Unless you were living under a rock, you must have heard about “The Hunger Games” by now. This science fiction film is based on the popular novel written by Suzanne Collins. It stars a bunch of young actors such as Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks and many more celebrities. The movie has taken the number one spot at the box office for quite some time now, slowly making these actors Hollywood’s new it-celebs. “It’s even making some of the shooting locations famous in their own right,” says producer Rich Iott. The founder of Braeburn Entertainment is referring to the abandoned mill town where the heroine of “The Hunger Games” lived which is part of a 72-acre parcel the owner hopes will sell now for $1.4 million. This slum that’s about 60 miles northwest of Charlotte has been for sale for several years, but is now getting so much more attention.
Producer Rich Iott says “This is the second movie based on a novel that’s done very well in the past few months, just like ‘The Artist’ that won Best Picture at the Academy Awards.” “The Hunger Games” takes place in a post-apocalyptic future in the nation of Panem which includes a wealthy city known as The Capital and 12 poorer districts. As punishment for rebelling against the government, the Capitol initiated the Hunger Games. These Games are a televised event where a boy and a girl from each of the districts are to fight in arena until there’s one remaining winner. “I heard ’The Hunger Games’ set the record for the third best-opening weekend box office sales of any movie with $152.5 million in North America,” Richard says. There are reports that say even archery has become more with plenty of movie fans trying the bow and arrow sport.
As producer of his own entertainment production company, Richard has his own opinion on the movies being produced these days.” The ability to digitally create everything from special effects has somewhat numbed our imagination,” Rich says. The founder of Braeburn Entertainment, also a Drama college major, produced a few of his own successful movies. “Insight,” a thriller which he co-produced with GC Pix, was directed by Richard Gabai, as well as a few co-produced with Glass City Films including “Separation Anxiety” and “Happily After.” Even Rich’s daughter is in the entertainment industry, acting, writing working in movie production services. “Yes, just like some of our other businesses and hobbies, movie-making is another family affair,” says producer Rich.
When looking at Richard Iott’s career and personal life, it’s clear that this former politician likes to keep busy. The lifelong Ohio resident has held various titles and still does, from grocer and volunteer firefighter to deputy commander and parachutist to scuba diver, race car driver, pilot and so much more. Rich took over the family business and became Chief Executive Officer of Seaway Food for a few years before he retired in 2000. He’s held every other imaginable position within this regional supermarket chain since the age of 15 years old. Richard has also been part of the Ohio Military Reserve since 1983. These days he’s focusing on his true passion: film. Rich Iott is founder of Braeburn Entertainment, producing movies and collaborating with other production companies.
Throughout his years with Seaway Food Town, Rich has been a very big part of his community. “I grew up with the guiding principle of giving back,” he explains. There’s even an Iott Foundation supporting Catholic education. “I attended many fundraising galas, was on the board of countless organizations and was always involved in local activities such as the Toledo Welcome Home Parade during the First Gulf War. During his career at Seaway Food Town, Richard Iott co-hosted many events as well as television shows such as the Easter Seal Live Telethon. “I co-hosted ‘Town Talk’ which was Toledo’s #1 Saturday morning radio talk show for six years,” Rich explains. The former politician was also Food Town Supermarkets’ spokesperson from 1990 to 2000. He also co-hosted two live television telethons for the Easter Seal Society.
So what does it take to be a good TV co-host? Besides keeping up on worldwide news, local issues and community events, there is more to hosting a show. For one, you have to be comfortable in front of a camera and of course, people. “You have to be interesting and engaging. Personal style has a lot to do with it as well. You have to have an ease with keeping the conversation going and be relatable to people,” Rich explains. On camera, you have to come off relaxed, keep a good, confident posture and think on your feet. That’s why being at ease and present is crucial. You have to be able to organize your thoughts and share them as you go. A great sense of humor always helps, especially if you’ve made a “mistake” on air. Its “live” television and things never go 100% as planned. Having a sense of humor about it, helps you put it behind you right away and continue the conversation. “In a way, you define the voice of the show…you are the voice,” Rich explains.
There’s no doubt that co-hosting requires great communication skills, along with some personality and the ability to use your voice as a tool.