Saturday, January 8, 2011

Press Release - American Business Women's Association


Detroit Movie Makers Support Local Businesswomen

January 5, Novi: Local Director Virginia Mardeusz (Catty Productions) and Director of Photography Erik Rubner (Sovereign Creative) have teamed up to create a pro-bono television commercial for the Novi Oaks Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association.

“It’s really a beautiful advertisement,” says Holly Hengstebeck, ABWA Novi Member and Co-chair for the masquerade ball fundraiser that the commercial advertises. “It doesn’t look as much like a commercial as it does a movie! We were blown away that the local film community came together to do this for us.”

The 30-second commercial was shot in November at the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan in Troy, MI (who generously donated their set and equipment for the one-day shoot). Filled with local actors and entertainers who also volunteered their time - including award-winning performance artist Satori Circus, contact juggler Vincent John II and illusionist Elton Litzner – the commercial is an intriguing taste of the masquerade ball experience.

 “The Mask Worn Too Long Becomes the Face” is a fantastical fundraiser that will take place on March 25, 2011 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. The concept for the masked ball, as accurately portrayed in the commercial, is that every day we all wear masks. We play many roles in our professional and personal lives, and it’s easy to let what we do for others become our identity. At the masquerade, guests will celebrate all of the roles they play in their lives by taking a step away from them all for one magical night, becoming someone else they always imagined.

To portray this concept, Mardeusz tells the story of a woman who comes to the ball wearing a metallic, harsh looking mask and is affected strangely by the magic of the event. She undergoes three mask changes, each mask progressively more beautiful and whimsical, until eventually, these masks actually become a part of her face, an effect achieved by makeup artist Chastity Tappan.

“It’s not easy to convey the theme and feel of an event in a 30-second commercial,” says Jennifer Oddo, President of ABWA Novi, Event Co-Chair, and producer of the commercial in cooperation with Catty Productions. “But Virginia, Erik and their crew ran with our event concept and did a magnificent job of telling a story while giving the audience a peek into a masquerade experience.”

 “I knew that recreating a masquerade ballroom scene, with all of the beautiful costumes, dancers and performers, would be fun for me and my crew,” adds Mardeusz, “as it’s the perfect subject matter to let our imaginations run wild. But I also did this project because it was for a good cause. I’m a local businesswoman, and I have the ability to use my knowledge to ultimately help other women in business.”

The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the education and business development of women through scholarships, grants, tuition reimbursement, presentations, seminars and leadership opportunities. The Novi Oaks Charter Chapter of ABWA provides over $3,500 annually to Madonna University for scholarships, to the Stephen Bufton Memorial Education fund and additional training and education opportunities for area women. The masquerade ball is Novi Oaks’ first attempt to do an event on such a large scale – they are hoping they can count on the support of the community and local businesses to sell out their 600 person capacity.

The masquerade commercial is currently airing on WTV10 (Comcast Ch 10 in Waterford Township; AT&T Uverse Ch 99 in Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties), broadcast to 250,000 viewers across Southeast Michigan. Novi Oaks is thrilled with the donated air time on WTV10 and is hoping other television stations will also offer to do the same in order to help get the word out about the fundraiser. “Our advertising budget is limited,” says Hengstebeck. “Donated air time, or even sharing the video of the commercial on social networking sites, is a huge help to us.”

“We know we are competing with many other non-profits for the community’s support,” adds Oddo. “Our hope is that if we can offer a fun, unique event, we can entice those who would not ordinarily put the education of local women on the top of their annual donation list to come out and have a great time regardless of the cause. The event is open to the public – adult men and women – and guests will enjoy eclectic finery, breathtaking strolling entertainment, DJ music, photography, mystics and unique vendors, hot hors d’oeuvres, a candy buffet, a cash bar, an art gallery, raffles and much more.

Tickets are $65 each and are on sale now at and at the Royal Oak Music Theatre box office. For additional information about “The Mask Worn Too Long Becomes the Face” and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jennifer Oddo or visit

Jenn Oddo, President
ABWA Novi Oaks Charter Chapter

Masquerade images & on-set photographs are available if desired.

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