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When I learned that visiting the set of Dr. Ken was going to be part of my Disney #MoanaEvent L.A trip, I couldn't believe it. Ken Jeong is amazing actor and the Dr. Ken show is both hilarious and heartwarming. I couldn't wait to be on set!

Meeting Dr. Ken cast and touring the set


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


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And then I was...and it was better then I imagined. Not only did I get to walk around the set, but I also met the cast! Like ALL of the cast!

A photo posted by Onica Cupido (@mommyfactor) on



Meeting Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken), Executive Producer.




Meeting cast members Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Allison Park), Tisha Campbell-Martin (Damona Watkins), Jonathan Slavin (Clark Leslie Beavers), Albert Tsai (Dave Park), Dave Foley (Pat Hein), and Dana Lee (D.K. Park)

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The cast was very warm and open. They acted like old friends welcoming us to the set, posing with us for photos and just hanging out with us as we toured around.

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Then it was time for a sit down to learn more about the Dr. Ken show and the upcoming episodes including “D.K.’s New Girlfriend”, which is airing tonight 12/02/16 at 8:30pm EST on ABC Television Network

Synopsis

When D.K. overhears Allison complain about him overstaying his welcome, he decides to move in with his girlfriend of three weeks. Meanwhile, Pat wants Dave to pretend he’s his adopted son; and Allison is convinced Molly wants to talk about something when she suggests they do a spa day, but the tables turn when Molly is the one doling out the advice.


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It was great to go behind the scenes and meet the cast on set. I could tell they really enjoyed working with each other and on the show.

Dr. Ken show on ABC


To learn more about Dr. Ken, visit http://abc.go.com/shows/dr-ken

On Facebook - www.facebook.com/Dr.KenABC,
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/DrKenABC  (#DrKen)
On Instagram - www.instagram.com/drkenabc


Another great moment I had while in L.A was I sitting down with Lucy Dahl, youngest daughter of Roald Dahl, for a mini breakfast and interview, to celebrate the release of “The BFG” to Digital HD, Blu-ray™ and Disney Movies Anywhere.

Lucy Dahl Interview for The BFG Bluray Release


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

Did you know that Lucy Dahl is a writer, a screenwriter and a producer. She wrote the teen comedy Wild Child, starring Emma Roberts, Aiden Quinn, Alex Pettifer and Natasha Richardson. And is currently writing and creating a new comedy for TV, as well as executive producing a TV adaptation of one of her father’s stories.

I couldn't wait to talk to her about her childhood growing up with Roald Dahl. But first I had to finish breakfast!

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The breakfast was hosted at The Culver Hotel and featured miniature brunch feast, special photo opp with TheBFG before sitting down to interview Lucy Dahl.

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The interview with Lucy was so amazing. She's full of life and tells great #TheBFG stories from her childhood. Since her father made storytelling such a part of her life, I had to ask her....


What part of the book were you excited to see come alive in the film?


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Lucy Dahl: Oh that’s Dream Land. When Sophie goes into Dream Land, just that three or four seconds is just extraordinary, that’s my favorite. I could watch that again and again.

It was exactly how I had imagined it and I think that’s probably why I love it so much. But also, the BFG. Steven took a great deal of trouble in getting the BFG right. These shoes (on TheBFG) are a copy of a pair of my father’s sandals that he used to wear every summer. The BFG’s clothes are copies of my father’s clothes from his cupboard that we still have.

My father based him a little bit on himself and a little bit on our great family friend Wally Saunders. He was a country man and he worked in our garden helping dad and he would help dad drive us to and from school.

And he would build. As the family grew, we built on the house. So Wally was an extraordinary countryman from Buckinghamshire and he had the big ears. The accent that BFG has in the film was, was taken from Wally’s accent from video clips that we have of Wally.


Lucy also shared what it was like being on set with Steven Spielberg


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It was really incredible and I loved being on the set. Steven Spielberg treated me, honestly, like a queen which I didn’t expect. I thought he’d just be like, hey, nice to meet you and get on with his work.

He literally took me with him all day everywhere he went and showed me everything and it was really the most incredible experience ever.

But the thing that I didn’t like was Giant Land that was over there and on the set because it wasn’t true, but everything else was so true to how it was in my imagination and in my mind that it was just incredible.

I felt really like my father was walking around with me on the set, as delighted as I was. The whole journey has been huge.

Explaining why she didn't like Giant Land, Lucy shared


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There was no Giant Land in BFG’s story (her father told her in childhood), so when it became a book and the BFG didn’t live under our orchard, he lived in Giant land, I didn’t like that. Just like, no that’s not the way that goes.
But I was actually a little offended when he (her father) put our childhood story into a book because he was my BFG and my sister Ophelia’s BFG and nobody else’s, and you don’t really want to share.

Lucy also shared why she thinks TheBFG is a great film for families


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Well, I do love BFG. I really do love BFG. I think Mark Rylance was amazing. I think the team was amazing.

Because children are so used to bang, wand, colors. But The BFG is slow enough to speak to your heart. I mean, the heart speaks to the heart.

With this coming out over Christmas where it’s more of a quiet time, I’m really hoping that children will slow down a little bit and realize that it’s about love. Because it’s really a love story.


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Steven and I talked about it for an hour, actually. We talked about the difference between BFG and E.T. because it’s the same group of creators and he said that they’re the same because it’s a love.

They’re two lonely hearts that find one another. They’re different characters and it’s a different type of love, but really, the importance of this story is that how one heart will find another heart, whatever the world, wherever they live.

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What a great lesson for families to learn together. The world needs more LOVE! Make sure to get your copy of The BFG now available on Blu-ray and other media.



The BFG on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere


Disney and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Walden Media, present the fantasy adventure film “The BFG,” the first-ever motion picture adaptation of Roald Dahl’s resonant tale of childhood, the magic of dreams and the extraordinary friendship between a young girl and a big friendly giant.

Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, the film reunites the director with his Oscar®-nominated collaborator on “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” Melissa Mathison, who adapted the children’s author’s timeless adventure for the big screen.

This magical tale of an extraordinary friendship loaded with exciting extras will brighten the holidays for the whole family!


BLU-RAY & DIGITAL HD:

  • Bringing “The BFG” to Life – Ruby Barnhill (Sophie) hosts a phizz-whizzing journey through the making of “The BFG.” This behind-the-scenes documentary details the film’s progression through interviews with Roald Dahl’s daughter Lucy Dahl, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, executive producers Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Kristie Macosko Krieger, and numerous members of the talented cast and crew.
  • The Big Friendly Giant and Me – Sophie wasn’t the first “bean” in Giant Country—many illustrations were created as if drawn by a little boy who was there long before Sophie. This charming, in-world short will bring the drawings to life with animation and narration, recounting the friendship and the dreams shared between the boy and the Big Friendly Giant.
  • Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG – A whoopsey-splunkers tutorial on the meaning of the gloriumptious gobblefunk in “The BFG.”
  • Giants 101 – Jemaine Clement (Fleshlumpeater) and Bill Hader (Bloodbottler) introduce us to the loathsome giants in “The BFG,” along with movement choreographer/motion capture performer Terry Notary, who collaborated with the actors and Director Steven Spielberg prior to filming to develop their movements and character traits.
  • Melissa Mathison: A Tribute – An homage to Melissa Mathison, the extraordinary, Oscar®-nominated screenwriter of “The BFG” and “E.T.,” whose talent and heart were as immense as the giants in “The BFG.”
DIGITAL/VOD:
  • John Williams: Scoring A Dream – A journey through the film’s concept art and memorable moments, interwoven with the sights and sounds of legendary composer John William’s scoring session.

DVD:
  • Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG 
  • Melissa Mathison: A Tribute

To learn more about The BFG, visit www.movies.disney.com/The-BFG

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBFGmovie
On Twitter: www.twitter.com/BFGmovie
On Instagram: www.instagram.com/BFGmovie


Are you ready to get into Christmas mode? I'll be honest. While I was hanging out in sunny L.A, I wasn't thinking anything related to holiday. Then one night I received a yummy surprise snack of milk and cookies from the Freeform team (formally known as ABC Family).

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The milk and cookie was a reminder to get ready for "25 Days of Christmas" holiday programming event, beginning on December 1st 2016.




Well now it's officially December and that means holiday lights, peppermint everything and holiday themed movies! I'm so ready! Here's how you can be also.

Join Freeform in celebrating 20 years of Christmas cheer with the "25 Days of Christmas".

While the home of 25 days of holiday-themed programming has a new name, the network still has all of the same jolly movies that Christmas fans love, including “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “The Santa Clause,” “The Polar Express” and much more.

For the 20th consecutive year, Freeform is hosting cable's biggest programming event of the year. 25 Days of Christmas will run from December 1st-25th with 25 continuous days of holiday themed entertainment including festive movies and specials, classic holiday movies and returning favorites.

For fun new holiday content each day such as polls, shareables, gifs and micro-videos, be sure to visit www.25DaysofChristmasTV.com

You can also download the Freeform app so you can watch all of your holiday favorites on your mobile device.

Check out the Freeform 25 Days of Christmas 2016 schedule below.


Thursday, December 1

(3:30pm-6:00pm) Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
(6:00pm-7:05pm) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(7:05pm-9:15pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(9:15pm-11:20pm) The Santa Clause
(11:20pm-12:55am) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
(12:55am-2:00pm) Rudolph's Shiny New Year

Friday, December 2

(11:00am-12:00pm) Jack Frost (1979)
(12:00pm-2:30pm) Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
(2:30pm-3:35pm) The Year Without Santa Claus
(3:35pm-5:10pm) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
(5:10pm-7:15pm) Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)
(7:15pm-9:20pm) The Santa Claus
(9:20pm-11:25pm) The Polar Express
(11:25pm-2:00am) Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Saturday, December 3

(7:00am-8:30am) Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
(8:30am-10:00am) Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
(10:00am-12:00pm) Richie Rich's Christmas Wish
(12:00pm-2:05pm) Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)
(2:05pm-4:40pm) Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
(4:40pm-6:45pm) The Polar Express
(6:45pm-8:50pm) Arthur Christmas
(8:50pm-10:55pm) Elf
(10:55pm-2:00am) The Holiday


Sunday, December 4

(7:00am-7:30am) 'Twas The Night Before Christmas
(7:30am-8:00am) Nestor, The Long Eared Christmas Donkey
(8:00am-10:05am) Richie Rich's Christmas Wish
(10:05am-12:10pm) Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July
(12:10pm-2:20pm) I'll Be Home For Christmas
(2:20pm-4:30pm) Arthur Christmas
(4:30pm-5:35pm) Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
(5:35pm-6:40pm) The Year Without Santa Claus
(6:40pm-8:45pm) Elf
(8:45pm-10:55pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(10:55pm-2:00am) Santa Claus is Comin' to Town


Monday, December 5

(4:00pm-5:00pm) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(5:00pm-7:00pm) Jingle All the Way
(7:00pm-9:00pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(9:00pm-11:00pm) Scrooged
(12:00am-2:00am) Snowglobe

Tuesday, December 6

(5:00pm-7:00pm) Scrooged
(7:00pm-9:00pm) The Polar Express
(9:00pm-11:00pm) The Santa Claus
(12:00am-2:00am) Snow


Wednesday, December 7

(5:00pm-7:00pm) The Polar Express
(7:00pm-9:00pm) The Santa Claus
(9:00pm-11:00pm) Elf
(12:00am-2:00am) 12 Dates of Christmas

Thursday, December 8

(3:00pm-5:00pm) Holiday Joy
(5:00pm-7:00pm) Deck the Halls
(7:00pm-9:00pm) Elf
(9:00pm-11:00pm) Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)
(12:00am-2:00am) Holiday in Handcuffs


Friday, December 9

(11:00am-11:30am) Frosty's Winter Wonderland
(11:30am-1:30pm) Holiday Joy
(1:30pm-3:35pm) Home Alone 3
(3:35pm-5:40pm) Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
(5:40pm-7:45pm) The Search for Santa Paws
(7:45pm-9:50pm) Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
(9:50pm-1144pm) Snow Buddies
(11:55pm-2:00am) Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July


Saturday, December 10

(7:00am-7:30am) Mickey's Christmas Carol
(7:30am-9:30am) Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
(9:30am-11:35am) The Search for Santa Paws
(11:35am-1:40pm) Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
(1:40pm-3:45pm) Snow Buddies
(3:45pm-5:45pm) Disney-Pixar's Toy Story
(5:45pm-7:50pm) Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 2
(7:50pm-10:20pm) Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3
(10:20pm-10:5pm) Disney-Pixar's Toy Story That Time Forgot
(10:50pm-12:55am) Arthur Christmas
(12:55am-2:00am) The Year Without Santa Claus


Sunday, December 11

(7:00am-7:30am) The Little Drummer Boy
(7:30am-9:35am) Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
(9:35am-11:40am) Dennis the Menace Christmas
(11:40am-12:45pm) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(12:45pm-2:50pm) Arthur Christmas
(2:50pm-4:50pm) Disney-Pixar's Toy Story
(4:50pm-6:55pm) Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 2
(6:55pm-9:25pm) Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3
(9:25pm-12:00am) The Polar Express


Monday, December 12

(5:30pm-7:00pm) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
(7:00pm-9:00pm) The Polar Express
(9:00pm-11:00pm) Elf
(12:00am-2:00am) Christmas Cupid


Tuesday, December 13

(3:30pm-4:30pm) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
(4:30pm-7:00pm) Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
(7:00pm-9:00pm) Elf
(9:00pm-11:00pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation


Wednesday, December 14

(3:00pm-5:00pm) Home Alone 3
(5:00pm-7:00pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(7:00pm-9:00pm) Arthur Christmas
(9:00pm-11:00pm) The Santa Clause
(12:00am-2:00am) Santa Baby


Thursday, December 15

(7:30am-9:30am) Holiday Joy
(11:00am-1:00pm) Snow Buddies
(1:00pm-3:00pm) Home Alone 3
(3:00pm-5:00pm) A Dennis the Menace Christmas
(5:00pm-7:00pm) Arthur Christmas
(7:00pm-9:00pm) The Santa Clause
(9:00pm-11:00pm) The Search for Santa Paws
(12:00am-2:00am) Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe


Friday, December 16

(7:00am-9:10am) A Dennis the Menace Christmas
(9:10am-11:15am) Jack Frost (1998)
(11:15am-1:20pm) The Search for Santa Paws
(1:20pm-3:25pm) Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
(3:25pm-5:30pm) Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
(5:30pm-7:35pm) Jingle All the Way
(7:35pm-9:45pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(9:45pm-11:55pm) The Polar Express
(11:55pm-2:00am) Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)


Saturday, December 17

(7:00am-8:00am) Rudolph's Shiny New Year
(8:00am-8:30am) Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
(8:30am-10:30am) Jingle All the Way
(10:30am-1:00pm) Happy Feet
(1:00pm-2:35pm) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
(2:35pm-4:40pm) The Polar Express
(4:40pm-6:50pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(6:50pm-9:00pm) The Santa Clause
(9:00pm-11:30pm) Disney's Frozen
(11:30pm-2:00am) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


Sunday, December 18

(7:00am-9:30am) Happy Feet
(9:30am-11:30am) Richie Rich's Christmas Wish
(11:30am-12:00pm) Mickey's Christmas Carol
(12:00pm-1:35pm) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
(1:35pm-4:10pm) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(4:10pm-4:40pm) Disney's Prep & Landing
(4:40pm-5:10pm) Disney's Prep & Landing: Naughty vs Nice
(5:10pm-7:20pm) The Santa Clause
(7:20pm-9:50pm) Disney's Frozen
(9:50pm-12:00am) Elf


Monday, December 19

(7:00am-8:30am) Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
(8:30am-10:30am) A Dennis the Menace Christmas
(10:30am-12:35pm) Richie Rich's Christmas Wish
(12:35pm-2:40pm) Home Alone 3
(2:40pm-4:45pm) The Search for Santa Paws
(4:45pm-6:50pm) Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
(6:50pm-8:55pm) Elf
(8:55pm-11:00pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(12:00am-2:00am) Just Friends


Tuesday, December 20

(7:0am-9:10am) The Search for Santa Paws
(9:10am-11:15am) Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
(11:15am-1:25pm) Home Alone 3
(1:25pm-4:30pm) The Holiday
(4:30pm-5:35pm) Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
(5:35pm-6:40pm) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(6:40pm-8:50pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(8:50pm-11:00pm) The Santa Clause
(12:00am-2:00am) Holidaze


Wednesday, December 21

(7:00am-9:00am) Snow Buddies
(9:00am-11:05am) Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
(11:05am-1:10pm) Happy Feet Two
(1:10pm-2:10pm) Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
(2:10pm-3:15pm) The Year Without Santa Claus
(3:15pm-5:20pm) The Polar Express
(5:20pm-5:50pm) Disney's Prep & Landing
(5:50pm-6:20pm) Disney's Prep & Landing: Naughty Vs. Nice
(6:20pm-6:50pm) Disney-Pixar's Toy Story That Time Forgot
(6:50pm-8:55pm) The Santa Clause
(8:55pm-11:00pm) Elf
(12:00am-2:00am) The Mistle-Tones


Thursday, December 22

(7:00am-9:30am) Happy Feet
(9:30am-11:30am) Happy Feet Two
(11:30am-12:00pm) The Little Drummer Boy
(12:00pm-2:05pm) The Polar Express
(2:05pm-4:10pm) Jack Frost (1998)
(4:10pm-4:40pm) Frosty's Winter Wonderland
(4:40pm-5:10pm) Disney-Pixar's Toy Story That Time Forgot
(5:10pm-6:45pm) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
(6:45pm-8:55pm) Elf
(8:55pm-11:00pm) Jingle All the Way
(12:00am-2:00am) Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)


Friday, December 23

(7:00am-7:30am) Frosty's Winter Wonderland
(7:30am-9:30am) Jack Frost (1998)
(11:00am-1:00pm) Richie Rich's Christmas Wish
(1:00pm-3:00pm) Jingle All the Way
(3:00pm-4:35pm) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
(4:35pm-5:40pm) Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
(5:40pm-6:45pm) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(6:45pm-8:50pm) Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)
(8:50pm-11:00pm) The Santa Clause
(12:00am-2:00am) Home Alone: The Holiday Heist


Saturday, December 24

(7:00am-8:05am) Jack Frost (1979)
(8:05am-9:40am) Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
(9:40am-11:15am) Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
(11:15am-12:20pm) Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
(12:20pm-1:25pm) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(1:25pm-3:30pm) Arthur Christmas
(3:30pm-5:35pm) The Polar Express
(5:35pm-7:40pm) The Santa Clause
(7:40pm-9:45pm) Elf
(9:45pm-11:55pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(11:55pm-2:00am) Scrooged


Sunday, December 25

(7:00am-9:10am) The Search for Santa Paws
(9:10am-11:20am) Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
(11:20am-1:25pm) Arthur Christmas
(1:25pm-3:30pm) The Polar Express
(3:30pm-4:35pm) Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
(4:35pm-5:40pm) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(5:40pm-7:45pm) Elf
(7:45pm-9:55pm) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
(9:55pm-12:00am) Scrooged

After interviewing Scott Silveri about ABC Speechless series, I was able to tour the set and meet the cast members Minnie Driver (“Maya Dimeo”), John Ross Bowie (“Jimmy Dimeo”), Micah Fowler (“JJ Dimeo”), Mason Cook (“Ray Dimeo”), Kyla Kenedy (“Dylan Dimeo”) and Cedric Yarbrough (“Kenneth”).

Meeting the Speechless Cast Minnie Driver and John Ross Bowie

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

Getting to tour a set is always a fun experience. Not only do you get to see the space you watch weekly up close and personal, but you also get some behind the scene info about the characters and what goes into making the series.

The cast of Speechless was really sweet to meet. First we met Minnie Driver (“Maya Dimeo”) and John Ross Bowie (“Jimmy Dimeo”), who were excited to meet us and share little bits about being on the series. They both are proud to be on a show that shows this type of family in a real way.

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Then we met Mason Cook (“Ray Dimeo”) and Kyla Kenedy (“Dylan Dimeo”), who was amazed so many of us came to the set to learn more about the show. They may be young but they were both very gracious while meeting us.

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Micah Fowler (“JJ Dimeo”) met us next and nearly made the whole group cry. He thank us for taking time to visit and learn more about the show. It was truly a special moment to meet him.

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After those meeting we headed over to the set to see where all the filming is done.

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While walking into one room on set, we met Cedric Yarbrough (“Kenneth”) who was so funny with the group. He spent time talking with us and sharing about the humor of the show.

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It was so surreal walking around the areas you'd see on TV. We walked around in the living room, kitchen and bed room areas.

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Most of the sets are fully done with little open area's for the directors and other cast to sit while filming.

While it was nice to see the Speechless set, we had to head out so they could keep filming scenes. LOL


ABC Speechless TV Series

If you are a fan of the show, get ready for the episode “R-A-Y-C RAY-CATION” airing Nov 30, 2016 on ABC at 8:30 ET.

Synopsis

Maya enlists the family to assist JJ in romancing a girl at school, but it backfires when JJ expresses his feelings to Claire, and they are not reciprocated. Meanwhile, as the DiMeos are always late, Ray has the family practice to get to school in time for his upcoming weekend field trip

To learn more about Speechless, visit www.abc.com/shows/speechless

On Facebook - www.facebook.com/SpeechlessABC
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/Speechless_ABC  (#Speechless)
On Instagram - www.instagram.com/speechlessabc


During my time in L.A., I took a break from all things Disney Moana to interview Scott Silveri, writer and executive producer for ABC Speechless TV series, before taking a set tour and meeting the Speechless cast.

Scott Silveri Interview for Speechless ABC Series

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

Since "Speechless" is about a family with a child with special-needs facing challenges each day, during the interview, I had to ask Scott Silveri....

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photo credit: (ABC/Kevin Foley)

Did you have to make any changes to make it more network ready? Or any specific changes from real life to a TV family life?


Scott Silveri: The network was actually supportive of what we wanted to do. The liberties I took were in the difference between Micah’s character, JJ and my brother in real life. In real life my brother’s condition is a little more significant.

And, I wanted with the character for there to be a lot more back and forth. That was my choice. That wasn’t them laying the hammer down and saying, make it lighter or make it funnier or make it anything different. I just thought in a world where you have six characters in a family, you want a lot more give and take between them.

And it also was important to me. One challenge, when I was thinking of doing a version that was closer to my own experience, I never wanted that character to seem like a prop. I wanted him to be active, and this made it easier to be active.

And when I was thinking about the JJ character, the criterion that I kept coming back to is... is this a character that would exist on TV independent of a disability, independent of the wheelchair.

And that was the litmus test.

And once he has an attitude and he has agents and he has things that he wants, okay that’s somebody that is worth writing for. But if it was simply defined by, you know, a wheelchair, then that’s telling a story I didn’t wanna tell.

I’d love to say that I had some big fight with them. But they were supportive.

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photo credit: (ABC/Michael Ansell)

Scott also shared how his family reacted knowing he wrote a show based on his experience


Scott Silveri: They were really incredibly supportive about it. I made it clear from the beginning to them, as I try to make clear to anybody else, this is not their story. This is not my story or my brother’s sister. What’s important to me is to capture a couple of elements about the time we had growing up. They were very, very supportive about that.

The things that I wanted to play to was how choice is very important in how you live your life. I feel like you can take whatever challenge is thrown your way and wallow in it or let it define you or turn and have it make you a better person or more fun person or more interesting person.

You can curse the heavens or you can band together and make it work. And that’s what my mom did. That’s what my dad did. And I wanted to celebrate that at every turn.

This is intended to be a love letter to my mom and my dad.

And I hope that comes across. They’re broadly drawn characters and this is not a documentary about my childhood, but it really is meant to be a loving depiction of the choices that I celebrate.

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photo credit: (ABC/Nicole Wilder)

Scott Silveri: But the great thing is their response to it. When they first read it and I asked permission. I did not wanna get in trouble for this. Like this would make for a lot of bad Thanksgivings and Christmases.

I knew wading into these waters, while it wasn't about us per se, I needed their permission, their bind. But the great thing that I got back from them, when I first showed them, wasn't it wasn’t flattery or vanity.

But more like, oh, you know, there’s gonna be a famous actress playing a version of me or it was just relief. Like "Oh, it’s gonna be a family like ours on TV, and that’s fantastic". Because so much of the experience of families like ours was just feeling invisible, you know? Not being heard.

And I don’t think that’s specific or unique to disability, but it’s certainly the experience of a family with somebody with disability. It’s like people either stare or ignore. And they found it refreshing to have a story like ours told.


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photo credit: (ABC/Nicole Wilder)

When asked how they decided which story-lines the character and audience are ready for, Scott shared


Scott Silveri: I think that the mechanism is simply we ask people who lived this. Those who live in the advocacy world. I’ll give you a for instance. Early on, Micah, the actor, is working on walking. He has been for a long time.

And, we thought if all the things that you see on TV, all the arcs, I’m gonna get a job at Bloomingdales, etc wouldn't that be an interesting thing to do? And then we kicked it around for a while and I talked to a couple of people in the community, and they’re like...'not sure that you wanna go there especially early, cause we don’t wanna make it a story about overcoming a disability'.

And I get that. Like I thought it was like lightning in a bottle, and then I heard that feedback. That’s insight that I don’t have.

Scott Silveri: So, we’re doing our homework and asking the questions, but in terms of generally, things that make us afraid are the things that we’re running for like sexuality and disability. That’s somebody nobody wants to talk.

And very early we wanna get this kid dating. When I talk to Eva, who introduced me to the idea of this board, when I talked to her about the walking thing, she was the first one like, I don’t know.

I was like, well, what kind of things should he do or be doing? And she said, he’s 16. He should wanna date. He should rebel. He should, wanna be popular, wanna make friends. He should be out making mistakes. And so early on, we had drinking. In another episode, we had him driving a car when he shouldn't be.

We have him dating, liking a girl and the challenges around that. So, I mean as a rule the stuff that we’re not sure about, that’s what we’re running towards. But we do wanna make sure at the same time that, we’re respectful to the experience. So, that’s why we have our professionals as a backstop, to make sure we don’t screw it up too much.

If the positive reaction from families, with and without kids with special needs, are an indication, then I'd say Scott and his team are far from screwing things up.


ABC Speechless TV Series

If you are a fan of the show, get ready for the episode “R-A-Y-C RAY-CATION” airing Nov 30, 2016 on ABC at 8:30 ET.

Synopsis

Maya enlists the family to assist JJ in romancing a girl at school, but it backfires when JJ expresses his feelings to Claire, and they are not reciprocated. Meanwhile, as the DiMeos are always late, Ray has the family practice to get to school in time for his upcoming weekend field trip

To learn more about Speechless, visit www.abc.com/shows/speechless

On Facebook - www.facebook.com/SpeechlessABC
On Twitter - www.twitter.com/Speechless_ABC  (#Speechless)
On Instagram - www.instagram.com/speechlessabc

Did you see “The BFG” when it opened in theaters? We did and LOVED it. Now you can enjoy this special friendship all over again when “The BFG,” releases on Dec. 6 on Digital HD, Blu-ray™, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand.

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Note: I received product sample for review purpose. Any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Did you know that "The BFG” was the first-ever motion picture adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story? It was amazing to see certain scenes I read in the book, now come alive on screen. For fans of Dahl's book, the movie has so much for them to enjoy.

I received an advanced copy of the blu-ray and was so excited to watch the full movie again for some many reasons.

Here are 3 Reasons Families will enjoy “The BFG”


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The touching story-line between The BFG and Sophie.

What an odd couple they make. At first you'd wondered how (and why) witty Sophie would befriend The BFG but after watching them learn about each other, you can see it.

They both have some quirks but also big hearts and they want to do good. It's this combo that leads to this amazing friendship. A nice lesson for kids (and some adults) that friendship can be made with anyone, when you least expect it.


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The Animation

The animated world of The BFG is so well done. From the first scenes of The BFG sneaking around town, to our first look into "Giant Country" and the Dream forest to the final scenes of The BFG and Sophie meeting the Queen.

It's all so magical in one way yet practical when it needs to be. Families will enjoy watching the world unfold all over again.


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The Hilarious Giants

Besides The BFG, the other "Giant Country" guys are amazing to watch. Mainly for laughs. While they can be a bit scary, after watching The BFG and Sophie out wit them, the giants became more comic relief then anything. Kids will love having a chuckle during the "Giant Country" moments.

Along with these reason to enjoy full movie, there's also bonus features with more info into the world of The BFG.


The BFG on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere

Disney and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Walden Media, present the fantasy adventure film “The BFG,”.

Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, the film reunites the director with his Oscar®-nominated collaborator on “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” Melissa Mathison, who adapted the children’s author’s timeless adventure for the big screen. “The BFG” is produced by Spielberg, p.g.a., Frank Marshall, p.g.a., and Sam Mercer, p.g.a., with Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Michael Siegel serving as executive producers.

The film stars three-time Tony Award®, two-time Olivier Award and Oscar® winner Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant; newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, the orphan who befriends him and is swept into a world of rampaging giants; Penelope Wilton as The Queen; Jemaine Clement as Fleshlumpeater, the most fearsome giant from Giant Country; Rebecca Hall as Mary, The Queen’s handmaid; Rafe Spall as Mr. Tibbs, The Queen’s butler; and Bill Hader as Bloodbottler, another unruly giant from Giant Country.


BLU-RAY & DIGITAL HD:

  • Bringing “The BFG” to Life – Ruby Barnhill (Sophie) hosts a phizz-whizzing journey through the making of “The BFG.” This behind-the-scenes documentary details the film’s progression through interviews with Roald Dahl’s daughter Lucy Dahl, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, executive producers Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Kristie Macosko Krieger, and numerous members of the talented cast and crew.
  • The Big Friendly Giant and Me – Sophie wasn’t the first “bean” in Giant Country—many illustrations were created as if drawn by a little boy who was there long before Sophie. This charming, in-world short will bring the drawings to life with animation and narration, recounting the friendship and the dreams shared between the boy and the Big Friendly Giant.
  • Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG – A whoopsey-splunkers tutorial on the meaning of the gloriumptious gobblefunk in “The BFG.”
  • Giants 101 – Jemaine Clement (Fleshlumpeater) and Bill Hader (Bloodbottler) introduce us to the loathsome giants in “The BFG,” along with movement choreographer/motion capture performer Terry Notary, who collaborated with the actors and Director Steven Spielberg prior to filming to develop their movements and character traits.
  • Melissa Mathison: A Tribute – An homage to Melissa Mathison, the extraordinary, Oscar®-nominated screenwriter of “The BFG” and “E.T.,” whose talent and heart were as immense as the giants in “The BFG.”
DIGITAL/VOD:
  • John Williams: Scoring A Dream – A journey through the film’s concept art and memorable moments, interwoven with the sights and sounds of legendary composer John William’s scoring session.

DVD:
  • Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG 
  • Melissa Mathison: A Tribute


The creative team is comprised of some of Spielberg’s longtime collaborators, including: two-time Oscar®-winning director of photography Janusz Kaminski; two-time Oscar-winning production designer Rick Carter; three time Oscar-winning editor Michael Kahn, A.C.E.; and Oscar-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston, with legendary five-time Oscar winner John Williams composing his 24th score for a Spielberg-directed film.

Joining them is two-time Oscar® winner Robert Stromberg as production designer and four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri from Weta Digital, the visual effects company founded by Peter Jackson, as senior visual effects supervisor.

To learn more about The BFG, visit www.movies.disney.com/The-BFG

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBFGmovie
On Twitter: www.twitter.com/BFGmovie
On Instagram: www.instagram.com/BFGmovie


Now that Disney's Moana is playing in theaters, families everywhere will want to shop all things Moana! So I've put together a list of Disney Moana items families can enjoy!

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Note: I received products sample during my trip to Los Angeles for the Moana Event and ABC TV Event. However, any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

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While in L.A. for the Disney #MoanaEvent, I received a nice gift bag of Moana items.

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I was so excited to receive so many Moana themed items, including

Then I spent some time in the Disney Store with the newly released Moana toys, fashion and home products.

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There was so much to see. I was tempted to get all the things. So much adorable items for boys, girls and adults!

So here's some Moana items to add to your shopping list.

For Boys

As a mom of a boy, I LOVE that I found so many items for boys. From plush's to toys to fashion there's something for boys who want to be like Maui and go on an adventure.

Toys (seen above)

Fashion & Home

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For Girls

For girls who want to be adventurous like Moana or would like their own personal animal friends, there's also lots of plush's, toys and fashion.

Toys

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Fashion & Home

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You can find these and more Disney Moana products on www.DisneyStore.com


Disney's MOANA poster

MOVIE SYNOPSIS

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people.

During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder.

Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.

Voice Cast: Auli‘i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Jemaine Clement, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk.

Directed by: Ron Clements and John Musker
Produced by: Osnat Shurer
Featuring music by: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i

Visit the official MOANA website - www.movies.disney.com/moana

Like on Facebook: www.facebook.com/disneymoana
Follow on Twitter: www.twitter.com/disneymoana
Follow on Instagram: www.instagram.com/disneyanimation