Friday, August 26, 2011

Photos Of The Day: L'Arc de Triomphe

The years I spent in high school in Mr. Walsh's dark art history room were such vivid memories today as I finally hit the L'Arc de Triomphe.  I went after my rehearsal later in the day when the crowds had dissipated and I could enjoy the view without throngs of tourists jostling for space.  Every detail of Mr. Walsh's class from archways, sculpture, and flying buttresses all came back to me the moment I stepped under the arch.  The top of the the Arc promises the best views of Paris and it certainly didn't disappoint. Yes, I am still wearing my hat that I bought at Roni B's in the Valley.  French boys seems to like it, so on my head it stays.  The day finished off with a walk down the Champs-Eylsées and a meal of moule et frites at a sidewalk café.  Tomorrow is a long day of rehearsal and the opening of the show........time for bed to finish off that jet lag.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Paris Image of the Day: Le Tour Eiffel

Bon Jour!  I am hear and I should be sleeping, but my body clock is slightly off.  I slept a ton on the plane and then I stayed awake all day minus a couple of naps on the RER and one on the second level of Le Tour Eiffel.  Yes, while waiting in line to get a ticket to the top of Le Tour Eiffel, I fell asleep. I am retaining my family title that I can sleep anywhere by adding an international landmark to my list.  Today's photo is from the top of the tower with the Seine in the background.  I never realized how high up the tower goes and I definitely had sweaty hands and weak knees while up at the top.  This tourist attraction was a little too crowded and touristy for my tastes, but I am so happy I was able to brave the crowds and make it all the way up.  I think the rest of my trip will be a little less off of the beaten track.  I like to go where the locals go, not where the folks from LA and Michigan are headed. (I've been looking forward to meeting new people while traveling and the first people I run into are from LA.....go figure.)  I'm off to catch a few more zzzzzzzz.........

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chevy Chase Crashes The Set!

As you read this, I will be soaring high over the friendly skies to Paris. I will be checking in from time to time with a post and a picture or two.  You can always follow me here on Twitter or Facebook for further updates.

In the meantime, take a look at who stopped by my shoot at Paramount Studios:  Uh......Chevy Chase!  He films Community on the lot (I also saw a few of the Glee kids too.) and he completely crashed our set about 5 minutes before we went LIVE with the launch of the new 2012 Toyota Camry for Live Connect.  I so wish he stayed when we began the show, but alas, he had a tour group to photo bomb next.  It was hilarious and a pretty cool moment with a comedy legend.

Yes, he's real and not a wax figurine from Madame Tussaud's.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

D23 Expo: Exhibit Photos

For those of you who saw my post on Sunday, it included all of the Disney Studio film slate through 2014. Now, it's time to get to the really fun stuff, photos of the D23 Expo floor and the Disney Archives exhibit.  I have so many photos, so I am just going to dump the highlights here and give you some information in the captions.  I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about D23 and if you will be attending the Expo in 2013!

 Some of my favorite artwork at the Expo.  Teacups by Dave Lefner.

 Snow White's nemesis.

 Love this contemporary photo of Minnie Mouse.

 Johnny Depp's Jack Spade wardrobe from Pirates of the Caribbean.

 I'm not a Lost fan, but I know millions of you are.  Here's your token Lost photo.  

 Uncle Walt's limo!  Okay, I think this is really cool, but doesn't it kind of look like a hearse?

 D23 had an auction on Saturday night and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum were on the auction block.

While I am not a cruise type of gal, I loved this Disney Cruise Line set piece.

 My fabulous partner in crime at D23, Amy, and I hanging in Cars Land.

 You can be Cinderella at any age! 

 For the original Tron fans, Bruce Boxleitner.

 My hot date--so hot that they had to place a sign, "Please Do Not Touch".

 It's a horrible photo, but yep, I did wear a Disney Princess crown at D23 Expo and no one batted an eye.

 The coolest aspect of D23 was the Disney Archives exhibit.

 The original Mouseketeer and Uncle Walt's favorite, Annette! 

 Back then, it was normal for kids to have a gun and bullets on their belt.  Cubby was a tiny little guy.

 Alice in Wonderland costumes. 

 One of my favorite images of D23, a set piece from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  This movie will eternally remind me of my pal, Jamie.

 The beautiful artwork from the closing sequence of Sleeping Beauty

 This is another one of my favorite photos, the wardrobe from Tron. 

 The original Mickey Mouse watch from the 1930's when it only cost $2.95. 

Okay, raise your hand, who had this phone in the 80's?  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

D23 Expo: Disney's Film Slate

It's not a hard task when I am asked to cover the D23 Expo down in Anaheim:  Disney?  Pixar?  Disney World?  Disneyland?  It's billed as the "ultimate Disney fan event", so count me in! On Saturday morning, I was able to attend The Walt Disney Studios presentation which gave the audience a taste of the films to come now through 2014.  Fans lined up as early as 6AM to get in line and wait for a seat in the Arena.  I rolled into the convention center at 10:15 AM with my Press Pass and I was escorted to a seat within minutes.  As a press member, I was thrilled with the VIP treatment all day, but I know the long lines and chaos of some of the events had a lot of the attendees grumbling.  It's something for the D23 planners to consider when most fans are accustomed to the golden Disney customer service.

 Billy Crystal received a standing ovation when he came out. I wonder if 2012 Academy Award Producer, Brett Ratner is listening?  

Once we were all settled in, the program kicked off with a highlight reel of the movies that were going to be presented to us.  Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, The Muppet Movie, and The Avengers received the biggest cheers as these are all highly anticipated films in the Disney lineup.  John Lasseter was on hand to present the Disney/Pixar animated slate and this is when D23 started rolling in the stars from Jon Cryer for Planes (If you like Cars, you are sure to like Planes, right?), Sarah Silverman and Jack McBrayer for Wreck-It Ralph (an 8-bit video game bad guy), Kevin McKidd and Kelly McDonald for Brave, and Billy Crystal for the prequel to Monsters, Inc called Monsters University. You knew they were buttering us up for box office dollars.  What interested me the most was the humor behind Wreck-It Ralph and the beauty and strength behind the story of Brave, which features Pixar's first female main character. (It's about time, guys!)  Expect to see Wreck-It Ralph in theatres November 2, 2012 and Brave will be hitting the big screen on June 22, 2012.  They also teased us with two untitled films:  one for Holiday 2013 about Dinosaurs and another feature about what takes place in your mind for Summer 2014.  (Yes, what happens in your brain.  You can't make this stuff up.)  The Pixar segment wrapped up with cupcakes in honor of Pixar's 25th Anniversary.  It was a very Oprah-esque moment as cast members came out with boxes of cupcakes for the full arena.  You get a cupcake and you get a cupcake and you get a cupcake!

Director Rich Moore, Sarah Silverman, and Jack McBrayer (Hello, tan boy!) for Wreck-It Ralph.

Walt Disney Studios' feature fare was up next with a lengthy and rather awkward presentation about the March 2012 film, John Carter.  Andrew Stanton, Oscar winner for Finding Nemo and Wall-E, brought out Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, and Taylor Kitsch to describe four long clips about the movie.  Lynn and Taylor looked uncomfortable up there and read their sound bites straight from the TelePrompter giving rehearsed pitches about the film.  It was clear Disney had invested a lot of money in this film and they really want us to see it.  Unfortunately, the response was rather lukewarm in the audience.  Livening up the audience was the presentation for Frankenweenie described as a film about a town where "Transylvania meets Burbank" in a timeless story of a boy and his dog told in a way that  only Tim Burton can achieve.  The film is all stop motion and in black and white with a Danny Elfman score, could this film be any more delicious?  We have to wait until October 2012, so tide yourself over with the Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA in the meantime.

Willem Dafoe for John Carter

Jenifer Garner was brought out next to talk about The Odd Life of Timothy Green which will be perfect family fare.  Garner was positively sweet in her role as a Disney spokesperson, but I do wish the questions were less rehearsed and more spontaneous.  Sometimes the Disney suits are not as engaging as John Lasseter who is able to balance the creative and the corporate a bit better than others.  Next up was Oz (March 2013), the Sam Raimi directed film that just began principal photography on July 21st in Detroit.  Yep, Detroit is Oz, kids, in case you didn't know.  The stellar cast includes James Franco, Rachel Weiz, Mila Kunis, and Michelle Williams and Disney promises the audience a story we haven't heard from The Wizard of Oz legacy.

Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson for The Avengers.

Finally, the two films the audience was waiting for:  The Muppet Movie and The Avengers.  I was more excited about the former since I am tired of superheroes.  I know I am in the minority on this topic, so I will give you a few highlights on The Avengers.  First up, Jason Segel, Kermit, and Miss Piggy make an appearance and introduce two clips from the film.  The longer musical clip to "We Built This City" by Jefferson Starship proved to me that the silver screen has been missing the Jim Henson heart for some time. This movie will be huge and I will be the first in line to buy a ticket.  The Avengers clip was action-packed filled with stars, superheroes, and the perfect fare for Marvel fans.  Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, introduced Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey, Jr, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Cobie Smulders to an arena filled with screaming fans.  Joss Whedon and several cast members were still shooting back in Cleveland since there are two weeks left of principal photography left.  They then showed the same exact trailer again.  I wasn't sure if this was for the audience or for the cast who stayed on stage to watch the clip.  I do know that it was at the end of a 2 hour and 45 minute presentation, so a lot of the audience was antsy to move on to the next event and pick up their cell phones after keeping us in a media blackout for that time period.

Chris Hemsworth of The Avengers

Overall, Disney has a strong slate of films through 2014, but I will be fascinated to see how well John Carter performs at the box office given the lackluster response from the D23 audience.  I will be back tomorrow to give you some of the Expo and Archive details and photos from the show floor.  In the meantime, I want to hear what film you are excited about, feel free to comment below!

Photos 2-6:  Courtesy of D23 Expo 2011.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Friday Five

Another week has come and gone so quickly because I am prepping for an overseas trip next week.  All of those important things you have to do for international travel:  passport,  converters for electronics, hotel, flights, my script (Yes, I am working over there.), and making sure my team is in place to take care of my house (Yep, there are people there, it's not an empty house), kitty, and my calendar while I am away. Before I go away, here are my favorites of the week, The Friday Five:

1.  Spy Kids:  I mentioned my interview with Jessica Alba a few weeks ago for Spy Kids: All The Time In The World.  They did the press junket a little early because of Jessica's due date.  She is now a proud mama of two.  Welcome to the world, Baby Haven!  See my interview for iVillage here.

2.  Disney: Earlier this week, I was on the Disney Burbank lot to see a screening of Fright Night.  Then I did a super secret interview for Disney on Wednesday. (More on that in October!)  Finally, this weekend, I am headed to their ultimate fan fest, D23, in Anaheim. I will be tweeting all day on Saturday, so be sure to follow me if you want to join the ride.

3.  Klout:  If you aren't familiar with Klout, but you are active in social media, it's time to check out this site.  It measures the amount of "klout" you have across multiple platforms in areas of expertise, interactivity, and influence. You will understand what I mean when I say, "I'm a 63".  To reward you for your "klout", the site will give you fun free items like my FOX VIP package which included a hoodie and a sneak preview of two fall shows, Terra Nova and New Girl.

4.  iPad 2:  Remember when I won this?  Well, it finally arrived 3 months later!  I appreciate the gift from Glimpsed, but their marketing company kind of dropped the ball on delivering the prize in a timely manner.  Either way, it is here and it will be with me all day at D23.  Thank you, Glimpsed!

5.  Hollywood: My super secret interview took place high up in Hollywood.  It is wonderful to see the city from this view from the awesome Santa Monica Mountains to the rooftop of the Kodak, there is nothing like Hollywood.

As the days dwindle on the dog days of summer, enjoy your weekend.  I will be back on Monday with my D23 coverage or follow me on Twitter if you just can't wait.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Disney Dreams

I love that I look really tiny under the big Fantasia hat.

I'm sharing this photo with you because this image represents making dreams come true to me.  I don't ever think the 10-year-old me would ever think that I would be standing on the Disney studio lot in Burbank not once, but twice in a month's time. Sure, it was just for a screening, but it represents everything to the little me from the suburbs of Boston.  I have always loved anything Disney:  Disney World, Disneyland, Club 33 and I'm off to the D23 Expo in Anaheim this weekend.  It was Walt's animated creation, Jiminy Cricket,  that told me "When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true." (Wait, I'm taking advice from a cricket??!!) After dealing with a lousy end to 2010, 2011 has been a reminder to rediscover my dreams.  Little by little, that is happening and I'm truly grateful for it.

What are you doing to make your dreams come true?


When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those to love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bachelor Pad 2: Vienna Girardi

I've been notoriously critical of The Bachelor franchise, but we all know it is my own fault for even watching the manipulative, scripted (UPDATED:  One of my Bachelor pals corrected me and she would know, there is no scripting whatsoever on The Bachelor franchise.) reality show.  After spending another Monday night wasted on the couch watching Bachelor Pad 2 with the immature shenanigans of Kasey and Vienna, I was reminded of an interview I did with Vienna Girardi in September 2010 during Emmys Week.  I spoke a bit about my interview in a post I did after the event.  Hmmm, after last night's episode, I am not sure my 2010 assessment was correct.  If she hated the manipulation of The Bachelor franchise so much, why is she appearing on Bachelor Pad 2?  If it was so bad, wouldn't you stay far away from ever participating in a reality show again?  Money talks and when Mike Fleiss calls, most former Bachelor contestants say "yes".  Watch my interview with Vienna Girardi and let me know what you think:

Monday, August 15, 2011

The 61st Annual Academy Awards

Today's post was inspired by Elle Sees since she was the one who sent me the link on Twitter with the words, "Thought you might like this".  Oh boy, was she right!  All of the photos I am about to share with you are from the 61st Annual Academy Awards and were taken by photographer, Alan Light.  After my experience this year at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards as a member of the press, I learned how important the credential process is and how seriously security is taken at the show.  It is amazing to see how times have changed from Alan's experience in 1989 (and you MUST read his story.) versus my experience in 2011.  It's just a different time in history.  You can see his credentials in several photos.  If you go through all of my photos, you will never see them on me.  I kept my credentials as a souvenir, but they are packed away and hidden from view.

The other thing that stood out in my mind is that these photos are from the legendary and disastrous 1989 show that was Executive Produced by Alan Carr.  If you don't know the sequence of events that took down the show, read all about it here.  It involved Rob Lowe, Snow White, Lucille Ball, Roy and Dale Evans, Disney, and the threat of a lawsuit.  I think it was a show the Academy would like to forget because I have yet to see a video of the epic opening number from that year on YouTube.  If you are curious about that evening, be sure to check out Rob Lowe's autobiography too.  It is worth the read especially if you are an Oscar aficionado and the wonderful Lucille Ball story inside is worth the price of admission.

I went through Mr. Light's gallery and pulled specific photos from the show because they all represent a time and a place:  people we have lost, a simpler time gone by, fashions that should stay in the closet, and a wonderful piece of Oscar history.  There are a lot of photos, so sit back and enjoy!

 Lest anyone forget, Tom Cruise is on Wife #3 with Katie Holmes.  Here is wife #1, Mimi Rogers, the one who introduced Tom to Scientology.  Yes, thank her for the couch jumping on Oprah.  

 Patrick Swayze

 The always elegant Meryl Streep.

 Better left in the closet, the shiny striped pant suit on Carly Simon.  Wait a minute...pants at the Oscars?!!

 Bruce Willis has hair!

 Don Johnson has even more hair!

 Prom or the Oscars?  Melanie Griffith was married to Don Johnson, not Antonio Banderas at this point.

 Oh yeah, I'm a Oscar winner!  Jodie Foster wins her first Academy Award for The Accused. 

 Sigh.  River Phoenix, to think he only had four more years left in his young life. 

 Here's where the show gets a bit bizarre.....legends Roy and Dale Evans in their classic Western wear.

 EPIC 80's photo alert!!  Drew Barrymore in a tight, short dress to the OSCARS with one of the Coreys, Corey Feldman.

 Olivia Newton-John sporting the Laura Ashley prom look with big 80's hair.

 Another pants suit, what the heck, people?!!  Ricki Lake at the Governor's Ball.

 Always simple and elegant, Sigourney Weaver. (And a reminder that less is always more with fashion.)

 Before Ebert and Roeper, there was Siskel and Ebert.  He passed away in 1999.

 Angie Dickinson looks like a feather duster, but she is always beautiful.  Her outfit reminds me of this dress at this year's SAG Awards. 

 Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline.....and oh yeah, black hose. 

 Oh very young, Tom Hanks.

 Rob Lowe looks better in 2011, no?

 Tom Selleck sporting the gold chains, the 'stache, and the slicked back hair.  

Ms. Lucille Ball.  This was her last public appearance. She passed away a month later.  Ms. Ball would have been 100 years old in 2011.  

 I don't think Goldie Hawn has aged one day since this photo.

 The infamous Bleacher Creatures back in the day when you could camp overnight for a spot on the bleacher.  Now it is done by lottery.  

 How debonair, Mr. Vincent Price. 

 This dress should stay in the closet, what a hot mess-Mimi Rogers.

 Connie Stevens on her way to being crowned prom queen.

A baby Mayim Bialik at dress rehearsal.  According to Mr. Light, her number was cut.

 Merv Griffin and Snow White at the beginning of the show.

 I wish I could ID everyone in this photo, but this was the "Stars of Tomorrow" number in the show. I know that is Keith Coogan in the front with the striped shirt and two over to the left is Blair Underwood with Corey Feldman in the background behind Blair. Ricki Lake was in the number as was Melora Hardin, Holly Robinson Peete, Chad Lowe, and more.  Can you ID anyone else?

Geena Davis in a color we haven't seen since the 80's, mint green. 

A big thank you to Elle for sending me the link, this was a really fun post for me to share with everyone. A reminder that all of these photos belong to Alan Light and he must be credited if you decide to use any of his photos.  

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