January 27, 2015

February Cultural Events at New York Public Library


February is a fun month at the New York Public Library. The Kids! Programs has lots of cultural activities that are great for families to enjoy.

February Cultural Activities at New York Public Library


African and African-American Folktales
Saturday, February 7, 2015, 3 p.m.
Children's Center at 42nd Street (Manhattan)

Anansi the spider and others, are here in this program that highlights both African and African-American folktales. Recommended for children ages 5 and older. Presented by Julie Pasqual.


Uncovering the Beauty and Diversity of Muslim Architecture
Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 3:30 p.m
Riverdale Library (Bronx)

CMOM educators transport children across the globe to uncover the beauty and diversity of Muslim architectural design. Developed with collab, Fabrication Lab & Innovation Studio, this 3-dimensional pop-up book offers an in-depth exploration of the shapes, patterns, materials and environments found in a striking selection of mosques from around the world. Following this immersive, multimedia journey, children will create their own projects inspired by design and structural elements found in Muslim architecture.


Chinese Ribbon Dance Workshop
Monday, February 23, 2015, 4 p.m.
Tottenville Library (Staten Island)

Come learn the Chinese ribbon dance! Margaret Yuen, Director of the Red Silk Dancers will demonstrate the dance and show you how to wave a long silk ribbon to create rainbows, dragons and waterfalls. No previous training required and all materials will be provided. Recommended for ages 6 to 12 years old.

Preregistration is required by phone or in-person.


As I see more cultural events I'll try to share, but you can see a list of events at www.kids.nypl.org/programs





January 24, 2015

Strange Magic Movie Review, Fun Facts and Featurette #StrangeMagic


Like many of you I enjoy a good love story. Boy and girl meet, fall in love and live happily every after. At least that's what happens in fairy tales. But what if fairy tales were a bit more realistic. What if boy and girl meet but it isn't true love? Or the prince isn't handsome? And the princess a bit jaded? Would the fairytale still be a good one?

Strange Magic Movie Review, Fun Facts and Featurette

Note: I was invited as media to the press screening. No other compensation was received. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

If the fairy tale is Strange Magic, then absolutely. This animated tale open in theaters this weekend and I highly recommend it for families. Highly. And not just because I interviewed George Lucas and the Strange Magic cast of actors. Hearing how the movie was developed only made me love it more.

Strange Magic Movie Review, Fun Facts and Featurette

The main story surrounds Marianne a Fairy, who at the start of the film is getting ready to marry Roland, another fairy with amazing hair but not so nice personality. What is suppose to be true love turns into something that changes Marianne's views on love and her fashion sense.

Strange Magic Movie Review, Fun Facts and Featurette

FUN FACT
FLY AWAY – Artists referenced monarch and blue morpho butterflies to create the look of fairies like Marianne, Dawn and Roland. Animation was customized for each fairy and designed to reflect individual personalities and where they were in their character arc. Marianne, for example, goes from clumsy to athletic during the course of the film.

Strange Magic has a bit of empowerment message for girls. This was something that George Lucas aimed for since he said he wanted to make a movie for girls since boys have Star Wars. A movie that sends a message about seeing and loving a person for who they are. Not superficially.

Strange Magic Movie Review, Fun Facts and Featurette

And empower girls he did. Marianne becomes a bit of a rebel fairy who sets off to rescue her sister from The Bog King. A journey that drives the story and leads Marianne to find true love in a most unexpected place.

The journey of both Marianne and the Bog King is the appeal of Strange Magic. The movie offers something a bit refreshing about what it means to find true love and once you found it what you'll do for it. All while singing.

FUN FACT
NAME THAT TUNE – “Strange Magic” weaves together new versions of favorite songs from the last six decades—including songs made famous by artists ranging from Mickey & Sylvia and Elvis Presley to Kelly Clarkson, BeyoncĂ© and Lady Gaga.

Each scene is highlighted with a song that suit the situation. The way the music is remixed to fit the scene and tone of the story was amazingly done. I heard some of my favorite songs in new ways and discovered some I didn't know about. All songs ranged from different styles of pop to reggae and will be sure to please. Trust me you'll start singing along.

If you're already a fan of the music, you can get the Strange Magic soundtrack on iTunes!

Strange Magic Movie Review, Fun Facts and Featurette

Besides the love lesson and music, Strange Magic has great animation and characters including a match making Bog mom and humorous goblin assistants. While the fairy world has the expected beauty background, it's the Bog Kings world the blew my mind. At first dark and scary with creepy things crawling. And mushrooms who provide entertaining message replying.

FUN FACT
FRIGHTENING FERNS – Filmmakers found fun foliage to help illustrate the spookiness of the Dark Forest. Fiddlehead ferns, which feature furled fronds, were very effective tools in the film: one unfurls as Marianne makes her way through the forest.


But the Bog World has it's own charm and beauty which you will see. The animation for those scene and through out are on a different level then what your use to. It really adds something visual satisfying.

Strange Magic Movie Review, Fun Facts and Featurette

Strange Magic also features lots of amazing characters from both worlds and even otherworldly like the sugar plum fairy (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth) who's singing was also beautiful.

There's lots more I can tell you about the movie but I don't want to give away too much. Much better for you and your family to fully enjoy it the way me and my son did. But I do want to share this featurette with you!

Strange Magic – “Making of Strange Magic” Featurette


“Strange Magic,” a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.

Directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,” “Lifted”) from a story by George Lucas, “Strange Magic” will be released by Touchstone Pictures on Jan. 23, 2015.

To learn more about, Strange Magic visit - www.strangemagic-thefilm.com

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/StrangeMagicMovie
On Twitter: www.twitter.com/StrangeMagic
On Instagram: www.instagram.com/StrangeMagicMovie





January 23, 2015

Giveaway: Softjox Customizable Plush Sports Characters #softjox #superbowl


Is your family getting ready for Super Bowl season? If your child is a mini football fan then they'll love having their own Softjox plush sports character - just in time for Super Bowl XLIX!

Softjox Customizable Plush Sports Characters

Softjox's first line of characters - released in September 2014 - features four customizable football characters that are soft to the touch and a joy to play with. They come in two sizes, 15" and 20", and are available in blue, black, green or red jersey colours!

Softjox Customizable Plush Sports Characters

Right now Softjox is having a Super Bowl special with FREE customization on any football characters!

These cuddly timeless toys are customizable to make your child feel like a true MVP. Sports buffs are able to add a name or nickname (up to twelve characters) and number (up to two digits) to the jersey so your children have a sports buddy they can truly call their own!

Softjox will expand their roster this year with the release of basketball, soccer, hockey and baseball characters, as well as a cheerleader! Perfect for boy and girl sports fanatics.

Softjox characters are great companions for ages three and up, priced MSRP: $19.95 (15") & 29.95 (20") and available online at www.softjox.com

Would your child like a Softjox Plush Sports Character? Then enter this giveaway for a chance to win one!


ENTER TO WIN THIS GIVEAWAY!
  • (1) Softjox Plush Sports Character
WAYS TO ENTER:

Entries must be made on or before 11:59 p.m. February 2, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms and Conditions

Winner will be selected by random.org. Giveaway entry must be completed before extra entries will count. Winner will be contacted by email and must respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to residents of the U.S. with a valid street address.





Fashion: Lotty Dotty T-Shirts Feature Dress Up Doll Image


LOTTY DOTTY, a name that invokes souvenirs of our childhood was born from Maya Persaud and Shevanne Helmer who have fond memories of playing with paper dolls as children.

Lotty Dotty T-Shirts Feature Dress Up Paper Dolls

The LOTTY DOTTY collection depicting a “paper doll like image” on a t-shirt with the ability to dress the doll. This unique design allows you to create a new t-shirt by simply changing the clothes on the doll: “dressing and undressing” she like one does a real doll: in essence, an interactive tee shirt. These T-shirts will make dress fun and playful.

Lotty Dotty T-Shirts Feature Dress Up Paper Dolls

The tee shirts are made with eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton and bamboo and recyclable materials as much as possible and is dedicated to aiding women and children issues by donating a portion of their profits to an established and transparent charity.

To learn more about LOTTY DOTTY, visit - www.lottydotty.com





January 21, 2015

Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming, Elijah Kelly, Sam Palladio and Meredith Anne Bull #StrangeMagic


After attending a press screening for Strange Magic, I couldn't wait to interview the cast. To learn more about how the movie was developed, I joined a press junket for Strange Magic which included interviewing George Lucas (Executive Producer) and the cast including Evan Rachel Wood (voice of “Marianne”), Alan Cumming (voice of “Bog King”), Elijah Kelly (voice of “Sunny”), Sam Palladio (voice of “Roland”), Meredith Anne Bull (voice of “Dawn”)

Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast

Note: I was invited as media to the press screening and interview. No other compensation was received. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

As I waited for the interview with George Lucas, I was ready to hear the Star Wars theme as he entered the room. But instead he entered to clapping and maybe a few "Oh my god, I can't believe I'm in the same room as George Lucas!" Maybe a few. Including mine.


Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast

But George Lucas was very down to earth and ready to talk about the process of making Strange Magic, which took about 15 years!

George Lucas: What I wanted to do is tell a story using lyrics from existing songs. The first 10 years was spent developing the characters, trying to get the animation to do what we exactly wanted it to do and take it to the next step. Also trying to weave all this stuff together.

Then it was the last five years where Gary (Rydstrom), Marius (de Vries), and all the other guys came in and we started casting and putting in actors. But the driving force was, can the lyrics tell the story. And what the story was, was determined by the scene between the Bog King and Marianne.

Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast

And the scene between the Bog King and Marianne are awesome and really leads the storytelling. Between the sword fighting and musical battling, I really took an interest in the Bog King. Seriously Alan Cumming did an amazing job voicing him. I wanted to know how George was inspired to write such a character so of course I asked. Which led to a special moment between me and George Lucas.


***** MOVIE SPOILER ALERT. BE WARNED *****

George Lucas: *leans over the table, looks directly at me and says....* Can you say that once again and louder

Onica (MommyFactor): *trying to be louder* The movie show a scary but also beautiful side of the Bog King and his World. What was your inspiration?

George Lucas: There's the dark world and the light world. And in world, rather then the dark side of the force and the light side of the force, it has to do with the fairies and their happiness and the ones that are unhappy. Because if your mean your unhappy. That's why your mean in the first place.

I wanted the Bog King to be as ugly as I could possible make him. So we took a prying mantis and a cockroach. I said we're not going to use a real animal. We're going to make up ones to make the ugliest things you can possibly find.

And then of course everyone went berserk and said how can you possibly do this. You have a cute little butterfly fairy and THIS. There was a lot of skepticism about if this idea would work at all. to me it comes together. It works.

Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast

George Lucas: We made this most disgusting person we can create, be lovable. And have her kiss him without you saying that's not even credible. Because it is credible. You know why they love each other. You know why they're together.

For me, having gone through an experience in life where I got married, got divorced, then adopted a bunch of kids and went on and was a bachelor for 20 years. But I wanted to get married again but knew the people I was going out with, they weren't the people I'd marry. And I thought I'd never find that person. I literally had given up and said this is never going to happen.

And then I met my wife who is completely opposite of me in every possible way. But inside we're exactly the same. It's eery that we're so much the same. While this was about 8 years ago. It did influence things. To say love is strange. It just is. It's like this funny thing that happens.

Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast

Indeed love is strange! And in Strange Magic love brings together some amazing duos. The Cast were next to be interviewed about their characters along with Director Gary Rydstrom and Musical director/ Composer Marius de Vries.

Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast

Since this is a musical, I asked the cast what they're favorite song from the movie was and they all agreed it was "Strange Magic" so get ready for the sound track to release.

Alan Cumming jokingly said " I think it's got one of those ya know. Years ago, there was a film where they put certain things on a CD that puts a spell on young people to buy things. I think there's a similar spell in that song. It's got some obsessive, you can't stop singing it. The world will become obsessed with that song"

I admit, it's a great song. But beside sharing their favorite tune, the cast also spoke about...


Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast

The Animation

Gary Rydstrom: shared that the Singapore animators drew a lot from the sound of the voices of the characters. They can actually get a lot of great ideas from that. In addition we video taped the actors when they were acting so we can get the facial expressions and movements.

The Acting

Meredith Anne Bull (voice of “Dawn”): We can't see ourselves while we're acting. But I think as an actor it's lot easier to watch yourselves animated then on screen. So I'm able to enjoy her because it's not just "me".

Sam Palladio (voice of “Roland”): For me the whole process was such a fantastic freeing experience from working on the stage and television and film. Everyone was just so open and warm to our interpretations and improvisations. To see those little jokes and mannerisms come to life is really special. It's my first time doing it and I can't wait to sit down and enjoy the whole thing.

Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast

Evan Rachel Wood (voice of “Marianne”): I'm such a huge fan of animated films and a Disney fanatic. So I was really excited to lend my voice to a story and character like this that I thought would be a great role model for girls. But it is strange because you pick up on little pieces of yourself in the characters.

Alan Cumming (voice of “Bog King”): It's funny to see yourself in an animated form. Also I think the funniest must be the video of us acting. Every line you do, every song is videos by a camera.

Elijah Kelly (voice of “Sunny”): We have an incredible animation team in Singapore and Gary directs the tremendously. It's just really interesting to see.

Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast


Music Arrangement

Marius de Vries: I was very involved. It's not something I hadn't done before. However there's an amount of splicing when your spanning decades and crossing styles as much as we were. It can be extraordinary challenging. But trail and error. We recorded maybe 400 songs in the process of arriving at this.

Interview with George Lucas and Strange Magic Cast

It was so fun to interview the cast. The excitement about their characters came through and is well placed. Strange Magic tells a classic tale in a new and exciting way. Get ready to see it in theaters on January 23, 2015

“Strange Magic,” a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.

Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects.

Directed by Gary Rydstrom (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation,” “Lifted”) from a story by George Lucas, “Strange Magic” will be released by Touchstone Pictures on Jan. 23, 2015.

To learn more about, Strange Magic visit - www.strangemagic-thefilm.com

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/StrangeMagicMovie
On Twitter: www.twitter.com/StrangeMagic
On Instagram: www.instagram.com/StrangeMagicMovie





January 15, 2015

Interview with Nicole Kidman and Sally Hawkins for Paddington Movie #PaddingtonMovie


Opening in theaters January 16, 2015 (tomorrow!) is the movie Paddington starring one of the most adorable bears I've seen in a long time. Last week I had the chance to screen the movie and was really impressed by it. Without giving to much away, Paddington is a movie full of heart, humor and surprisingly adventure.

Interview with Nicole Kidman and Sally Hawkins for Paddington Movie

Note: I was invited as media to the screening and interview courtesy of The Weinstein Company. No other compensation was received. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

While the star of the movie is clearly Paddington Bear and his seemly endless jars of marmalade, the supporting cast of human also give heart tugging performances. At the center of these performances are two amazing woman who have a very strong influence on how Paddington finds a home or not.

I was beyond excited to interview Nicole Kidman and Sally Hawkins about their roles in the movie. The first half of the interview was with Nicole and while I tried to ask her what it was like working with Paddington, I HAD to ask about her wardrobe in the movie. Nicole played Millicent Clyde, who was a seriously well dressed villainess! The tailored suits! The shoes! I had to know!

Nicole Kidman for Paddington Movie

Onica (MommyFactor}: Like everyone else, we saw the movie and we really enjoyed it, but when I saw scenes with you, you were very fashionable. I think you were the most fashionable and active villain I've seen in a very long time. So, I wanted to ask you -- which was the most fun, fashionable scene for you to film?

Nicole Kidman: I mean, to be honest, I'm not that comfortable in really high shoes. So, the minute I saw that the costume designer was like, "Okay, you're going to be wearing these heels," I was like, "Oh, no." Walking down stairs, climbing on the top of the rooftop in those heels, I was terrified.

But, I realized that it was kind of cool, the look that she had. She [Lindy Hemming] designs all the Bond films----So you can tell that it's got that kind of slant to it. A lot of the costumes and stuff have that very sexy kind of thing.

But, I loved the white coat at the very beginning with the heels and the blond wig and all of that stuff. I was just like, "Oh, my gosh, here we go." And they had that all sorted out even before I got there. I didn't have any input. I just had to squeeze into the costumes.

Nicole Kidman for Paddington Movie

Besides talking fashion Nicole also shared how she was prepared for her villain role, thanks to director Paul King, who had the idea to make the Millicent character wickedly funny and not too serious. So there's lots of tongue in cheek humor. So while kids might be a little bit scared in one scene, in the next they can also laugh a lot, which Nicole thought was a perfect combination.

About the appeal of the movie, Nicole thinks that's what makes Paddington works as something the family including grandparents, parents, and kids can enjoy together. There's not many films these days that you can say that about.

Talking with Nicole Kidman was a real pleasure, she was sweet and down to earth. Ironically while nothing like her character Millicent, very much like that character Mary Brown played Sally Hawkins who was next to be interviewed.

 photo paddingtonhawkins_zpsb87d18d5.jpg

In the movie Sally character Mary is the heart of the family the one who connects with Paddington first at the train station. From there she's always been the support system between Paddington and her family.

Sally shared that she fell in love with the story and Paddington.

Sally Hawkins: He's someone we can all relate to. We've all felt like that. Even on a daily basis, you feel like you're sort of unknowing and trying to work out how the world works and really desperately in need of the kindness of a stranger. And I think that's something we all relate to.

He's not a child, but I thought of him as a lost child, like an evacuee or a refugee, somebody's who's abandoned and--well, not abandoned, just sort of finding themselves in a strange new world and discovering how that world works. And it could have gone either way for him.

And reading that scene in the script, it made me quite emotional, thinking of children I know in life and how you would feel as a mother in that situation.

 photo paddingtonhawkins2_zpsb7f88587.jpg

Sally also shared what she hoped families going to see the movie will take away

Sally Hawkins: It means a lot to me that families go together to experience a film that really inspires them or makes them laugh or moves them. I think it's about creating an experience.

Because the cinema is a powerful medium and can inspire you.

And it should, if it's done well. It can sort of change your life, in a way, it's sort of like the best stories can, the best piece of writing. I think it's really important that families enjoy films together. I think all families can relate to the message, I suppose.

I couldn't agree with Sally more. Paddington is certainly a movie families can enjoy and relate to. I hope you and your family make plans to see Paddington tomorrow or over the weekend. And don't forget the marmalade!


Paddington Movie poster

About PADDINGTON film

From the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman (HARRY POTTER), PADDINGTON tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who travels to the city in search of a home.

 photo paddingtonmovie2_zpscbed6286.jpg

Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says "Please look after this bear. Thank you." and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.

Starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Nicole Kidman.

PADDINGTON arrives in theaters January 16, 2015!

Learn more about Paddington movie, visit - www.paddington-movie.com
Follow Paddington on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest


Tech: Nickelodeon New Blaze and the Monster Machines App


During Fall of 2014 Nickelodeon premiered Blaze and the Monster Machines, a new educational preschool series. Not only did we watch it but I also interviewed Dusan Brown, voice of AJ in the series.

After viewing the series, I was so impressed that I then interviewed the co-creators for the series. I learned so much about the series and how they combined STEM teaching and monster trucks! Look out for that interview in the next few days.


Nickelodeon Blaze and the Monster Machines App

Today I want to share about the new and first Blaze and the Monster Machines app, inspired by the hit preschool series supercharged with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum.

Nickelodeon Blaze and the Monster Machines App


The app features two modes—Race and Build—which encourage children to apply critical thinking skills and explore scientific principles including acceleration, adhesion, force, friction and more.
  • In Race mode, users help monster truck Blaze and his driver AJ compete against the other monster trucks while using problem solving skills to navigate obstacles along the way.
  • In Build mode, kids will construct a race track and help Blaze advance with speed boosts or slow his opponents down with objects like sticky bubble gum.

Nickelodeon Blaze and the Monster Machines App


The app also features:
  • Three locations: The Badlands, The Snowy Slopes and The Monster Dome
  • Environmental obstacles like an ice patch in The Snowy Slopes and Crusher-based contraptions like a pineapple blaster
  • Power ups like tire chains to avoid slippery spots, soapy tires to fly through sticky patches, and hubcaps to fill the “Let’s Blaze” acceleration meter
  • Experiment with up to 15 STEM-related items like magnets and acceleration boost pads
  • Two different driving controls – tilt and swipe
  • 15 levels that progress in difficulty
  • Gold, silver or bronze medals awarded to each race
  • Trace a unique path for each race course
  • Create and edit tracks along the way
  • Save up to 12 courses in each location
The Blaze and the Monster Machines App ($6.99) is available on Google Play, Amazon App store and iTunes store. The app introduces preschoolers to STEM concepts as they race along preset courses or build their own tracks.

To learn more about Blaze and the Monster Machines Series, visit - www.nickjr.com/blaze-and-the-monster-machines





January 13, 2015

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Touring Marvel's Agent Carter Set #ABCTVEvent #AgentCarter


Last week I posted my interview with Marvel's Agent Carter Producers. I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about how the show was developed before watching the premiere that week. For those of you who watched the premiere isn't Hayley Atwell amazing as Agent Carter?!

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

Note: Thanks to Disney and ABC TV, who invited me on this all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 Event and ABC TV Event. While I will share about different events and activities during the trip, any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

Well guess what. I had the chance to interview Hayley Atwell about her role as Agent Carter. As if that's not exciting enough, I also had the chance to walk around the set and see some of the areas you see on the show! All while they were filming!

But first the interview with Hayley Atwell

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

About training for the role
Hayley Atwell: I trained in theater so years ago I had training for unarmed combat and how to do stage fighting. So you can look realistic without actually hurting people. So that was in my background and we have a fantastic stunt coordinator and his wife. So I'd shadow her and she's teach me these dance fight sequences. And we'd shoot it n small bits and make sure we nailed each and every shot and make it look convincing. That we sold the punches and the kicks to the camera.

Also some interval training like running and keeping fit, keeping my stamina up. Nothing too gruling. Just heaps of confidence to throw yourself in and make mistakes. On day one I kicked one of the stunt guys, punch an actor in the face, threw another actor of a chair thinking he was the stunt man. So I've made lot of mistakes to get it looking as sharp as it does.

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

It was amazing to stand with Hayley in the same place they filmed the series. I even has a chance to sit at one of the agents desk! Someone pinch me!

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour
Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

Walking around the room is like taking a trip back in time. Ever detail has been thought over and researched to make sure they fit the theme and time frame of the series. Even down to the accessories on the desk. It was an amazing and beautiful set.

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

Now that I've shared the interview I can share more about the set visit. Our group had the chance to meet with Costume designer Gigi Melton who gave us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the costume design for “Agent Carter”.

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

Gigi shared about some of the process of putting together the characters wardrobe and what references she used to get Agent Carter "look" to fit the shows time period.

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

The costume design team use a combined process of sourcing and purchasing original clothing from thrift store and distressing modern clothing with certain techniques to get the time frame look and feel. The characters really do wear clothing to match the time frame the series is representing.

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

The while the clothing are made to match the look of the time period, they have some modern alternations so the actors can do their action scene. So there's open area for harness and the clothing is adjust so when there's kicking and fighting scene it still flows and looks properly.

I don't know about you but I really think Agent Carter is going to bring back dressing glamorously as a part of your every day wardrobe. No jeans and tee shirts for her!

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

Our group also stopped by the cafeteria set but this was no ordinary place to eat. As we walked around we felt like we were back in that time. Again the look, feel and detail of the place put you in the mind set.

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour
Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour
Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

photo credit: Disney/Marvel/ABC TV

I can't believe people really got sandwiches and their lunch like this. While I'm not so sure about the sandwiches I'd have no problem enjoying a milk shake made there. Yum!

Can you believe all that goes into making a series like Agent Carter look as awesome as it does. So tonight when you watch the show, you can really appreciate not only the great acting but also all the great work that goes on behind the scenes.

Interview with Hayley Atwell and Marvel's Agent Carter Set Tour

Make sure to watch TONIGHT's new episode

“Time & Tide” – As Agent Carter closes in on Howard Stark’s stolen technology, Peggy’s secret mission could unravel when the SSR arrests Jarvis and a secret is revealed, on “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” TUESDAY, JANUARY 13 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

“Marvel’s Agent Carter” stars Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter, James D'Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, Chad Michael Murray as Agent Jack Thompson, Enver Gjokaj as Agent Daniel Sousa and Shea Whigham as Chief Roger Dooley.

Guest starring are Lyndsy Fonseca as Angie Martinelli, Kyle Bornheimer as Agent Ray Krzeminski, Meagan Fay as Miriam Fry, Patrick Smith as Agent Wallace, Alexander Carroll as Agent Yauch, Rob Mars as Jerome Zandow, Lesley Boone as Rose, Benita Robledo as Carol, Bridget Regan as Dottie Underwood, Laura Coover as Molly, Tim James as Jimmy, Paul Roache as building manager, Christie Lynn Herring as prostitute and Rick Steadman as automat customer.

For more information on “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” visit www.abc.go.com/marvels-agent-carter

On Facebook - www.facebook.com/AgentCarterTV
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/AgentCarterTV (#AgentCarter)
On Google + - www.plus.google.com/+AgentCarter





January 12, 2015

WrestleMania Reading Challenge 2015 #WWEReads #WWEMoms


Attention young WWE fans. You can become a Reading Superstar and have a chance to win WWE prizes and even a trip to WrestleMania 31!

WrestleMania Reading Challenge 2015

Note: I'm part of the WWE #WWEMoms Ambassador Program and will share information about their activities and products. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

WWE® and First Book have launch the 2015 WrestleMania Reading Challenge, giving students ages 4-18 the chance to win a trip to WrestleMania® 31 on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
“WWE is proud to partner with First Book and continue our long-standing commitment to education and literacy initiatives through the WrestleMania Reading Challenge,” said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE. “Together, we are providing a fun and engaging experience to encourage children of all ages to read.”

Beginning January 12, 2015 through Sunday, February 22, 2015 students can register for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge at WWEReadingSuperstar.com

Through WWE’s partnership with First Book’s digital reading initiative, We Give Books, children between the ages of 4-12 can select a WWE Superstar Reading Buddy and read digital books to participate, while teens ages 13-18 can select a WWE Superstar Pen Pal, read a book and write an essay.
“The WrestleMania Reading Challenge celebrates the power and strength of being a reader,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president and CEO. “First Book is thrilled to partner with WWE and bring more books to children in need across the country.”

WWE will make a financial contribution to First Book in order to support literacy initiatives and provide access to books for children across the United States. WWE and its Superstars and Divas will also host reading celebrations and visit kids at local schools and libraries to stress the importance of reading.

For more information or to participate in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge, visit www.WWEReadingSuperstar.com






January 11, 2015

Interview with ‘Galavant’ Star Joshua Sasse and Executive Producers #Galavant #ABCTVEvent


A dashing young hero on a quest to save his damsel in distress from a bad king. All while singing. Does this show sound familiar? Last weekend “Galavant” premiered on ABC Television Network with two 30 minute episodes. But what is this new eight episode series about? Why is everyone singing? And which other celebrity (John Stamos was in the 2nd episode) will guest star on “Galavant” each Sunday night in January?!

Interview with Galavant Star Joshua Sasse and Executive Producers Dan Fogelman, Alan Menken and Glenn Slater

Note: Thanks to Disney and ABC TV, who invited me on this all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 Event and ABC TV Event. While I will share about different events and activities during the trip, any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Interview with Galavant Star Joshua Sasse and Executive Producers

It was during my Disney/ ABCTV LA trip that I learned some of the answers to these questions. While visiting ABC Studios, I joined the blogger group to preview the "Galavant" pilot and interview “Galavant” Executive Producer Dan Fogelman, Alan Menken (composer), Glenn Slater (lyricist) AND SURPRISE GUEST Joshua Sasse! YES Mr. Galavant himself!

Interview with Galavant Star Joshua Sasse and Executive Producers

Sharing how the concept for the show was developed
Dan Fogelman: I did the movie (Tangled) with Glenn and Alan. I was working on this Princess Bride type idea and did another show called the Neighbors, and Alan, Glenn and I did a musical episode and got an Emmy nomination for it.

While we were recording that song, I said, we should figure out something to do. And I had this script, but I hadn’t finished it. I was said, maybe we can turn it into a musical. Then, Alan and Glenn wrote the initial song and it all just spiraled from there.

Interview with Galavant Star Joshua Sasse and Executive Producers

Sharing if he did musicals before
Joshua Sasse: Yeah, I had. As an actor in England you have to have a fair amount of strings to your bow to get anywhere because it’s quite a tough crowd. I’ve done some stuff in the West End in England and I’ve been doing bits and pieces here and there.

They’re an incredible team to work with in terms of making sure that you don’t fall on your feet.

They really walk you through it. It doesn’t matter. Even if I hadn’t sung before, as long as you’ve got a voice, they made it a pleasure. Which is really something to say, because hard music to sing, is one of the hardest things because you’re putting yourself out there. You’re like, “Who would sing for other people?” It’s very baring. It’s amazing that the songs are that hard and they make it a real pleasure to sing.

Sharing about the process of writing for TV versus film

Alan Menken: First of all, it was great that we had the opportunity to work with Dan on Tangled before we did this because because it was a musical. We really did go through the trenches on that one, trying to figure out the story, figure out where the songs go and how you support the songs with dialogue, etc.

By the time we got to this, we had developed a pretty good shorthand. It was, I would say, essentially a three-way collaboration between Dan and Glenn and me in terms of the vocabulary of the songs, what we want the songs to say, where we want the songs to go and it was very much like a regular musical. It’s just that it’s shorter and more economical. The truth is, the best musicals are very economical.

Glenn Slater: One of the huge benefits from a lyricists point of view of working on a TV show is that you have the benefit of the writers room. Dan has put together an unbelievably talented group of writers on this who are all brilliantly funny. Just getting in the room with them and hearing the ideas flying around, getting on the phone when we hit a rough spot and having instantly 10, 12 or 15 possible ideas has been unbelievably helpful.

And if you saw the show last weekend, you know all that collaboration comes together nicely. The show is unlike any other show currently on television. The medieval setting, hero on a quest feel and outrageous humor of the show is something I enjoy as a fan of The Princess Bride. If you also like story lines like this, then I know you'll enjoy “Galavant”.

Galavant Joshua Sasse ABC Television

So what can you look forward to during the third and fourth “Galavant” half-hour episodes TONIGHT SUNDAY, JANUARY 11 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network?

  • “Two Balls” (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET) – A visit to Sid’s hometown reveals he has not been truthful about his career path. While Galavant and Isabella back up Sid’s stories, King Richard decides to throw a ball to cheer up the people of Valencia.

    Guest stars in “Two Balls” include Ben Presley as Jester and Narrator, Darren Evans as Chef, Stanley Townsend as King of Valencia, Genevieve Allenbury as Queen of Valenica, Michael Brandon as Sid’s Dad, Faith Prince as Sid’s Mom, Nick Holder as Bald Eunuch, Tim Plester as Executioner, Kenneth Collard as The Squire, Mark Sheals as Squire #2, Edward Judge as Squire #3, Jimmy Johnston as Squire #3 and Carolyn Jolliffe as Hot Woman.
  • “Comedy Gold” (8:30-9:00 p.m. ET) – An encounter with land-bound pirates forces Galavant, Isabella and Sid to learn how to get over their petty squabbles and work together. Meanwhile, King Richard tries a new tact to win Madalena’s love.

    Guest stars in “Comedy Gold” include Ben Presley as Jester and Narrator, Darren Evans as Chef, Daniel Hoffmann-Gill as Pirate #1, Martin Collins as Pirate #2, Hugh Bonneville as Pirate King, and Adam Loxley as Pirate #3.
“Galavant” stars Joshua Sasse as Galavant, Timothy Omundson as King Richard, Vinnie Jones as Gareth, Mallory Jansen as Madalena, Karen David as Isabella and Luke Youngblood as Sid. The eight episode series will run through Sunday nights in January.

To learn more about “Galavant”, visit - www.abc.go.com/shows/galavant
On Facebook - www.facebook.com/GalavantOnABC
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/GalavantABC (#Galavant)





 
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