Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Documentary about Youngstown - Filmed Now on Location

I am so excited about the news! The Vindicator has announced that shooting will begin this week on a documentary about Youngstown. Ray "Boom" "Boom" Mancini and Jim Napoli are producing it. Their plan is to show the city as a fighter. The film crew will make forays into the community this week to find Youngstowners in their element - so look out folks! Mancini calls it "guerrilla film making."

For anyone who has ever dreamt of being in the movies you may have the chance to be caught on film if you make your way to the city. While here, make sure you check out the new Taft Technology Center,. For a glimpse check it out at Youngstown Pride.

Make sure you walk by the revived Davis Building, and have something to eat or drink at one of our fine eateries, awesome bars, or clubs. In the event you just want to be out on the streets,in hopes that the camera will find you there, just stop by and get an ice cream cone at Touch the Moon Candy Saloon, then wander around, chillout,and enjoy the spring.

As of late I have been reading a book called "Destination Branding for Small Cities". It is written by Bill Baker. He defines destination branding as the totality of perceptions, thoughts and feelings that people have about a a place. He states that, "Destination branding is an organizing principle that involves orchestrating the messages and experiences associated with the place to ensure that they are as distinctive, compelling, memorable, and rewarding as possible."

His theory is that many small cities need to develop a brand strategy in order to overcome dated, confusing, or inaccurate images. Youngstown has clearly suffered from an inaccurate image and it is time to fix that problem and change the perceptions of our fine city in the minds of people near and far. The way to do that is to attract more visitors to our downtown and also revitalize the interest of area residents in the entertainment and recreational values of Youngstown. (You really have no idea what you've been missing if you haven't been downtown in a while. I suggest you hang out after work on a Friday night instead of making a dash back to the suburbs.)

The new urban pioneers living in Youngstown are well aware of the exciting things happening in the city, Mancini's documentary will now get the word spread far and wide. Mancini gets it -and Pavlik gets it, and Defend Youngstown gets it - Youngstown folks don't give up - they get up...and what's more they have a helluva lot of fun while doing it. I don't exactly know how to convert this fact into a "brand" per se, but I'm working on it. I'm going to continue reading about the branding of cities and think about it some more. If you have any ideas or thoughts about this please share them with me by commenting on the blog.

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