On the set interview with Nicholas Sparks #TheBestofMe

Back in May, I had the honor of joining a select group of bloggers in visiting the New Orleans set of Nicholas Sparks’ latest movie; The Best Of Me – based on his novel of the same name. The movie was on it’s last day of filming, taking place on one beautiful southern plantation.

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The home owner was also on set, sharing that the plantation had been in their family since 1876, and that it’s mostly been re-done over the years, but they kept as much as they could. Like the shutters and big high windows, and they have big crown moldings and beautiful floor..

Having read “The Best of Me” before my visit, I felt the locations were almost as important to the story as each character. Judging from what I saw of this plantation, the movie version is getting it right. Not surprising at all – seeing as Nicholas Sparks is very present on set, overseeing each detail.

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We as a group had the pleasure of sitting for an open Q&A with Nicholas Sparks, and conversing with him several times throughout our day on set. Below are a few of the highlights.

Blogger: Has the success of your movies changed the way you write your next book? Do you picture the movie?

Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Yes and no. There’s two parts to writing a novel, really, if you break it down. You have the thinking of the story–the period prior to writing. And then you have the moments when you write. So, when you’re thinking of a story, yes, I do take sometimes the film into account, not necessarily my own, but other films as well, for instance.
And that’s just so that I can be original. I don’t want to do something that feels unoriginal. So, it’s got be original for both a novel and original for film, and so you want to do that.

Blogger: Differences between the book and movie?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Differences–.
Blogger: –And are you okay with them?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Yes.
Blogger: Do you have a say?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Yes, the differences between the book and the movie–of course there are always differences. You know, film is a very different medium, in general.
So, because they’re different mediums, you have to kind of go into the whole project knowing that some things work better on film than they do in books. And some things conversely work better in books than they do on film…

Blogger: You said briefly that the inspiration for the story was something–an experience you had, like, when–.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: –Personal.
Blogger: Yes, it’s a personal experience. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: I was in my 40s when I wrote The Best Me, and I think the 40s are a very interesting period of peoples’ lives. It’s like, if you’re in your 20s and your 30s, you kind of believe that your dreams can come true. You’ll meet the right guy, or you’ll be famous, or whatever your dreams are. I’ll have the house with the white picket–it doesn’t matter what they are. I’ll have kids, or whatever. Okay. So, you go through your 20s and 30s, and there’s a part of you that just knows it’s still–you still got a shot here. Well, in your 50s, 60s, and 70s, you kind of reach a point where you’re looking back and say, well, maybe they didn’t all come true, right.. I’m never going to be an astronaut.

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Blogger: I guess it’s the acknowledgments or right before the book, you said that this was a really hard book for you to write.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Yes.
Blogger: So, was that because of the topic or because of the writing?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: No, no, no. It was a really challenging book because I worked exceedingly hard on it, and it was originally structured a little bit like Nights in Rodanthe. So, it was Amanda, and then she’s looking back on these events of maybe two or three years earlier. And you tell this story. And then the last part of the book, I unwound the story, right? I didn’t know how to do it the other way. And so, my editor read the novel and she said, that doesn’t work. You need to keep this story linear without a flashback. And the reason I didn’t do it linear in the first place was because I didn’t know how to do it in the first place. And the real challenge was, if you’re running parallel stories, you’ve got a Dawson story going on, and then you’ve got an Amanda story going on. In the Dawson story, it was tremendously fast-paced. He’s seeing something, he’s taken off running, there’s bad guys chasing, there’s fights, it’s a lot of just, wow, page-turning excitement. Amanda’s story, conversely, was sitting in a hospital. If anyone has ever sat in a hospital when you’re really, really worried about whoever you’re there for and really, really worried, what does time do?
Bloggers: Stops.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Stops.

When asked about sad endings:

Mr. Nicholas Sparks: I tend to do that in a lot of my novels, right?
Blogger: Yes.

Mr. Nicholas Sparks: What is the purpose of literature? What is the purpose of any particular genre? What’s the purpose of a horror novel? To scare you. Okay. What’s the purpose of a thriller novel? To thrill you. What’s the purpose of a romance novel, which is not what I do? To allow you flights into romantic fantasy. What is the purpose of a mystery? To uncover who done it, right? They all have purposes. What’s the purpose of what I do? The purpose of what I do is to move the reader through the entire range of human emotion. So, that includes love, but you should also feel Amanda’s confusion. You should feel Dawson’s struggle. You should feel the frustration, the choice. You should feel what they’re going through, so that by the time you close the cover, you’re not thrilled or scared, and it wasn’t necessarily just a straight romantic fantasy.

You kind of feel as if you lived–.

Blogger: –Yes.
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: –A full life between the covers. And so, you have to cover all of the emotions of life, because if you leave one out, then it’s fantasy. It doesn’t really feel real. So, unfortunately, in case you’re not aware, sadness will be part of all of your lives. It’s just hard–.

Blogger: Where do you get your inspiration for the characters?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Inspiration can come from anywhere. They’ve been drawn from people that I know, from stories. But, generally, there are bits in people–every character–you search for their voice, and then their voice helps to define them. So, the inspiration is not in one fell swoop. It’s usually in more like bits and pieces, like maybe she’s quiet. And then you do the voice and say, well, maybe she’s even quieter than I thought, or maybe she talks more. And little by little, they come to life.

Blogger: At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer? Or when you knew you were a writer?
Mr. Nicholas Sparks: Totally different. If you ask my college roommates, they’ll say when I was 19 to 20, because I’d written a novel between my freshman and sophomore years of college. I lived with a group of guys, still good friends, and they say, oh, you talked about being a writer all the time. So, they would say, he knew when he was 20 that that’s what he was going to do. Part of me said, there’s no way I’ll ever make a living at doing that. So, it might have been more of a want than anything that was based in reality. I majored in business finance. I mean, you know? So, I guess then it was probably into halfway through Message in a Bottle that I knew I could be a writer, because you didn’t know if The Notebook was a fluke, and you had to know if you could do it a second time. So, it was somewhere around 1990. If The Notebook–I sold it in ’95. Probably somewhere in the spring of ’97. So, right around then.

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Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.

In theaters October 17th!

Stay social with The Best of Me!

Follow on  Facebook: http://Facebook.com/bestofmemovie
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/bestofmemovie
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BestofMeMovie/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/BestOfMeMovie
Tumblr: http://thebestofmemovie.tumblr.com/

Nicholas Sparks on the set of the Best Of Me

Watch for more about my “The Best of Me” set visit to be posted soon, including interviews with James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, Luke Bracey.

I am working with Relativity Media, and Big Honcho Media on promotion of this film. Travel, food and lodging were provided in exchange for my coverage. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own.

“This is Where I Leave You” New TV spot & Prize Pack giveaway #TIWILY

A couple of weeks ago I shared the movie poster, trailer and book club information for “This is Where I Leave You”. Now I have a fun new TV spot and prize package giveaway to share with my readers.

About the film:
When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Check out this new TV spot!

This Is Where I Leave You stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard and Jane Fonda
Based on the novel “This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper.

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As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’m planning to read this book. It’s now next on my list! I’m also really looking forward to seeing the movie.

This is Where I Leave You in theaters September 19!

Visit the official website
Like This is Where I Leave You on Facebook

Enter to win!
One Five Dollar Shake reader will win a This is Where I Leave You Prize Package.

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Prize package Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures includes:

  • $25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters
  • Tote & Mug

Enter to win by using the widget below. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. One winner will be chosen and contacted by email on October 1st. Winner must be 18+ and live within the U.S. No PO boxes please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FTC Disclosure: Information was provided as part of an ongoing relationship in which free products and compensation are often received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Trailer Park Tuesday, The Best of Me – Special Trailer feat. Lady Antebellum #TheBestofme

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Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.

Director: Michael Hoffman

Cast: Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden, Liana Liberato, Luke Bracey, Gerald McRaney, Caroline Goodall, Rob Mello, Sebastian Arcelus, Jon Tenney.

In theaters October 17th!

Stay social with The Best of Me!

Follow on  Facebook: http://Facebook.com/bestofmemovie
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/bestofmemovie
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BestofMeMovie/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/BestOfMeMovie
Tumblr: http://thebestofmemovie.tumblr.com/

I had the honor of visiting the set of “The Best of Me” during their last day of filming in New Orleans. It was a great experience! I can’t wait to share all the details of my visit as we get closer to the release date, such as interviews with James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, Luke Bracey, and Nicholas Sparks.

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You can see a few more of my set visit photos on Instagram.

Set visit aside, I absolutely loved this book, and am really looking forward to seeing it play out on screen.

How about you? Did you read “The Best Of Me” by Nicholas Sparks? Are you planning to see the movie?

Bruce Campbell bringing ‘The Evil Dead’ to TV

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Three decades ago the book “The Evil Dead” was developed into a cult movie classic, which was followed by two sequels and a 2013 reboot, now the franchise will return as a TV series.

The original movie’s writer and director, Sam Raimi, made the announcement at San Diego Comic-Con. Along with his brother Ivan Raimi, the two plan to write the series with original star, Bruce Campbell.

More exciting for horror fans is the fact that Campbell confirmed to a fan on Twitter that he intended to star in the series, or at least “that’s the plan.”

Campbell made an appearance in the 2013 Evil Dead reboot in a scene after the credits, lifting his head from the darkness and saying his classic line from The Evil Dead II, “Groovy,” after a voice-over recited this portentous line from the first film: “I have seen the dark shadows moving in the woods and I have no doubt that whatever I have resurrected through this book is sure to come calling for me.” That the cameo spun the rumors of Campbell’s return to the film series, though currently no other film sequels appear to be in the works.

I’m not only a fan of The Evil Dead franchise, but of pretty much all things Bruce. So, it’s a sure thing that I’ll be watching. What about you? If it happens, will you watch?

Trailer Park Tuesday, This is Where I Leave You #TIWILY

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When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Screenplay By: Screenplay by Jonathan Tropper, Based on the novel “This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper.

Directed By: Shawn Levy

Produced By: Paula Weinstein, Shawn Levy, Jeffrey Levine; Executive Producers Mary McLaglen, Jonathan Tropper.

Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard and Jane Fonda.

In theaters September 19, 2014

Visit the official website

Like This is Where I Leave You on Facebook

TIWILY-BookClub

Join the Book Club!

It’s always fun to read the book before the movie, right? Join Warner Bros. Pictures’ #TIWILY book discussion on the film’s Facebook page each Wednesday, and take part in the conversation for a chance to win signed movie posters and a trip to the premiere in Hollywood!

I haven’t read the book – yet. I’m now thinking of bumping it up on my list. It sounds really good, and I know I’ll be seeing the movie while it’s in theaters.

How about you? Have you read the book? Any plans on seeing the movie?

Watch for a “This is Where I Leave You” giveaway to be posted here soon!

FTC Disclosure: Information was provided as part of an ongoing relationship in which free products and compensation are often received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Free Activity Sheets #VeryBadDay

Get your lucky charms ready! Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is coming to theaters on October 10, 2014.

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In celebration of this fun release I have a few fun activity sheets, and a delicious Crustless Quiche recipe to share with my readers.

Just click on each link below to print in .pdf form.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Door Hangers

Birthday Cake coloring Sheets

Don’t miss this Crustless Quiche recipe!

Crustless Quiche recipe

Starting Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey, Ed Oxenbould, Megan Mullally, Jennifer Coolidge, and Bella Thorne, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day will be in theaters October 10, 2014.

Get social with this release by following on Twitter and Facebook!

“Parents Just Don’t Understand” on The Hub Network #HubClub

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“Parents Just Don’t Understand” is a new light-hearted and fun-loving unscripted series hosted by Joey Fatone (‘NSYNC, “Rewrapped”). Premiering Saturday, August 23 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. on The Hub Network, the series will give parents and kids a chance to walk a day in each other’s shoes and experience firsthand the demands that each struggles to balance.

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Fatone also serves as an executive producer of the series, along with Christian Sarabia, Rabih Gholam, Bicha Gholam, Nicole M. Reed and Allegra Newman. Cindy Nemes and Michael Wilder serve as co-executive producers. The 22-episode series will be produced by Endemol’s 51 Minds Entertainment for the Hub Network, champions of family fun and the only network dedicated to providing kids and their families entertainment they can watch together.

I recently received a fun package from The Hub Network that included an advance screening of “Parent’s Just Don’t Understand” to view with my family.

In the premiere episode, “The Touchdown Maker and Cupcake Baker,” Fatone swaps the lives of a 13-year-old and his underappreciated mom of five children. While the son tackles taking care of his siblings and a demanding job at the railroad, his mom must power through chores and football practice. Continuing in the spirit of “Freaky Friday,” the series will also showcase other parent-child swaps including a teenage ballerina and her feisty single-mom, a roller derby devotee and her princess-loving mom, plus a single-dad who takes on his son’s rigorous athletic schedule.

We really enjoyed checking out this new series. It was interesting to watch with our teenage daughter, who feels that we never understand. Watching it together gave us a chance to laugh at the ones being swapped, but to also talk about our own day-to-day lives. What a great premiss for a series! Anything that is entertaining enough to get the whole family to watch, and is thought provoking enough to get us talking, has my vote. We’re looking forward to watching more ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand”.

“Parents Just Don’t Understand” premiers Saturday, August 23 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT!

To find the channel in your area, please visit HubNetwork.com and check the channel locator at the top of the page.

Visit the Hub Network on Social Media:

Facebook at Facebook.com/HubTVNetwork
Twitter @HubTVNetwork
Instagram @HubTVNetwork
YouTube at YouTube.com/HubTVNetwork

Share your thoughts!

Are you planning to watch “Parents Just Don’t Understand”? If you do watch- I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Here in the blog comments or even on our Facebook page.

FTC Disclosure: Free products were received as a thank you for being an Official Hub Club Blogger. I was not asked or influenced to write a positive blog post. All opinions expressed and photos used are honest and my own.

Hub Club Blogger

First Look @ Paul Rudd as Marvel’s ANT-MAN #AntMan

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

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I love Paul Rudd, and pretty much all things Marvel, so I’m betting this will be a fun film. Can’t wait to see some footage.

ANT-MAN is directed by Peyton Reed (“Bring it On,” “The Break-Up”) and stars Paul Rudd (“I Love You Man,” “Role Models”) as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, and Michael Douglas (“Behind The Candelabra,” “Wall Street”) as his mentor Dr. Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Lost”) as Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym.

Marvel’s ANT-MAN will be in theatres next summer on July 17th, 2015!

Trailer Park Tuesday, The Maze Runner #MazeRunner

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When Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner. 20th Century Fox. Rated: PG-13

Directed By: Wes Ball
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee.
In Theaters
: September 19, 2014

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I haven’t read the book, but it sounds like a gripping, and exciting story. One we can enjoy with our teenager. I’m really looking forward to seeing The Maze Runner while it’s in theaters. How about you? Have you read the book? Any plans on seeing the film?

Official websites – #MazeRunner

Visit the Official Website
Like ‘The Maze Runner’ on Facebook
Follow @MazeRunnerMovie on Twitter
Follow on Google+, Instagram, YouTube  

Watch for more The Maze Runner fun, including a giveaway to be posted here soon.

FTC Disclosure: Information was provided as part of an ongoing relationship in which free products and compensation are often received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Texas Rising to premiere on Memorial Day 2015

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History’s “Texas Rising,” detailing the Texas Revolution and the rise of the Texas Rangers, will premiere Memorial Day, May 25.

Oh, this is going to be good…

The eight-hour event series from exec producer Leslie Greif (“Hatfields and McCoys”) stars Bill Paxton as Texas legend Sam Houston and follows his fight for Texas’ independence against Mexican general Santa Anna.

“We’re ecstatic with what we’ve seen so far from production,” said Dirk Hoogstra, History and H2 exec VP and general manager. “I can’t think of a better way to kick off summer than with a big television event that’s sure to resonate with our fans.”

Check out this stellar cast…

The series cast includes Bill Paxton, Kris Kristofferson, Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Christopher McDonald, Thomas Jane, Olivier Martinez, Chad Michael Murray, Jake Busey, Crispin Glover, and Sarah Jones.

Wow, I am really looking forward to this! Can it be 2015 now?

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