Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir Bar

Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir Bar

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:28 am

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"My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir Bar-Lev

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[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] Every person in this situation is perfect. The family is charismatic. Marla, when you see her, she's a doll. The paintings are unbelievable. Even if a 3 or 4-year-old didn't do them, you'd like them.

[Amir Bar-Lev] Yeah.

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] The fact that she is four makes it really incredible.

[Amir Bar-Lev] Right.

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] They have this little 2-and-a-half year-old son, Zane.

[Amir Bar-Lev] Yeah, yeah.

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] Both him and Marla could be on Gap ads.

***

October 1, 2004, Binghamton, NY

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[Amir Bar-Lev] Tell us what's happening today.

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] Today is the opening of Marla's show, here at the gallery. And it's just complete and utter bedlam with all the news crew that are here, and the people from all over the world that have come to Great Binghamton. It's just pandemonium about this little girl and her work.

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The fact that she's in Binghamton doesn't matter. Doesn't matter if she's in Binghamton or SoHo, New York. People are calling and emailing from all over the world to buy her paintings. We sold three today, over the phone.

[Answers telephone] Hello.

The owner of the Houston Rockets just bought one, which is unbelievable.

[To telephone] I'm actually in the middle of an interview right now.

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If you picked a name out of a hat of a TV program, they called.

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I mean, from Conan O'Brien, Letterman, Oprah just called. 60 Minutes is here.

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It's probably the most popular story in the world right now.

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This is bigger than I had even anticipated. I will admit though, and I told this to the parents the first time that I saw her work, I said, "You're in for a wild ride. I hope you're prepared for this."
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Re: Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:45 am

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[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] This show just ended. This show is coming down, which is really sad, I mean, because it's so beautiful. I'm just really satisfied with the amount of attention she's getting all over the world. Probably the one place that they haven't done anything is Iraq.

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Everybody kept saying, "Tomorrow it will slow down, or next week it will slow down." It really hasn't slowed down a bit. I mean, she's sold out completely, so there are no paintings available.

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We have a list of over 70 people right now that want her paintings, that are from all over the United States, and all over the world. Taking all the red dots off.

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It's the most red dots I've ever had on a wall. That means it's sold.

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If you figure all 70 people, right now, at this point, wanted a painting, I don't know how long it would take her to do it. And I don't know if she could even meet the demand. You know, Mark has to be there to help her, to prepare and set things up. It's really a team, in an essence, that you can't just say, "Okay, Marla, go off and paint," because it's just not something that can happen to a 4-year-old. Otherwise, she'd be painting walls. We wouldn't be able to sell the walls.
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Re: Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:48 am

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] None of us, neither the parents, Mark and Laura, nor myself, had really anticipated this. The average in New York City for oil paintings is around $5,000 to $8,000. The fact that Marla is already up to $15,000, in a short period of time, is really quite amazing. She's literally double of what the average is. There's been a ton of people that said that they would love one, but they can't afford it, or if we ever did prints.

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So we're going to do prints of Marla's work now. So that's a great way to reach a wider audience, and to fulfill the need that people have to have one of her works in their collections.

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[Man] One, two, three.

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Attagirl. Okay, that's it.

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] So ... I mean, it's also another way for Marla, herself, to make some money. In a matter of time, she's going to be selling paintings for a hundred thousand dollars. You know, I can't see it not happening.

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It could be something that, 20, 30 years from now, they become priceless. They become such a thing like a Warhol.

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She has that ability.
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Re: Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:49 am

[Laura Olmstead, Marla's mother] Mark's always wanted to be in the spotlight, and Tony's always wanted to be in the spotlight. I've always been more comfortable on the side. And giving an interview, "That's enough, we don't need to do any more. It's ridiculous. Give us a break." And the guys are like, "Come on, do it, do it, do it."

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] There were a few situations where, you know, we've talked about it, and we're like, "Okay, well, we think this is a good idea.

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We just have to figure out a way to approach Laura with it, and spin it in such a way that she understands it."
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Re: Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:51 am

February 23, 2005

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[Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes] We begin tonight with something of a mystery. It involves a 4-year-old girl who lives in Binghamton, New York. Her name is Marla Olmstead, and in most ways she is just like any child her age. She goes to pre-school, plays with dolls, and she loves to draw and paint. But Marla's paintings end up in homes across the country. She has already earned more than $300,000, which, her parents say, has all been put into a college fund. With some 200 buyers on her waiting list, Marla Olmstead stands to make millions. So, just who is the little girl behind ...

Anthony Brunelli began hosting shows for Marla. So what do we have here?

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] You have a genius.

[Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes] A genius?

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[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] Yeah.

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[Charlie Rose, 60 Minutes] Is there any other explanation?
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Re: Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:54 am

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Stuart Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] We've had this show planned in L.A. for a couple months.

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So it's really ironic that the Wednesday before the opening is this 60 Minutes footage.

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I think it will be fun. There will be a kind of a festive, party atmosphere.

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We're not going into this with negative attitudes. We're going into this looking at it as partial vacation, getting away. What a great time to get away.
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Re: Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:55 am

[After the 60 Minutes Rapeutation]

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[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] A bunch of collectors called, who had bought paintings, and, obviously, they need to be reassured.

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You know, my reputation is on the line here, as well.
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Re: Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:59 am

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[Elizabeth Cohen, Columnist -- The Press & Sun Bulletin] Right before 60 Minutes, I talked to Anthony on the phone. And he said, "I'm thinking of running for Mayor of Binghamton. Some people have approached me, and I think the arts are going to be what saves the city." After 60 Minutes, he was thinking about leaving town.

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[Binghamton Public Access] Hey, how's the Marla artist going?

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Still selling a lot of Marla paintings, Anthony?

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[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] Turn off the camera.

[Binghamton Public Access] Do you think that Marla really paints those?

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] I am not going to answer any of your questions.

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I don't need to answer you.

[Binghamton Public Access] Why are you so angry?

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[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] I don't want to be filmed. I don't want to be filmed.

You don't even know your facts, and that's your problem. You're lucky I don't sue you for slander. You're so lucky I don't.

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But I don't wanna deal with vermin like you.

[Binghamton Public Access] Truth is a defense.

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[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] Turn off the camera!
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Re: Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:01 am

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[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] Sales have, kind of, come to a stop. They have interest, but I haven't sold a painting since two days prior to the airing of 60 Minutes.One of the things it made me do, is refocus myself on my own paintings. I felt like I had too much involvement with Marla.

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It was too many responsibilities with Marla's career that I've kind of pulled back. I mean, I have my gallery. I represent her when her work is here, and I've done all that I've done now, and it's time maybe for somebody else to kind of step in and take the leads with that, and I'm definitely happy with that. One of the great things about Marla is that people are questioning. And, you know, in a roundabout way, that was really my whole intention from the very beginning. I've always felt that modern art ...

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is somewhat of a scam. I've been a realist painter all of my life, and I'm a photorealist painter. And there are times it can take me nine months to do a painting, and then you read about auctions and records set at Christie's and Sotheby's for these abstract paintings with swatches of paint like this and that, and they're selling for millions of dollars.

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You know, the most I've ever sold a painting for was $100,000, which is a lot of money. It's an awful lot of money. But when you look at the amount of time that I've put into that painting compared to what some of these paintings are selling for, that I don't get. That I just don't get, because my kid could do that.

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When I came across Marla's work, it was almost like a gift from God.

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It was almost like me saying, you know, "Screw you, modern art world, I've got something for you." Now, finally, I've got an in to this world that I've never understood. Where I've never understood this abstract work and the value that it's gotten, I do understand the value of marketing and how it is that ... Why one person's painting could be $1 million, and another person's painting could be $100. And they could be the same type of painting. That's when it all started coming together. I said,

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"I think I have history in the making here. And I have something that is going to turn the art world on its ear. And if I do this right, I'll succeed in that. And I did it right. And I called the right people, and I got the right kind of attention.

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And it would have continued on, but it stopped because of the 60 Minutes piece. The paintings stopped selling, basically.
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Re: Excerpt from "My Kid Could Paint That," directed by Amir

Postby admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:02 am

[Anthony Brunelli, Gallery Owner] This is wonderful. Mark and Laura did five hours of videotape of Marla painting.

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The footage now is really great because it's start to finish.

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It's all the stuff you didn't see on 60 Minutes.

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And I think that they should have some sort of retraction. They almost will have to. So it's great now because we have control.

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We're ready to make our counter-attack, if you will.

***

The fact of the matter is, there may never be any film crew that will ever be able to get what the parents get.
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