July 2000 "Godzilla Week" Photo Surfaces

by Armand Vaquer

Above, gathering in the Hall of Administration before the "Godzilla Week"
 ceremony are (left to right) Armand Vaquer, Masaharu Ina of 
Toho L.A., Andrew Wong and J. D. Lees.  Photo courtesy of Andrew Wong.
Back in July 2000, the second G-Fest in Southern California was about to be held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  A month later, Godzilla 2000, the first Japanese Godzilla movie to be released nationwide in theaters since Godzilla 1985.

To garner some publicity for both, the idea was to have the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declare the week of G-Fest "Godzilla Week." Toho Co., Ltd. was enthusiastic over this idea and even shipped over (at their expense) a Godzilla 2000 event suit for the ceremony to be held at the Hall of Administration.

Unfortunately, Jaime Geller, a publicist at Sony Entertainment, horned in and thinking she knew better than anyone about what constitutes good publicity, nixed the appearance of the event suit saying it was too small and, "It detracts from the grandeur of Godzilla." (Sony had the U.S. theatrical rights to Godzilla 2000, which included publicity.) Once fans heard the news of the cancellation of the event suit, the "fit hit the shan." Geller received many angry messages from irate fans.

The ceremony went ahead anyway without the event suit and, as a result of Sony's dumb move, no publicity was generated. But, at least Toho got a nice scroll (below) out of it and it hangs somewhere at Toho in Japan.

What prompted this post was the above photograph that, until tonight, I didn't know existed. It was sent to me by Andrew Wong.  Thanks, Andrew!

Check out Andrew's GForever website!

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