International Film Star Sir Ian McKellen Expands Website for News Reporters

Cyber-savvy Star Pioneers Online "Media Lounge"

  Sir Ian McKellen 
Los Angeles, California

For Immediate Release
Monday, 10 July 2000
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Los Angeles - Monday, July 10 - Award-winning stage and film actor Sir Ian McKellen has launched a new section of his Official Home Page, dedicated to journalists, reporters, news producers, editors and accredited writers, calling it his "Online Media Lounge" (www.mckellen.com/media). McKellen, who currently stars in "X-MEN," the much-anticipated film from 20th Century Fox, launched his original website in early 1997. He was the first major film star to use the Internet to interact with fans on a continuing basis, posting online journals of his filming experiences, and regularly fielding questions sent by fans and journalists via email. The newly revamped "Media Lounge" provides an innovative and unique source for the working press. The website is designed and operated by Keith Stern of CompuWeb, Inc., based in Hollywood.

"Three years ago I wanted a site like an autobiography that I could add to whenever I fancied," says McKellen. "I reckoned without the demanding email it created. I expect some lively media folk may discover and plunder the new 'Media Lounge' in addition to the other features of the website."

The "Media Lounge" offers an electronic press kit ("EPK"), including exclusive interviews, photos, press releases, clippings and other background materials, along with a "virtual cup of tea."

Sir Ian's Official Home Page has been a bonanza for fans, registering over three million hits per month. With the addition of the "Media Lounge" it becomes an equally valuable source of information for journalists.

Sir Ian first thought of developing the "Media Lounge" in response to the demands of his busy schedule. In the middle of an 11-month shoot for "THE LORD OF THE RINGS" (as Gandalf), he will necessarily miss many of the interviews and press junkets planned for his current release "X-MEN," where he plays Magneto, the nemesis of Professor X (played by Patrick Stewart). The "Lounge" is designed to make it easier for journalists to obtain exclusive information about his roles in two of the most anticipated films of this year and next: "X-MEN" and "THE LORD OF THE RINGS." In fact, it is possible to create a complete article or report based on materials in the "Lounge." Press releases provide background on various topics such as "Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen Face Off in X-MEN." On the FAQ pages, Sir Ian answers the questions most often asked by interviewers. Downloadable photographs are ready for publication.

Requests for supplemental information, including interviews, may be coordinated through the "Lounge." Access is available only to the working press. To register for a User Name and Password, please contact Keith Stern at +1 323 851-4379, webmaster@mckellen.com, or online at www.mckellen.com/media.

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