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MPAA's Dodd says Hollywood needs more self-promotion

May 3, 2011 |  5:49 pm

Hollywood has no problem promoting its films, but needs to do a better job promoting itself.

That was the message former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd delivered in a speech Tuesday just seven weeks into his job as the chief of the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

"One thing I've learned over this relatively brief period is that the film industry and profession is pretty good at marketing our products, but there is room for significant improvement in how this industry and profession markets itself," Dodd said speaking before the Media Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based think tank. "I intend to make it a significant part of my tenure as CEO and chair of the Motion Picture Assn. of America to change that impression." Dodd

In particular, Dodd said the industry needs to do "a much better job of both educating and reminding Americans that this industry is not just a red carpet industry, but more importantly a blue-collar industry," referring to thousands of people who work behind the scenes on productions and are the hardest hit when movies and TV shows are pirated.

Citing the experience of his home state, Connecticut, Dodd noted that the film industry in that state employs 15,000 people, including 400 who work at Twentieth Century Fox's Blue Sky Studios, producer of the current hit animated movie "Rio" and the "Ice Age" franchise. Dodd noted that on the same day "Rio" premiered, an illegal copy showed up on the Internet.

"Americans need to understand -- we need to help them understand -- that when you steal a movie, you're not just stealing from the big-name celebrities you know. You're stealing from the middle-class people whose families rely on this industry to make ends meet and build a better future for themselves."

Expect to hear more of that theme in the month to come as Dodd looks to elevate the MPAA's profile.

-- Richard Verrier

Photo: MPAA Chief Executive Chris Dodd. Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images.