11:00am PT by Chris Gardner
Amid Coronavirus, Hollywood Execs Hosting Virtual Happy Hours: "Quarantine & Chill"
The coronavirus pandemic has introduced several new phrases to the lexicon: flattening the curve, social distancing and … virtual happy hour.
Health experts have encouraged people to stay connected during self-isolation and quarantine, and many are using video conferencing tool Zoom both for meetings but also to say cheers with colleagues, peers and friends. That’s what veteran film executive David Dinerstein has done on multiple occasions. One evening, he and wife Alison Dinerstein connected with veteran CBS executive John Wenworth and restaurateur husband Jamie Gluck; advertising agency Something Massive founder Chris Gibbin, wife Andrea and daughter Eloise; veteran communications strategist Chris Day and publishing executive wife Donna Pennestri.
David Dinerstein credits wife Alison for hatching the plan thanks to her company, The Five O’Clock Box, that provides curated kits for craft cocktails for home use. “There are so many things in our everyday lives that have been canceled, so we needed to come up with an idea to allowed us to continue to reach out to our friends, although differently than what we might’ve done the day before. Zoom can be used for more than a board meeting or online crafts classroom application,” David explains, adding that no subject was off limits and their time together provided a nice respite from the news cycle.
“It was no different than getting together at any other time; we talked about issues we faced in business, recipes looking ahead to cook, movies and books we were catching up on, and other virtual experiences and museums,” he adds. “This is a devastating for all of us. Our business and personal lives have erupted, but we’re all optimistic and we tend to look ahead rather than behind us. It’s really healthy to get together with friends even if it's virtual as a reminder to do that. We need to make the best of it and if we apply what we’ve learned from working in a creative community, it will be better for all of us.”
They're not alone either. CAA's talent department hosted one as have filmmaking couple Barry Jenkins and Lulu Wang, stylist Warren Alfie Baker, and WME's Jordan Cerf, to name a few.
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A version of this story first appeared in the March 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.