The 5 Obstruction Blogathon – Obstruction 2

Obstrustion2-e1371645079300Month two of The 5 Obstruction Blogathon and we are challenged to write a review of a movie and include an interview. I get a gold check mark if I am able to interview a person involved in the movie. Well, fortunately, I didn’t have to go to far to find a quality interview. On a recent trip to LA, my brother ran into one of his high school friends, Mr. James Lopez.  James is a studio executive at Screen Gem a division of Sony Pictures.
He was generous enough to answer my amateur journalist questions and I think I got some good stuff. Hope you enjoy.

Think Like a Man

Think Like a Man chronicles the relationships of four guys attempt to get back at their women once they discover they are being manipulated by the mandates in the book, Act Like a Lady and Think Like a Man by comedian Steve Harvey.

As the Studio Executive on this film, James’ responsibilities covered the time frame from acquiring the project for Screen Gem to the films release and every step in-inbetween.

While I didn’t want to bust my own magic movie bubble, I was fascinated by how this self help book with no characters was transformed into an ensemble cast motion picture. James credits the writers in creating the unique take on the project, which was essential in getting the movie green lighted.

The movie is full amazing relationship dialogue between men and women.  During the writing process, James felt the movie needed some extra “funny”.  He hired a comedic writer to “punch up” (industry term) the comedy.  The result is a good movie with great witty rhetoric and one liners.  Some of my favorite:

“We’ve been betrayed by one of our own. A man. I’m talking about a man with a penis.  Someone who should know better.” 
“I’m one of the guys except I have a vagina.” 
“I swear to God Frodo Baggins had it easier.”
“All this waiting for better is making you bitter.” 
“Honesty is overrated. That’s in the Bile. Old Testament.” 

During casting, James’ used his influence to secure Romany Malco in the role of Zeke, the player.  You may know Romany from 40 Year Old Virgin and Blades of Glory.  Zeke is one of my favorite character’s in the book. The Player who falls in love get’s me every time. (Don’t ask why.)

As a writer, I am fascinated with the timeline and process of a book from idea to publication. I asked James to give me the rundown of Think Like a Man’s journey.

  1. The book was published in January of 2009.
  2. Producer tracked the success of the book.
  3. The producer bought the movie rights to the book.
  4. Screen Gem optioned it for a movie.
  5. Writers were hired to determine how to craft a screenplay out of a book with no characters.
  6. Studio liked the idea of the book becoming a living character in the movie that guided the actions of these characters.
  7. The script is written and it is to long.
  8. Comedy writer is hired to punch up the comedy.
  9. Table read (hire actors to do it, but not necessarily the actors in the film). They are looking at timing and to see how the dialogue plays out. Where it gets a laugh or it just lies there.
  10. Green Light the movie – where the money comes in.
  11. Casting and scheduling
  12. Pre-Production (8 weeks) – location, scouting, logistics
  13. Production (33 days of filming)
  14. Editing (3 months)
  15. Mixing for sound and music
  16. Test and screening – changes based on test
  17. Lock Picture
  18. Release (2012)
  19. Marketing and Promotion

For a picture of this size and with this type of cast, once green light, the movie came about fairly quick. They must have done something right because the movie was a great success. The movie cost $12 million to make and grossed over $90 million in the domestic box office.

I had to ask James if he could tell me anything about the sequel. He was tight lipped, but he did let me know the entire cast will be back for the sequel and an addition of Wendi McLendon-Covery from Braidsmaid. Again, a choice championed by Mr. Lopez.

Look for more instant classic’s from James Lopez (I’ve know him since I was 10, how cool is that) in 2013 and 2014 such as Battle of the Year (release in September 2013), About Last Night (remake of the Rob Lowe/Demi Moore 80’s classic release in February 2014) and Think Like A Man 2 (release in June 2014).

Have you seen Think Like A Man? What did you think?


Related Post:
The 5 Obstruction Blogathon – Obstruction 1
Thank Like a Man – Cast and Crew –

Sydney Edits

I wanted to give you all a heads up on what I’ve been up to for the last few months. I seem to be keeping up with a one post per week type schedule. Not on purpose, but it’s worked out that way for July.  I don’t see it changing much until mid August.

I promise, I’m not sitting by the pool sipping margarita.

Even though it is National Tequila Day, here is what I’ve been up to.

EDITS     EDITS     EDITS . . .

IMG_0439This is a portion of the 52 items on my to edit list for my latest WIP. I’ve been trying hard to find a painless process that doesn’t suck to holly hell fun way to edit. I figured, I’m a list kind of girl, so why not stick with what I know and make a list. I’ve put a deadline on myself to finish these 52 items of edits in two weeks.

Wish me luck and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.

Happy Tequila Day!


Have a shot with me.

Photo Credit:

Anyone use the list method of editing?  Anyone use the tequila shot method of editing? Finish an item on the list and take a shot.  

SQM – Pacific Rim

imagesFrom the mind of Guillermo Del Toro, the man who wrote the screenplay for the Hellboy series and The Hobbit Series and one of my favorites, Pan’s Labyrinth, wrote and directed this robots meet alien monsters movie, Pacific Rim.

I enjoyed this movie. It’s a great story with an original story line and great robots and monsters.  Two thing that sealed the deal for me in picking this movie as my second favorite of the year (IronMan3 is #1 if you’re wondering) 1, most of the movie took place in Hong Kong, which is a city I spent a lot of time in when I lived in Asia and 2, at the end, the male and female protagonist are shown in the final scene and they didn’t end it with a kiss.  (Thank you, I hate that, see Speed).

Let’s get to the quotes:

Raliegh Beckett (so cute): I’ll let Raliegh explain this movie.

“We always thought alien life would come from the stars but it came from deep beneath the sea, a portal beneath dimensions in the Pacific Ocean. Something out there had discovered us. The first Kaiju made land in San Francisco. The second attack hit Manilla. Then the third one hit Cabo. Then we learned this was not going to stop. In order to fight monsters, we created monsters of our own. We needed a new weapon. The Jaeger Program was born. Two pilots, our minds, our memories, we were connected when man and in machine become one. We started winning, then it all changed. They counted on the humans to hide, to give up, to fail. We never considered our ability to stand, to endure, that we would rise to the challenge.”

You can’t blame Raliegh for being reluctant to fight, but you can’t deny Stacker Pentacost’s (great name) powers of persuasion.

“Two things, one, don’t ever touch me and two, don’t ever touch me.”

“Haven’t you heard? The world is coming to an end. We need a pilot. I need your fighting skills.”

“This is the end of the world. So where do you want to die? Here or in a Jaeger?”

“Today we are canceling the apocalypse!”

The dark movie needed some comic relief, and this time it came in the form of a short, nasally tattoed scientist who had a unique admiration for the monsters; meet Dr. Newton Geizler.

Their sole purpose was to aim for the most populated areas and take out the vermin, us.”

“If you’re going to stop them, you have to understand them.”

“Ten Thousand Five Hundred tons of awesome.”

The movie was ten thousand five hundred tons of amazing and I only touched the surface.  Go see it. If you need help keeping some of the concepts straight, I’ve included a little Pacific Rim cheat sheet.

Jaegers – robots created to fight the monsters.

Kaiju – alien monsters who pass through a portal in the depths of the pacific ocean to take over earth.

Pilot to Pilot connection – the Jaegers are controlled by two pilots who must enter each others minds to share the viral load in order to control the robot. Only two pilots have been able to control a Jaeger solo without ending up as a vegetable.

Neural Handshake – the process by which the pilots connect. (This connect seems to work best with relatives; brothers or father/son, but doesn’t have to.)

Last but, the opposite of least, let me introduce you to the robots.

PacRimRobotPostersBigArtRussiafull3  PacRimRobotPostersBigArtUSAfull1PacRimRobotPostersBigArtChinafull4





If you’re not a sci-fi fan, still go see this movie. If you are a sci-fi fan, hold on to your geeked out mind, this is a good one.

Have you seen Pacific Rim?  What did you think?

Journey to Publication – Halo of the Nephilim Blog Tour

The journey from idea to publication is never a straight line.  Author Dina Rae can certainly relate. Help me in congratulating her on the release of her new book Halo of the Nephilim and read about her publication tale.

halobanner1My experience in the writing process has been a roller coaster ride.  My first novel, The Last Degree, was picked up by an unscrupulous publisher last year.  There were so many problems-editing, posting it on distribution sites, formatting, etc.  I could go on forever.  It was the absence of royalty checks that prompted me to exterminate the contract.  I put the book up on Amazon as a self-pub Kindle Select deal.  I have no complaints with Amazon.  My second novel, Halo of the Damned, and the sequel, Halo of the Nephilim, are traditionally published.  To be honest, the experience is really a disappointment.  I don’t want to be negative because the publisher does pretty much what most small/medium publishers do-very little in terms of advertising and promotion.  What can I say-I’m a rookie who is learning.  I have not been in this business long enough to give anyone advice, but I will say this: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

Author Bio:

Dina Rae is a new author that is here to stay. As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work. Her research on the Yezidi religion and love of art inspired her story telling for Halo of the Damned.
Her second novel, The Last Degree, is a fictionalized account of the Freemason’s role in the New World Order. Dina’s grandfather was the Most Worshipful of his lodge. The subject has always held a personal interest.

Her latest novel, Bad Juju, is about an old Haitian bokor who mentors two teens in the dark arts. A unique blend of horror, romance, and literary fiction meant for adults and mature teens.
Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago. She is an avid reader, tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on conspiracy theories. She has appeared in several literary blogs, newspapers, e-zines, and radio shows as a guest

 Where to find Dina

Webpage | Twitter | Facebook


Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Title:  Halo Of The Nephilim 

Author:  Dina Rae 

Genre: Paranormal Fiction/Horror

Series:  Follows Halo of the Damned 

Number of Pages: 244

Publisher: Eternal Press 

Formats available: E-book

Can a fallen angel, his band of broken souls, and nephilim children change the world?

Armaros the Cursed, Satan’s favorite of the Fallen, falls once again after breaking the rules.  Fearing an eternity of punishment, he desperately attempts to save himself by sending a bird to his island.  The SOS message is received by his beloved congregation.  Can these loyal worshipers rescue him from the pit?

Halo of the Nephilim is the sequel to Halo of the Damned.  The story begins with Armaros’ arrest. Declared dead, his only known surviving daughter, Joanna Easterhouse, proves her relation and inherits everything.  She catapults her career from an entry-level advertising assistant to the head of Armaros’ advertising empire.  She should be on top of the world, but knows everything good must come to an end.

Joanna’s sister, Kim Easterhouse, marries Sean Slattery.  Joanna generously includes them as key players in her advertising chain.  They, too, have much to smile about, but a string of events leads them back to old family secrets.

Wickedness looms over the Easterhouse family once more, forcing them into an unlikely showdown filled with page-turning excitement.  Like Halo of the Damned, Halo of the Nephilim is filled with conspiracy and angel lore taken directly from scripture and other ancient writings.  More mind control themes top off this tale of doom.  Dina Rae delivers the darkness in the most entertaining light.

July 8  Turning The Pages Review

July 9 Angels Are Kids & Fur Kids Guest Post

July 10  Over A Cuppa Tea  Review/Guest Post

July 11 The Avid Reader Guest Post

July 12 Sydney Aaliyah Guest Post

July 13  Share My Destiny   Excerpts

July 15 Wicked Readings by Tawania  Guest Post

July 14 Red Reader Author Interview

July 16 A Buckeye Girl Reads   Excerpt

July 17 Hanging With Bells  Guest Post

July 18 Amys Booket List  Guest Post

July 19 A Buckeye Girl Reads  Playlist

July 20 Forget The Housework, I’m Reading Review

July 21  Christy’s Book Addiction Excerpt or Interview

July 22 Christine Rains Guest Post

Tattoo Tuesday – Angie Richmond

SydTatTWOIt’s been a while, but I have a new inked up Author to share with you.  Give a great Tattoo Tuesday welcome to Angie Richmond.


1.     How old were you when you got your first tattoo? I was 19 when I got my first tattoo. It was a spurt of the moment decision and I chose the design off the wall of the tattoo studio. It’s a sun swirl design in blue and purple and located over my heart. I call it my ghetto tattoo LOL. It really looks terrible!
2.     What made you want to get your first tattoo? Growing up I was a HUGE fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers. I remember when I bought the Blood Sugar Sex Magik cassette tape and the booklet inside showed all their tattoos. From that moment I knew I wanted tattoos. I think I was 12 years old. 
3.     How many tattoos do you have? If only one, do you want more? I have 5 tattoos…and counting 😉
4.     What is your tattoo story?  Tell me the most recent or your favorite.

Tattoo 2-1Tattoo 1

All my tattoos have some sort of significance for me. Even if it’s just as simple as who I was at the time. I have a tattoo of a butterfly on my right shoulder with my grandmother’s initials underneath – she loved butterflies. But my most recent tattoo (which was done June 26th) represents a new beginning for me. It’s a quill with the words This is my journey. It’s located on the inside of my right forearm. It’s a reminder for me to stop and enjoy the moment. That everything I do is part of my journey in life. I wanted the quill because it incorporates the writer in me.
5.     Tattoos on a significant other, like or dislike?  Why? My husband doesn’t have tattoos…yet. He’s been planning out a piece that will represent a new beginning for him too. But in general I think tattoos are HOT! They tell the story of who a person really is. Plus they are living art!
This picture was taken right after is was done. It’s the best one I have since now it’s all flaky and healing. Thanks again for featuring me. Below are some links you can include.
Twitter: @write_me_happy