PORTRAIT of a by fjzhangweiqun


									                                CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK                                                                                                                          TUESDAY D1

                                                                                                                                      Today’s                                                          Section D
                                                                                                                                   picture by
                                                                                                                                 Gardner, 10,
                                                                                                                                Battle Ground,
                                                                                                                                Captain Strong

                                                                 TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2006

Give an elf                                                                            Working at Vancouver mall,
                                                                              Jenny Multer coaches, coaxes and clicks clients
to someone
you love …                                                          PORTRAIT
                                                                     of a
or hate
Web site lets visitors
download jolly folk
for use in ‘e-cards’
Associated Press writer
   NEW YORK — The folks at Office
Max want you to elf yourself. Or elf
someone one you love. Elf someone
you can’t stand. Whatever.
   The office supply company has
launched a holiday campaign on its
Web site where bored workers whiling
the day away in their cubicles can go
to create all sorts of obnoxious holiday                                                                                                                                               Photos by DAVID PLECHL for The Columbian
cheer.                                                                                                                                                                        Jenny Multer is the lead photographer
   “Elf Yourself” is among 20 different                                                                                                                                       at Flash Digital Portraits in the
Web sites created by the advertising                                                                                                                                          Vancouver mall, but she dreams of
firm Toy New York. They are located                                                                                                                                            opening her own studio.
on a landing page fit snugly in the
“Christmas and holiday gift guide”
section of the Office Max site.
   “It’s a tough assignment,” Toy
founder and creative director Ari
Merkin said of the holiday campaign.
“Especially when you have to shout
over all the holiday clutter. People
don’t usually go shopping for gifts at                                                                                                                                       Vancouver mall
an office supply store.”                                                                                                                                                      has four portrait
   But people are going to the holiday                                                                                                                                       studios, where
sites in droves.                                                                                                                                                             hundreds of
   Elfyourself.com is getting more                                                                                                                                           children are being
than 200 hits a second, Merkin said,                                                                                                                                         brought this time
and eight new elves are created per                                                                                                                                          of year for holiday
second. Tech folks had to upgrade the                                                                                                                                        pictures.
server three times in the past week.
Bloggers can’t stop talking about it,
and it appeared on VH-1’s “Best Week                           By BRET T OPPEGA ARD                              This is the portrait photographers’           ing around the studio floor, trying to

Ever” site last week and it was plugged                        Columbian staff writer                          busiest time of year, and Multer can tell       get the kids in position on a bench while
on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”                                           he kids are wearing uncom-          that her first clients of the day are going      keeping them entertained. Multer rings
   At Elfyourself, you create a wacky                                      fortable clothes. The parents       to be a challenge. The family of four,          a bell. She raises the pitch of her voice
e-card for someone by downloading a                                        desperately want a holiday          including a 6-year-old boy and 2-year-          to Betty Boop-ish level. She laughs. She
picture, of which the face gets super-                                     picture. It’s Jenny Multer’s        old girl, appears anxious to begin.             trills. Lilli sits still for a single shot, then
imposed on a computer generated elf                                        job to get the shot. She has          The parents tell Multer that they want        hops up. Her mother gives her more
that resembles a “South Park” char-                                        30 minutes to do it.                a photo of the two kids, who are wearing        candy. She sits again. Another flash.
acter. Enter in some text or record a                            The lead photographer at Flash Digi-          pressed and matching outfits. The little         Lilli is up.
saying and voila. It does a funny dance                        tal Portraits arrives as Vancouver mall         girl, Lilli, defiantly announces that she           “Let’s go home and go to bed,” her
to your holiday ode.                                           opens. She hangs her winter coat and            won’t be having her picture taken. The          father, Ian Kirkley, says in frustration.
   The process is sort of lengthy and                          walks straight to the storefront’s glass-       mother, Electra Kirkley, slips a piece of       It’s just a few minutes after 9 a.m.
sort of annoying, and the site breaks                          encased studio. Shoppers already are            candy in her mouth.                                Multer is one of only about 130,000
down every so often. But if you have a                         whizzing by, and peeking in, as ubiqui-           Multer slides off her shoes, gets on
few minutes in your workday, it’s not a                        tous Christmas music plays.                     her hands and knees, and starts crawl-                        PHOTOGRAPHER, Page D4
bad way to pass the time.
   Other sites that Toy created for the
campaign include reindeer arm-wres-                                    At Flash
tling and “Save the Snowman,” where                                    Digital
you play hangman against a melting
                                                                       Portraits,                                                                       Did you know?
                                                                       photos                                                                           ■ The median annual salary for a
   Merkin said his creative team                                       are shot,
worked around the clock from about                                                                                                                      photographer is $26,000, according
September to get the job done.
                                                                       downloaded,                                                                      to the U.S. Labor Department.
   “E-cards around the holidays are                                    edited and
pretty lame and so we thought we’d                                     printed for
start there,” he said.                                                 customers
   Whether or not it’s actually serving                                within hours
its purpose, to help Office Max sell                                    on-site.
more, isn’t known yet. The company
will be releasing sales results at the
end of the quarter.

                                                                 G IFT I DEAS FOR C HRISTMAS : DAY 8

                                                            o help you out with the
                                                                                                                                                     For the outdoors enthusiast on your list:
         G IF T I DE A S                                    hunt for the perfect gift,
                                                                                                                                                       Gretchen Schwinn is president of the local Ptarmigans
  Day 1, for the crafter: Clover Yarn                       we’re calling upon
                                                                                                                                                                      outdoor club, www.ptarmigans.org, which
    Cutter Pendant, folding scissors.                       Clark County people                                                                                       focuses on mountaineering and rock climb-
  Day 2, for the foodie: Sur La Table                                                                                                                                 ing. The 25-year-old says she wears her Mar-
    gift card.                                              with hobbies and
                                                                                                                                                                     mot soft-shell jacket just about everywhere
  Day 3, for the gardener: garden               interests to offer suggestions for                                                                                   and highly recommends it as a gift idea.
  Day 4, for the runner: Nike’s water-          12 days.                                                                                                               Schwinn worked as a climbing ranger for
    wicking pants.                                OK, so we know that the 12                                                                                        a summer on Mount St. Helens, reaching the
  Day 5, for the car buff: Armor All                                                                                                                                summit about 30 times. She had to wear a cot-
     Holiday Gift Pack                          days of Christmas actually start                                                                                   ton blend coat as a ranger. Earlier this month,
  Day 6, for the video game fan:                on Christmas and count down to                                                                                    she went back up the mountain with her new
    “Madden ’07,” “Call of Duty 3,” and                                                                                                                           jacket, commenting, “I was actually dry when I
    “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.”                Epiphany.                                                                                                         finished.”
  Day 7, for the sports fan: Steve                But the song — a partridge                                                                                        She calls the Marmot coat a perfect all-weath-
    Largent Seattle Seahawks throwback                                                                                                                           er shell, water-resistant, wind-proof and warm.
    jersey.                                     in a pear tree, two turtledoves
                                                                                                                                                                 “You can wear it with just a thin shirt under-
                                                and all that — inspired us. We                                                                                   neath and be warm on the mountain, and it still
                                                promise, no French hens, no                                                                                     feels good against your skin.” At her suggestion,
                                                                                                                                                                her parents bought her the jacket as a gift last
                                                calling birds, no geese a-laying                                                                               year from Portland specialty store The Mountain
                                                or any of that. Just good gift                                                                                 Shop. G.I. Joe’s in Vancouver also carries the
                                                ideas and some special help for                                                                               jackets. Retail prices on Marmot soft-shell jackets
                                                                                                                                                              range from $150 to $250.
                                                the procrastinators among us on
                                                Christmas Eve.
                                                                                                                                                               Gretchen Schwinn models a Marmot soft-shell
                                                                         — Columbian staff                                                                     jacket.

       your                                                                                                                                                                                               Coming
                                  Use our map
                                  to get the best                                                          Stallone climbs                                                                                Wednesday:
                                  view of the                                                              back in the ring                                    Television: Visions                        Graphic novels
                                  Christmas                                                                one more time                                       of a normal marriage                       present
                                  Ships                                                                    with ‘Rocky                                         an essential ingredient                    new challenges
                                  Parade /D3                                                               Balboa’ /D4                                         of ‘Medium’ /D7                            for libraries /D1
                                CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK                                                                                                                  TUESDAY D4

D4    THE COLUMBIAN                                                                                                                                                                 TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2006

                                                                                   of a

                                                                                                                                                          DAVID PLECHL for The Columbian
                               Jenny Multer often has to work on hands and knees to elicit good photographs out of children. In this case, mother Robin Carman helps
                               off-camera by asking 4-year-old Taylor if sitting patiently for this picture is “worth a trip to the Disney store.”

Photographer:                               the company. She’s been learning
                                            about the business on the job ever
                                                                                         “People want their Christmas
                                                                                      cards to get sent out,” Multer says.
                                                                                      “So they’ll do anything to get that
                                                                                                                                   The move up the ranks from J.C.
                                                                                                                                 Penney to Flash wasn’t about money.
                                                                                                                                 Multer received an increase of 50
                                                                                                                                                                              Ian, “Get off! I need you.” He quickly
                                                                                                                                                                              hangs up and takes more candy out
                                                                                                                                                                              of his pocket.
From Page D1                                                                          picture.”                                  cents an hour. She mostly was at-               The 2-year-old becomes entranced
Americans that make a living with a
                                            From late September on                       Multer adds that from observing
                                                                                      others, she’s learned not to battle
                                                                                                                                 tracted by the idea of getting triple
                                                                                                                                 the amount of time with each subject.
                                                                                                                                                                              as Multer pops a ball into the air
                                                                                                                                                                              while making pffffft sounds. Lilli’s
camera, according to recent census             Portrait photographers start get-      with her kids anymore when they                                                         older brother plays along when
data. In this country, adults are six
times more likely to be a doctor. The
                                            ting busy with holiday work before
                                            Halloween. By the time December
                                                                                      don’t want to sit still, no matter how
                                                                                      much effort she’s put into setting up
                                                                                                                                 Multi-tasking                                Multer asks him to get on the studio
median annual salary for a photogra-        finally comes, the pace is frantic.        a shot. She just tries again at another       Photographers at Flash don’t just            “Ride him like a horsey,” Multer
pher, though, is $26,000, and about         Multer has been working six days          time, on another day.                      take pictures and process images.            tells Lilli. “Get him!”
half of them work for themselves.           a week since late September. She             The studio is directly across the       They also are expected to answer                Lilli laughs as she jumps on her
   Besides dreams of starting her           volunteered to work her last day off,     concourse from a toy store. That           phones, chat with prospective                brother’s back. Multer gets the shot.
own studio — primarily shooting             so she’s in the middle of a nearly two-   gives parents another option this          customers and sell photo packages.              “Get him again!” Multer then
weddings, births and high school            week straight stretch and is sniffling     time of year, Multer says: “bribery.”      Multer on this day noticed a group of        deftly moves the kids into a couple
seniors — Multer wants to be able to        from a cold.                                 Flash has six photographers on its      people standing around in the back           of traditional poses. This time, Lilli
take pictures outside of a mall. She           The 2-year-old girl, Lilli, is back    19-person staff, all female. Typically,    of the shop, so she asked if she could       is happy and smiling. She puts an
would like to use natural light, be         on the bench, ready for another try.      they shoot photos for 30 minutes,          help. They ended up ordering about           ornament on a small Christmas tree.
more creative. She thinks she could         Multer waves a teddy bear. She takes      then process images for 30 minutes,        $600 worth of photographs. Multer            She hugs her brother. Multer gets a
make more money. After seven years          another shot. Lilli’s up. She’s cry-      repeating that cycle over and over.        doesn’t get a commission on any              few more shots, then signals to the
of this kind of studio work, Multer         ing. Multer gives her a book to read.     But when it’s really busy, like this       of the work she does. She earns an           parents that she has what she needs.
can’t imagine that her future artistry      More candy. Lilli sits. Another shot.     month, they often just keep shoot-         hourly rate of $10.85. The company,             Lilli cheers, “I did it!”
will be limited to coercing young kids      Lilli’s up. Her dad takes her for a       ing. Multer usually completes eight        meanwhile, expects each half-hour               Multer quickly begins editing the
and pets to cooperate for the camera.       walk. They come back. The little girl     to 10 sessions a day. She has photo-       sitting to generate at least $185 worth      pictures as the Kirkleys gather their
   J.C. Penney’s portrait studio,           finally flops on the floor in protest.       graphed as many as 15 different sets       of business.                                 things. For her, there’s no time to
owned by the same company as                   “Do you want to go see Santa? Or       of clients in a single shift. But that’s      A few hours later, the Kirkleys           celebrate. Another session starts in
Flash, hired Multer at 18 because           do you want to go home?” her father       still a better pace than J.C. Penney,      have come back for one more try.             just a few minutes.
she showed interest and enthusiasm          growls.                                   she says, where photographers were         The father, Ian, is talking on his cel-
when she came in to have pictures              One of the Flash receptionists of-     allowed just 10 minutes in the studio      lular telephone when they arrive. As         BRETT OPPEGAARD writes general-
taken with her family members. The          fers to get Lilli a balloon. Before she   per customer. “There are times,”           soon as Lilli realizes where she has         interest features. Reach him at 360-759-
25-year-old’s only formal training has      can return, the Kirkleys are gone,        she says, “that you can’t help but feel    ended up again, she starts to fuss and       8028 or brett.oppegaard@columbian.
been the two weeks of prep given by         saying they will try back later.          mechanical.”                               squirm. The mother, Electra, tells           com.

Rocky Balboa dominates in Stallone’s world
The character pushes the actor aside                                                                                                                  ROCKY BALBOA
                                                                                                                                                                                     its way into the hands of Revo-
                                                                                                                                                                                     lution Studios chief Joe Roth.
when Philadelphia fans are watching                                                                                                              CAST: Sylvester Stallone, Burt
                                                                                                                                                   Young, Milo Ventimiglia.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Suddenly, it was let’s-get-ready-
                                                                                                                                                                                     to-rumble time again.
                                                                                                                                                 DIRECTOR: Sylvester Stallone.          The announcement that
By DAVID HILTBRAND                      Stallone knows the feeling.                                                                                                                  there would be a sixth “Rocky”
The Philadelphia Inquirer                                                                                                                        SCREENPLAY: Sylvester
                                     He’s gotten used to people ad-                                                                                Stallone.                         film was met with derision.
   PHILADELPHIA — Some-              dressing him when it’s obvious                                                                                                                  “I totally understood that,”
                                                                                                                                                 RATED: PG.
one has a sizable police escort      they’re really talking to Rocky.                                                                                                                Stallone says. “If somebody
waiting downstairs. The              “The character has overtaken                                                                                OPENS WEDNESDAY AT: Battle          said, ‘OK, we’re doing “God-
                                                                                                                                                   Ground Cinema, Broadway
motorcycle cops are huddled          the guy who invented him,” he                                                                                 Metro, Cascade 16, Cinema         father VI,’ right away you go,
in the hotel lobby to escape the     concedes.                                                                                                     99, City Center, Lloyd Center,    ‘Pleeease, make it go away!’
year’s first cold snap. Outside,         Of course, it’s easy to con-                                                                               Vancouver Plaza.                  Naturally you’re going to get
a phalanx of patrol cars sits,       flate the actor and his creation.                                                                                                                hit with that as soon as you an-
yellow caution lights slowly         Rocky is the role that Stallone                                                                                                                 nounce something that sounds
spinning.                            was seemingly born to play. At                                                                           film career was stalling. The           incredibly stupid.”
   Upstairs, Sylvester Stallone      60, Stallone still has the per-                                                                          options for an aging action star          And yes, he heard all the
insists it isn’t him they’re wait-   petually tousled look of a man                                                                           narrow precipitously.                  jokes. Like Letterman’s “Top
ing for. It’s Rocky.                 who just woke up from a nap in                                                                              Yet he still wanted to work.        Ten Signs Sylvester Stallone Is
   “The character has tran-          an overheated room. It could                                                                             “My kids had never seen me             Too Old to Play Rocky” (No.
scended,” he says. “He’s a real      (and does) easily pass for the                                                                           act,” he says. He has three pre-       5: “His stunt double: Wilford
living person in Philadelphia.       tenderized appearance of a guy                                                                           teen daughters with his third          Brimley”). And Bill Maher’s
I’m just along for the ride. I       who has tasted the business                                                                              wife, Jennifer Flavin. “They           quip that at this stage, the only
have no illusions that any of        end of far too many Everlast                                                                             thought their father’s occupa-         acceptable title for another
this is for me.”                     gloves. (In Stallone’s case, the                                                                         tion was being a bad golfer.”          sequel would be “Rocky Dies.”
   Anyone who doubts that            droopy expression is the result                                                                             He knew that if there was              “I rolled with it,” Stallone
the Philly brawler is still the      of an obstetrician who pinched                                                                           one project he could still drive       says. “That’s what the movie
people’s champ in this town          his head too hard with forceps                                                                           to market, it was the “Rocky”          is about: trying to turn around
should have been on the set          during his delivery.)                                                                                    franchise he owned. So he set          people’s skepticism about be-
when “Rocky Balboa” was                 Even though the character                                                                             about writing a script.                ing too old.”
filming here last December.           has attained iconic status,                                                                                 In the earliest versions of            Having provided Rocky
Thirty years after he first           Stallone had trouble getting                                                                             “Rocky Balboa,” Adrian was             with the satisfying send-off he
entered the ring in the Oscar-       backing for “Rocky Balboa,”                                                                              still alive and Rocky was trying       deserves, Stallone can let go
winning “Rocky,” the Rock is         the capstone to the Rocky                                                                                to run the gym Mickey left             of his battle-scarred creation.
still treated by rank-and-file        cycle. He kept running into                                                                              him as a youth center. He goes,        That is, if the public lets him.
Philadelphians with a kind of        the same industry perception:                                                                            porkpie hat in hand, to every             “People still expect you
reverence.                           No one wants to see a movie                                                                              civic leader in Philly to ask for      somewhat to be the character,”
   Milo Ventimiglia, star of         about a boxer at 58, the age                                                                             funding. Finally he figures his         he says, “and that’s hard be-
NBC’s “Heroes,” who plays            when most guys are fighting                                                                        MGM    only hope of keeping the place         cause Rocky’s so even-keeled.
the fighter’s estranged son in        prostate problems, not taking      Sylvester Stallone reprises his famous role as a prizefighter in       open is to go barnstorming,            He keeps it all inside. I wish I
“Rocky Balboa,” the sixth film        on an undefeated heavyweight       “Rocky Balboa.” It was another fight to get the movie made.            fighting in exhibitions.                was that noble.”
in this underdog saga (opening       champion in his prime.                                                                                      Nah, too melodramatic, Stal-           Then it’s off to join his police
Wednesday), relates that the            “Ageism was a real problem,”      But like his counterpunch-        million domestically; the high-   lone decided. It would be better       escort, which whisks him
hardest part of the shoot was        Stallone admits, “and I said, ‘I   ing alter ego, Stallone refused     est U.S.-grossing installment     to saddle Rocky with grief. So         out to a Philadelphia Eagles
getting used to being invisible.     understand that. That’s what       to give up. In part that was        was “Rocky IV,” with $128         instead, Adrian has passed on          Monday-night game. All the
   “People would walk on             the story is about.’ They said,    because he was dissatisfied          million in 1985.)                 (from “the women’s cancer”)            TV personalities who interview
the set all the time right past      ‘No. Don’t be glib with us.’       with 1990’s “Rocky V,” and was         “It sunk in that we had        and a computer-simulated fight          him conclude by asking him to
the cast and crew,” he says.         I said, ‘Yeah, but it’s kind of    determined to write a new final      failed,” he says, “and really     on ESPN between a young                address them as Rocky would.
“They’d pay no attention to us       intriguing.’ They said, ‘No, not   chapter that would send off his     disappointed a lot of people,     Rock and the current champ,            So it’s “Yo, Sal” Paolantonio
whatsoever. Just walk directly       intriguing at all.’ MGM said,      hero on a positive note.            myself included. I really felt    Mason Dixon (boxer Antonio             and “Yo, Tony” Kornheiser.
up to Sly, say what they had to      ‘Over our dead bodies.’ The          The dark and depressing           like I had let everyone down.”    Tarver), sparks renewed inter-            All of which Stallone puts up
say, and then walk away. It’s        producers didn’t want to do it.    “Rocky V” grossed $41 million.         The other motivation to re-    est in the ancient warrior.            with good-naturedly. After all,
like we weren’t even there.”         It was over.”                      (The 1976 original made $117        prise Rocky was that Stallone’s      That’s the version that found       it’s not him they’re asking.

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