-2011) and “I Miss You” (2011).

SIMON AND THE OAKS is the first film adaptation made of one of Marianne Fredriksson’s books. That it was produced by me and GötaFilm feels like coming full circle, just starting out as a producer I read the book with delight and met Marianne Fredriksson in 1989 at a reading in Gothenburg. Back then someone else acquired the rights and many have tried but failed to develop and finance a film adaptation since. The greatest success was the theatre production that was put up by Folkteatern in Gothenburg in 2007-2008. It was very good and played to sold-out houses for a year. The film project came back to me in 2007, through the Danish producer Per Holst (Pelle the Conqueror etc.) who then, within the framework of Nordisk Film, had acquired the rights to the book. At the time there was already a finished screenplay written by the Dutch screenwriter, actress etc., Marnie Blok, and a director, Björn Runge, attached. After Runge resigned, Holst and I collaborated with the co-producers to come up with a selection of directors that we deemed suitable. We invited some of them to articulate their visions and finally decided on Lisa Ohlin!
Now in 2011, the film is finally finished. After four years of production and with thirty financiers from five countries, together we’ve made one of the most expensive feature films in Sweden. It is generous, beautiful, epic and emotional, just as I hoped after meeting Marianne Fredriksson at a library in 1989!”

Christer Nilsson


Born in Stockholm in 1990 (son of actor Stellan Skargård). In 2009 Bill graduated from Södra Latins gymnasium (an upper secondary school), majoring in acting. He can be seen in several major Swedish movies like “Kenny Begins” (2009), “Arn – The Kingdom at Road’s End” (2008), Behind Blue Skies and “Simple Simon” (2010), in the latter he received a Best Lead Actor nomination at the Gulbagge Awards. Most recently Bill was in Ella Lemhagen’s film, ”The Crown Jewels”. Amongst other productions are – ”White Water Fury” 2000, ”Laura Trenter – Dan, the Policeman” (TV) 2002 and ”Livet i Fagervik” (TV) 2009. The Berlin Film Festival Jury named Bill as one of the Shooting Stars of 2012 for this performance in SIMON AND THE OAKS.

Helen was born in Sundsvall on July 10th, 1970 and studied jazz and pop song at Kulturama. Her professional stage debut was in the song and entertainment group “Just For Fun” in the late 80’st, and in 1988 Stallbröderna gave her their annual Award. She has participated in many musicals and theatre productions and received multiple awards for accomplishments in both music and theatre throughout the years. She had her big breakthrough as Kristina in the musical “Kristina från Duvemåla”, which premiered at the Malmö Musikteater in 1995. In the following year she participated in the successful B&B-concerts. In 1999 she debuted on the silver screen in Richard Hobert’s “Where the Rainbow Ends”, before then she had lent her voice to several animated movies. In 2004 she played Gabriella in Kay Pollak’s “As It Is In Heaven”. In 2010-2011 she played one of the leads in Stockholms Stadsteater’s production of “Aniara”. As an artist, Helen is currently releasing a CD and is in the BAO-orchestra.

Actor and singer Stefan Gödicke was born in 1970. He studied at the School of Theatre and Opera in 1994-1997. After finishing his studies he worked at Riksteatern, Atelierteatern and Uppsala Stadsteater. Besides working in theater he has also been in a lot of TV productions and is probably the most known for his roles in “Superintendent Winter”, “Irene Huss”’, “Saltön”, and as Tony in “Andra Avenyn”.

Jan was born in 1964 in Dresden, Germany, and is one of Germany’s most well know and praised actors. He studied acting at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst ”Ernst Busch” in Berlin between 1983 and 1987. He started his singing career simultaneously with his acting career in 1998. He has been in many German TV and film productions, amongst those in the
TV-series “Tatort” and the feature film “Baader Meinhof Complex” (2008).

Karl was born in 1986 and grew upp in Limhamn. He studied at the Stockholm University College of Acting. The film productions Karl has been in are: “Four Shades of Brown” (2004), “Buss till Italien” (2005) and “Everlasting Moments” (2008).

Marianne Fredriksson was a groundbreaking journalist, who in the midst of her career turned into a world famous author, immensely loved by her numerous readers.
However, domestic critics were in general more reserved towards her books.
After more than thirty years in journalism, Fredriksson debuted as a fiction writer with ”The Book of Eve”, which was to be followed by fourteen more novels.

Her definite international breakthrough came with the novel “Hanna’s Daughters”. She had an especially large number of readers in the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, and the largest number of readers were located in Germany (where also Astrid Lindgren’s books are internationally the most popular). Eventually Fredriksson also conquered, amongst other countries, USA, Japan, China and Australia.

According to data from 2007, Marianne Fredriksson’s books have sold no less that 17 million copies World wide. They have been translated to around 45 languages.

“Simon and the Oaks”, which Lisa Ohlin’s film is based on, was together with novels by Isabel Allende and John Grisham amongst the 10 books that dominated the world wide bestsellers list in the literary season of 1999/2000. ”Simon and the Oaks” has been translated to 25 languages and has sold more than 4 million copies.

“Simon and the Oaks” screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival on Sunday, October 7 and opened at The Paris Theatre in NYC on October 12.

3 H’s…Hurricane Sandy, Hoda Kotb, and Hamptons Film Fest Movie Reviews?!

Hello again!  It’s been quite a while since our last blog post, but we’re back and have lots to share with you.  First of all, we sincerely hope you are all safe and recovering from Hurricane Sandy’s wrath.  Being based on Long Island, we here at Society-In-Focus and T.H.E. Fitzgerald Photography have seen the damage experienced the power outage first hand and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost so much from this terrible storm.

During my power outage, I, like many others, quickly became bored with the lack of technology that I am so used to surrounding myself with and actually decided maybe now would be a good time to read something that was printed on actual paper!  I caught up on my subscription to Popular Photography Magazine and then moved on to Better Homes and Gardens because you know, sometimes I wonder how I could decorate my (non-existent) dining room table with gourds and berries that I could dry myself (seriously, people have time for that stuff?!)  Anyway, it wasn’t long before I got bored of the magazines, so I figured maybe I should read a book (gasp!) I made my way over to my bookshelf and scanned the shelves…text book…text book…travel guide…cupcake recipe book…text book…novel I already read…complete works of Edgar Allan Poe…Hoda Kotb‘s autobiography “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee” that I received in a swag bag from the HEAT benefit two years ago!  Sure, why not?  I had met Hoda Kotb at the benefit and she seemed so nice, but I didn’t know much about her other than the fact I had seen her on TV a few times but usually changed the channel because she was on with Kathie Lee who I’m not a big fan of LOL.  So I opened the blinds all the way up to let as much sunlight into my room as I could, climbed under my puffy down comforter, and started reading.  The next thing I knew, I was closing the blinds, lighting candles, and finishing the last paragraph of Ms. Kotb’s book!  I think that is the first time I have ever read an entire 269 page book cover to cover in less than one day.  Sure, I was bored, but this book was a wonderful read!  I laughed, I cried, I smiled and I was inspired.  I won’t go into the details, but I realized I have recently shared many of Hoda’s life speed bumps and she was able to make me look at them in a more positive light.  I’m sure she’ll never read this blog, but at a time when my electricity was both literally and figuratively out, reading her book brought a little light to my life and so I thank her and I’m happy I reached for her book that day.

Now that I still had no power and was tired of reading books, I decided to power up my laptop and use some of that precious battery life to catch up on a couple of the movie screeners I was given during the Hamptons International Film Festival.  First up was “Simon and the Oaks” and then “American Masters Inventing David Geffen.”  I’ll create separate blog entries for each of these films as they both deserve their own attention, but I will say here that they’re both worth watching if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill.

Anyway, I know this wasn’t my typical photo-filled blog entry, but I just felt like writing today and figured this might be a good transition back to some normalcy after a crazy storm and some time away from my computer.  Once again, I hope this finds you all safe and sound and ready to jump into the holiday photo season with us!