CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK TUESDAY D1 Life Today’s Section D weather picture by Kelsey Gardner, 10, Battle Ground, Captain Strong Elementary School 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 photographer or hate Web site lets visitors download jolly folk for use in ‘e-cards’ By COLLEEN LONG 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 T 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 snowman. 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 T 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. gloves. 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 Guide: 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 PORTRAIT of a photographer 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 since. “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 ﬂoor. 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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