Brett Ratner

Brett Ratner’s Perfect

Posted by Alvin Malnik on March 24, 2009
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By Stephanie Wilson and Benjamin Minkus

Brett Ratner has made a name for himself as one of the most successful young directors around, with such recent smash hits as Rush Hour 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand, as well as forays into the photography world, with his coffee-table book The Hillhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures. Here, he sits down to tell Haute Living about his life’s passions.

HL What made you get into film and photography?

BR Growing up in Miami Beach, I would skip school and go to the set of Miami Vice. And the first movie I was on the set of was Scarface, so at that moment I knew I was going to be a director-from a young age. As for photography, what I am is a storyteller, and I use my filmmaking capabilities to tell stories. So that’s why my photography sticks out, because I tell a story with one picture.

HL Tell us about your relationship with Alvin Malnik.

BR Al Malnik was my biggest inspiration, and I’ve known him since I was a little baby. I used to spend every New Year at The Forge sitting next to him. Not only was he the smartest guy I knew growing up, he was also the coolest. He taught me tremendous morals and a work ethic, and he was a part of inspiring me to use my brain and to be fearless. Also, if there’s one thing I learned from Al, it’s to give back and help people. I’ve never met a person in my life who is more giving of himself, his time, and his energy-and gracious-than Al. It’s no surprise he’s turned Make-A-Wish into such a big event. Above all else, Al Malnik is a philanthropist and he has inspired that in me.

HL We hear that you played a role in Al finding true love?

BR Yes-Nancy. The film he asked me to do, he used the film to get closer to Nancy. I’ll always cherish that film and I think it’s my best work because Al found true happiness because of that film. That film, we shot it all in Al’s house, and it was the first time I ever directed a real movie. We locked ourselves in his house for two weeks-it was the first time I bonded with Al, he wasn’t just a father figure, he was a friend. And Al got a wife and a lovely family out of it. That film, which is ironically called The Good Life, that really led to the good life.

HL What projects are you coming out with?

BR I am doing a series of documentaries on directors, the first will be The Work of Brett Ratner, it will have all my short films and music videos.

HL Any upcoming projects on the horizon?

BR My next movie will be Playboy: The Life of Hugh Hefner. There’s a writers’ strike now, but that will be the next one. I find myself also wanting to do a sequel to The Hillhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures too. I love music videos, too-I love music. I love commercials, I love short films-any medium of story telling that I can be a part of, I want to be a part of.

HL And we hear you are venturing out into business with Al’s son, Shareef?

BR I am not much of a businessman, but I love the restaurant and casino business. So who better to join forces with than Shareef Malnik, and we plan to launch The Forge in Las Vegas. It will eventually expand all over the world, but right now I think Vegas is the ideal market for The Forge. I call Shareef a raconteur, because he’s the ultimate host. The Forge could be the next global brand the way that Nobu is a global brand. And it doesn’t work without Shareef-he is the face of The Forge. He is the restaurateur version of what I do.

HL Tell us about your approach to life and work.

BR For me, I do what I love, and for every person that’s successful, it’s because they’re doing what they love, when they put passion into it. When you love something, it shows and works. I don’t think I could ever get bored of what I do because it’s what inspires me, and I’m always creating, whether it’s a book, or it’s a photograph, or a campaign for a company. I feel like right now since I’m in the center of it all, I know what they see and what they feel.

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3/12/04 Rush Philanthropic In West Palm Beach, FL

Posted by Alvin Malnik on January 07, 2009
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RPAF Staff and Board Host a Benefit Dinner Party and Arts Day for Youth, March 12th 2004.  This two-part event consisted of an intimate dinner for thirty guests, and an after party. Both events were held at Tsunami in West Palm Beach. In addition to Rush Philanthropic, other beneficiaries included two local Palm Beach Charities: the Armory Art Center and Music Outreach Entertainment.

This event was made possible by the generosity and hard work of board member Shamin Abas and her husband Frank. In addition to Shamin and Frank, the event was co-hosted by Robert Johnson, Al and Nancy Malnik, Joseph Simmons, Donald Trump, and Russell and Kimora. The evening provided a perfect, intimate setting for friends of Rush to spend time together, and enjoy some warm weather. Guests included Phyllis Hollis, Brett Ratner, Morris and Jaci Reid, David Rosenberg, Roberta Shields, Ben Vereen, and Serena Williams, among others.

The following day, Russell and Rev. Run visited the kids from both organizations at an arts day held at the the Armory Arts Center. As you might imagine, the young people were all too excited to spend time with them. Shamin, Phyllis, and RPAF staff were all on hand to meet the youth and help them with art making.

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Miami Beach Chamber – Al Malnik Honored

Posted by Alvin Malnik on December 09, 2008
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Mr. Miami Beach, The Famous Forge Family and the Magazine Maven honored! The masses of fans flocked to the Loews Miami Beach Hotel to witness these luminaries recognized for their contributions to the community at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce 85th Annual Dinner Gala.

Close to 800 well-wishers along with the evening’s emcee attorney Mark Eiglarsh, the Miami Beach Chamber’s Chairman of the Board Sanford Horwitz and President and CEO Wendy Kallergis turned out to applaud the 2007 Dinner Gala Honorees. Local luminaries and The Forge restaurant owners Al Malnik and his son Shareef Malnik were honored as Citizens of the Year for their tireless dedication to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Malnik’s video tribute featured congrats from celebrity pals including Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Sharon Stone, Shaqulle O’Neal and Martha Stewart. Social Affairs magazine publisher Norma Quintero received the Jan Pfeiffer Distinguished Service Award for her generous charitable work with such organizations as The Vizcayans, United Way and The American Red Cross, City of Miami Beach Tourism and Convention.

Director and Chief of Protocal for The City of Miami Beach Michael Aller aka “Mr. Miami Beach” was presented with the Leonard “Doc” Baker Lifetime Achievement Award for his countless contributions to the community. In true Aller fashion, his friends and colleagues participated in a hilarious video tribute including many people whose lives he’s touched in a spoof of the popular TVshow “The Office”. Popular Heat DJ Irie, salsa legends Carlos Oliva and Gospel queen Maryel Epps kept the hip crowd rocking all night. Oh and get this…you can still bid on an amazing item online from this gala through Tuesday, March 13th. Up for grabs in a Miami Beach package boasting a two night stay in the Presidential Suite at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel with champagne on arrival,  a daily breakfast for two at the hotel, a poolside cabana for two, and a Bouche Brothers Watersports Package. The winner will be whisked away on a limousine ride to and from dinner and may invite friends for dinner at The Forge where Ocean Drive magazine will capture the night for an upcoming issue.

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