Wickid Pissa Publicity Founder Josh Mitchell -A Ten Minute Interview
Josh Mitchell is the founder of Wickid Pissa Publicity (photo credit: Wickid Pissa Publicity)
Say “wicked pissa” to a Bostonian, and they’ll know you are talking about the cream of the crop, as in “That movie was wicked pissa!” Los Angeles transplant Josh Mitchell paid homage to his Boston roots when naming his public relations company Wickid Pissa Publicity. Wanting to expand upon his love of entertainment, the writer/director/producer/actor founded Wicked Pissa Publicity, which is dedicated to entertainment and lifestyle public relations, in 2008. With clients including VH1, The Grammy Awards and Florida Travel & Tourism Bureau, Variety411’s newest listee is a full service public relations, marketing, branding and events firm.
On the launch of his first novel, “The Dude Who Did Dictionaries” Mitchell conducted the following “Ten Minute” interview to discuss his views on work, life and comedy. What follows are excerpts from that interview.
Ten Minutes: What is the most rewarding aspect of your work with Wickid Pissa Publicity?
Josh Mitchell: The thing I love best about Wickid Pissa Publicity is the diversity of talent and companies I get to fraternize with on a daily basis. I specialize in elevating buzz, branding, and exposure for unique brands. So some days I am working with a young female actress, a TV producer, a new energy drink, a t-shirt line, a Kickstarter campaign – it runs the gamut and keeps everything fresh and exciting for me.
TM: Who are your biggest creative inspirations?
JM: The iconoclasts who have influenced me in no particular order are Henry Miller, Keith Haring, Eminem, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderberg. I like artists who lift up the random rocks of the world and unveil a universe we would have never known existed if it hadn’t been for their inventiveness.
TM: What does a typical day look like for you?
JM: My typical day is me on my computer for way too many hours, client meetings, a gym visit, lunch on The Sunset Strip, and a screening of the latest indie film at night.
TM: What initially convinced you to move from Boston to Los Angeles? Was it difficult adjusting to life on the west coast?
JM: I left Boston and moved to LA because I knew you had to be in the belly of the beast to truly maximize your chances of success in the film and TV world. There is a reason why all the studios are in Hollywood and why all the movie stars live here. Because this is where the magic happens. I recently celebrated my three-year anniversary on the west coast and the things I miss most are my family, friends, lobster, and Fenway Park. You can watch my feature film Helen Keller Had A Pit Bull to truly learn about my transition and some of the shady characters I have had to endure in the process.
TM: What was your childhood like, and how did it shape who you are today? JM: My childhood was adventurous and enlightening. I became a bibliophile at 18 months: Curious George, The Ugly Duckling, Tropic of Cancer. I took my real first steps on my first birthday. “That’s one small step for Josh, one huge pain in the ass for the rest of the world.”
TM: Your first novel, “The Dude Who Did Dictionaries,” follows Frank Flutie, a successful advertising copywriter who leaves his high paying job to embark on writing the world’s first “all-sexual dictionary.” The story observes life in our recession-addled world as we follow Frank’s downward spiral. How much of yourself is there in Frank Flutie?
JM: There’s a lot of me in Frank Flutie. I have a lot of spite for the corporate world and micromanaging, power-hungry bosses. I despise the 9-5 office job. I’d rather play leapfrog with a unicorn. Just like Frank, I was born in a historic, affluent town called Hingham. I based the company The Banker that Frank works at on my first job out of college in the financial district of Boston. I share some of his skeptical sentiments about marriage and women. I put a lot of myself in my novels and, if you know me on a personal level, the similarities will be transparent. The only real last fame is literary fame and I try to expunge all of my experiences into my characters so I can capture all of the chapters of my life.
TM: You are also a filmmaker and have been making both features and shorts for over fifteen years. What inspired the story ofyour latest film, Lack of Cockery, and what were the biggest challenges you faced during the making of that film?
JM: My latest feature film, Lack of Cockery, was inspired by the hustle of Hollywood. As a publicist, I work with a lot of emerging and fresh talent and a lot of them are so poor they can’t pay attention. It got me thinking about ambition and goals and how money cures a lot of problems in terms of stability. The story is my valentine to those who pound the pavement on a daily basis and will walk through hell in a gasoline suit to achieve their dreams.
TM: What are you working on next?
JM: I’m shooting a fun and endearing new short film called Vintage Vehicle this month and I have created a provocative new TV series called NoHo District, which I will be pitching to the networks. I am also gearing up for my tenth year in a row at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
TM: If a local deli named a sandwich after you, what would be on it?
JM: It would be called The Meatball Mitchell and it would be smothered in my nana’s homemade marinara sauce with piles of fresh provolone cheese.
For more information about Wickid Pissa Publicity, please visit: www.wickidpissapublicity.com