Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on writer and producer Gina Rubinstein
How many years in Venice? 18 years..
Tell us about your art/medium?
I make unscripted TV shows and videos for artists to help them market their work.
How many years, and how did you get into it?
I’ve worked as a writer and producer of non-fiction television for 30 years. I had been working in film and scripted television but 2 Writers Guild strikes and rampant industry sexism in the late 1980’s made me change my direction to unscripted. My first two credits were the last “Candid Camera” special that Allan Funt appeared in and “Love Connection.”
Describe your style:
I tell stories by creating “real-life” situations that allow my “real people” talent to naturally take the actions and express the emotions that propel the story forward.
What would you say has had the largest impact upon your particular style?
Doing “Love Connection” for 2 years. 90% of the time I had the same story — Dinner, dancing and a “friend” connection. I had to learn to turn those boring elements into a unique, emotionally engaging, suspenseful story… over and over and over again. It taught me to look for the details that differentiate people. I also learned how to direct “real” people to deliver the story I wanted on-camera.
What projects are you currently working on?
Artist videos, a TV project about mixed orientation marriages, and 2 new businesses.
What accomplishments, projects, or pieces that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of my role as Executive Producer of the “Clean House” franchise starring Niecy Nash on the Style network. I took a show that had been pulled off the air for bad ratings and re-designed it so that it became not just the face of the network, but also the top-rated show on the network for five straight years. I created and produced 3 spin-off shows (“Clean House Comes Clean”, “Clean House: Messiest House in the Country”, “Clean House: Search for the Messiest House in the Country”). “Clean House” was in production 50 weeks a year for 7 1/2 years and broke all kinds of rating records for the network. I was nominated for 4 Emmy’s and won one in 2010.
Where do you find inspiration from?
My friends and loved ones.
What brings you to the arts and how has it helped your life?
Art is what enables me to live in this crazy, often stupid world. It gives me a way to express myself, to turn my feelings into universal emotions that unite people.
Among the many artists who’ve created here in Venice, who are your favorites?
Sunny Bak. Patrick Marston.
Past art projects? Any pieces shown in Venice?
I had a show of my iPhone photos at a Venice Art Crawl a year ago.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?
Study the greats from the past, learn from them, and take their ideas further. Too many people have no idea of what came before them and spend their time reinventing the wheel instead of making true progress.
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote:
“The thing is to have made someone care. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. And the rest is the madness of art.” -Henry James
Favorite book, band or movie?
What causes do you support?
Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts or accomplishments?
I studied at Joan Baez’s Institute for the Study of Nonviolence in the early 1970’s and did anti-war work with her husband David Harris. I saw the Beatles on their first trip to America and I was at Woodstock. I lived with Jesuit priests on the Upper West Side of New York in the 70’s.
One step beyond the cutting edge.
Describe your perfect day in Venice (start from morning to night):
Hanging with my friends at the beach, and never getting in my car or going east of Pacific.
What Venice places would you take a visiting artist friend?
The crazy house on Westminster, the murals.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?
Discretion is the better part of valor.
Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?
Venice is different from other beach cities. It’s not supposed to be smug, self-satisfied, too comfortable. What makes Venice Venice is its edge, its dark side, its uncompromising insistence on authenticity and embracing all aspects of life, and its resistance to merely mimicking the status quo.