Exploring ‘Soul of the Biz’

“The money and glamor of Hollywood hides the real truth of its power,” Rob Eshman, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal and its parent company, TRIBE Media Corp., said this week. “Its power is in the ability of stories to shape our lives and our values.”

“And that,” Eshman said, “is what Hollywood Journal explores.”

Hollywood Journal, a new Web site launched on Jan. 25 by TRIBE Media Corp., explores the true soul of the entertainment industry through the words of writers and bloggers inside Hollywood. The site’s editorial director, Jill Cutler, previously of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), has already enlisted more than 50 Hollywood insiders to write for Hollywood Journal about their emotional and spiritual journeys through original essays as well as photos and videos. 

“My partner Rob Eshman and I find movies a lot more enjoyable than Middle Eastern politics, and we both agree that Hollywood pretty much runs the world, so this was a natural,” said David Suissa, president of TRIBE Media Corp./Jewish Journal. 

Contributors are film and television writers, directors, actors, musicians, artists, producers and story creators of every genre: “Our stories will follow the emotional and spiritual journeys of those people who create the stories that people love, and hopefully the stories that they tell will impact and influence for the good,” Cutler said. 

Cutler worked for more than 15 years as a talent agent at CAA and then became president of production at Winkler Films. She is also an independent producer of film and TV projects.

Unlike other publications and Web sites that focus on celebrity news, gossip and paparazzi photos, Hollywood Journal’s tagline, “Soul of the Biz,” is intended tell the reader that this is a different kind of publication, Cutler said.

“It’s an intimate, insider’s point of view of Hollywood, but not through gossip or news. It’s a deeper, meaningful take on Hollywood.”

For example, Debi Pomerantz, vice president of research at the Oprah Winfrey Network, writes about her struggle finding suitable TV programs for her own children to watch in an essay titled “Late Night Revelations of a TV Addicted Mom,” and music producer A.J. Weiner tells how Bob Dylan’s music has kept his family close for more than 35 years in “The Soul of Dylan.”

The site includes “Industry Impressions,” “Making a Difference,” “Personal Journeys,” “Soul Dilemma” and a page for video content, and also brings together an aggregation of think pieces, lifestyle lists and writings by and about industry professionals. A question of the week will ask readers to reflect on films and other works of art that have shaped them through questions such as, “What film has most inspired the choices you’ve made in life, and why?” 

“I think everybody has a story,” Cutler said. “And everybody has challenges and opportunities and struggles and victories, so we will be following different people in Hollywood on their journeys.”