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Posts Tagged ‘Alisa Valdes’


They say time heals everything and in the case of award-winning author Alisa Valdes-Rodríguez, her 2011 holiday season will be much more pleasant than 2010. A year after going through a very public battle for the film rights of the popular THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB, Valdes-Rodriguez announced this week on her blog that Encanto Productions, the company headed up by  Ann Lopez (George Lopez’s ex-wife), did not renew the novel’s rights.

Alisa Valdes-Rodríguez

As Valdes-Rodríguez writes:

Two weeks ago, the option expired. The production company had the choice to buy the rights forever, for next to nothing. To my great surprise, considering the bad blood among all the people involved, they did not. I’d half expected to get a check at midnight, just to put me “in my place” for objecting to what they’d done to my work. But they did not.

They gave me back the rights.

This was huge.

People close to me know that I had all but given up on ever seeing the rights again. But now, here I am, in full possession of them again, and much better prepared to move forward.

Happily, the story is still in great demand for the big and small screen. I’m fielding calls from big names on it. This time, I’m taking my time. This time, I’m doing all the homework that needs to be done before moving forward with anyone.

This time, we’ll be doing this my way, and it will be beautiful, and it will succeed.

I am grateful for the hardships and conflicts of the past year. I would never have learned so much without them. I am also grateful to the production company for doing the right thing and giving me my book back. It was a grand and gorgeous gesture, and one that won’t be forgotten. I suspect this year hasn’t been hard just for me, but also for the head of that company, who has gone through hell for her own reasons. I wish her well, and sincerely hope for blessings and happiness to come to her.

Things are moving quickly. I’ll keep you all updated. We’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen. Eight long years. But this time, it will.

Watch.

xo Alisa Valdes

 

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While covering the social media saga of author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, several of our readers had emailed us to see if we could find more information about famed Hollywood attorney Marty Singer, who was hired by Encanto Productions’ Ann Lopez to ensure that Valdes-Rodriguez cease from posting her opinions and thoughts on social media about the TV adaptation of her book, THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB.

According to its website, Singer’s firm, Lavely & Singer, is “one of the world’s premier talent-side entertainment litigation firms.” The profile on its website continues with this quote:

First, we represent clients against the tabloids and other media and internet outlets in disputes which arise prior to, as well as after, the publication of articles which defame the clients or invade their privacy. We also police the manner in which the names and likenesses of our clients are commercially exploited throughout the world. Second, we represent clients in the resolution and litigation of a broad range of entertainment industry disputes including copyright and other intellectual property disputes, contract breaches, and business torts.

It is clear that Brooklyn native Singer, nicknamed “The Mad Dog,” knows his stuff and understands that in the entertainment business, you got to be tough. His actions in representing Ann Lopez resulted in a rather detailed retraction and correction by Valdes-Rodriguez regarding her social media fight with Lopez. Occasionally, Valdes-Rodriguez has tweeted and posted some updates about her situation, but it is no longer as detailed or frequent, when compared to the period between December 23, 2010 until January 6, 2011.

Singer’s web page also includes a section called RAGING BULLS, where the following excerpts and quotes a 2000 Los Angeles Magazine article are included:

  • “What these lawyers possess is the proven ability to go all the way, to a jury trial if necessary, and play by whatever rules are laid down to save their client’s freedom or fortune in a civil or criminal matter. On the other hand, when one of them makes a phone call or sends a demand letter, arguments are often settled quickly … and quietly.”
  • “I’ll make one call to a publicist to check out a tip,” growls New York Post Page Six editor Richard Johnson, “and pretty soon I get a hand-delivered letter from Singer threatening all sorts of disasters and financial damages.”
  • “Marty is a heavy hitter, but he’s reasonable,” claims [National Enquirer Editor Steve] Coz in a careful tone. “He’s one of the few that ‘gets it’–his clients need the press every bit as much as the press needs his clients.”

As with any lawyer, Singer has his web critics, and some of his letters have been publicly shared online. Here are some of those links.

Yes, Singer is the real deal when it comes to a lawyer who will fight for a client. Which leads us to this question: What about the countless of social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook who shared their unfiltered opinions about Valdes-Rodriguez and Lopez? We saw tweets that used profanity to insult Lopez, Encanto and NBC from social media accounts who expressed their anger and passion about the story. Will Singer go after them as well? And if so, what recourse does he have to tell other social media accounts to stop their expression of opinion and free speech? We are in interesting times, when news and opinion flows as quick as a WIFI connection. Will printed hard copy legal letters still have its effect?

As you know, we declared Valdes-Rodriguez a “social media winner,” which is quite different from saying that she won her battle with Lopez. Valdes-Rodriguez was savvy and understood that if her message got out in social media, it would take a life of its own. We also believe that Lopez could have used social media to answer the allegations instead of doing business the old-fashioned Hollywood way. Sure, Singer has very likely won the legal war, but the little mini-battles that happened in the social media space were all won by Valdes-Rodriguez.

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The frenzy around the social media saga of author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez and her fight with NBC and Encanto Productions has died down considerably, but it still hasn’t stopped Valdes-Rodrigiez from posting about the situation. Valdes-Rodriguez, who is now finding initial success with her self-published e-book, ALL THAT GLITTERS, recently posted the following on her public Facebook site:

As Valdes-Rodriguez states on her post: “NBC is launching some very good shows and ordering seemingly innovative pilots so far this season. This is comforting to me. Perhaps they will demand that Encanto make the draft pilot script I read Must Less Sucky and Way Less Full of Stereotypes and Generally Smarter and Funnier with Sexy Not The Same As Slutty-n-Dumb. That would be nice. Fingers crossed.”

Valdes-Rodriguez is referring the TV pilot adaptation of her best-selling book THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB that was optioned to Ann Lopez’s Encanto Productions and was being pitched to NBC. Her social media actions from December 23, 2010 until January 8, 2011 resulted in a rather lengthy public apology that retracted most of her statements directed at Lopez, producer Lynette Ramirez, writer Luisa Leschin, Encanto, NBC, and Creative Artists Agency.

During this time period, the majority of comments in Twitter, Facebook, this blog and other outlets were generally supportive of Valdes-Rodriguez. However, critics predicted that her social media antics were unprofessional and would spell doom for the author’s career. Apparently, signs of career suicide aren’t evident at all as Valdes-Rodriguez indicates in this Facebook post:

Frank Weinmann founded The Literary Group International in 1986 and is considered by many to be one of the top agencies in the world. In the meantime, Valdes-Rodriguez continues to self-publish her latest works, including ALL THAT GLITTERS. Her fourth installment of THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB is scheduled for weekly installments e-chapters starting in February.

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UPDATE, January 13: 6:15 PM EST: Valdes-Rodriguez just posted the following on her Facebook site: “Uhm…okay. Just got an email from my publicist saying CNN is postponing again because of the shootings. I’ll let you know more soon.” and tweeted this: My publicist just emailed to say my CNN interview is postponed again because of AZ shootings. I will update as I know more.

Twitter news moves fast.

Here is the ORIGINAL story we posted at 5pm EST on January 13:

Best-selling Latina author, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, who has become a case study about the pros and cons of social media, announced today on her Twitter and Facebook sites that she will appear on CNN on January 14 at 1:30 MST (3:30 EST) to discuss “the dangers of optioning your book to TV producers without reading the fine print, and the role of social media in reaching readers directly.”

Valdes-Rodriguez, whose issues with Ann Lopez a nd Encanto Productions have been chronicled consistently on this blog since December 23, confirmed to us this afternoon that CNN anchor Brook Baldwin will interview her. The author of The Dirty Girls Social Club also said that she will be the only guest to discuss this topic with Baldwin.

So, looks like this story that was going away is now getting national media attention.

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In our continuing commitment to feature #LatinoLit talent on Twitter, we are proud to feature the poetry of Obsidian Eagle.

 

Obsidian Eagle

About Obsidian Eagle (ItzQuauhtli)

ItzQuauhtli is a Nahuatl (Aztec) name that translates into Obsidian Eagle — this in turn has become the pseudonym for a deliberately anonymous AntiPoet operating solely online.  Nicanor Parra, the Chilean originator of AntiPoetry once wrote:

For personal reasons, the AntiPoet is a sniper.  He fights for the same cause but with a totally different technique.  He doesn’t disclaim the poet-soldier, he works with him from a distance, although his method may seem ambiguous.

Obsidian Eagle has taken said ambiguity a step further by introducing a technique dubbed poésie sans poète, which divorces verse from first-person pronouns (I, Me, My and Mine).  His blog ObsidianEagle.com has been publishing such AntiPoetry weekly for over a year now.  For submission guidelines visit this Submission Page.

Likewise, on Twitter @ItzQuauhtli is responsible for the longest-running series of rolling rhymes via a thread known as #TheTumbler—derived from Hispanic style couplets called La Bomba in the author’s natal El Salvador.  Although writing mostly in English, ItzQuauhtli does produce Spanish and bilingual poems as well. Here is a poem in Spanish, along with its English version:

Seres alzados

~ I ~

No temo a nada ni a nadie
Sea que ande paseando
Por las avenidas de San Salvador
O sobre los muros en Machu Picchu
Ahí voy, con pasos pesados
Aventado a toda cabeza
Deletreando frases vivientes
En tres idiomas (Francés, Inglés, y este)
Porque el más allá no se queda quieto
Ni tan siquiera un solo instante
Menos para los quienes se inquietan
Y aquellos que se desesperan
Bueno, esos salen aún peor

~ II ~

La Muerte es transcendente
Nuestras almas; ilusión
En esta vida no hay constante
Excepto, vuestra fe y devoción
Tal como Castaneda os dijo
Que Don Juan había dicho:
“El único camino que debes seguir
Es uno que sobresale rebalsando
Desde tu propio sentir.”
Así que nos toca elegir
Rechazar el misterio con ciencia
Sacrificando lo ideal – o –
Bautisarse con agua pura de consciencia
Cual es la misma energía
Del espacio abierto, universal!

And here is the English version:

Elevated Beings

~ I ~

I fear nothing and no one
Whether I’m treading
Through the avenues of San Salvador
Or over the ruins of Machu Picchu
There I go, with heavy footsteps
Headlong
Spelling out living phrases
In three languages (French, English and Spanish)
Because the great beyond does not stay still
Less so for those who grow restless
And those who despair
Well, they’re worse off yet

~ II ~

Death is transcendent
Our souls; an illusion
In life there are no constants
Except, one’s faith and devotion
Like Castaneda told us
That Don Juan had said:
“The only path worth following
Is one that overflows
From within your own heart”
Thus, it is up to us to decide
Reject all mystery with science
Sacrificing the ideal -or-
Baptizing ourselves with
Pure water of consciousness
Which is the same energy
As universal space, ethereal!

Copyright ©Obsidian Eagle

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For the last few weeks, we have received several comments from our readers about the ongoing social media saga of Latina author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. One of the major issues some of our readers kept mentioning was that the story would never gain traction with the national press. Tonight, however, The New York Daily News, one of  Top 200 websites in the United States and one of the world’s top 700 sites, published a piece by Latina playwright Dolores Prida entitled “Hollywood goes bananas for stereotypes.”

 

 

In the piece, Prida recounts the many times movie and TV producers approached her to see if they could option her works. As she says: “[I] even received money for rights, but nothing ever came of it because I was unwilling to change characters and plot to fit a pre-determined idea of what Latinas are supposed to be.”

Prida then goes on to specifically use Valdes-Rodriguez’s recent battle with Ann Lopez’s Encanto Productions about the TV script adaptation of The Dirty Girls Social Club. It is pretty clear from Prida’s comments that she fully supports Valdes-Rodriguez. Here is how she closes the piece:

 

The blogosphere and social media has been abuzz in the last few days with another case of the disappearing real Latina character.

Alisa Valdés-Rodríguez, author of the 2003 best-selling novel “The Dirty Girls Social Club,” translated into some 10 languages, fulminated in her blog about the changes made to her characters and story for a television series pilot script.

Valdés-Rodríguez says she dislikes the script “because it is woven through with stereotypes and because it erased every single one of my African-diaspora characters, erased my Cuban-Jewish character, erased my only Dominican character, erased my main Puerto Rican character and erased my only lesbian character for no justifiable reason, changing them all into stereotypical characters more in keeping with persistent Hollywood cliches.”

The twist here is that the draft Valdés-Rodríguez read was written by three Latinas. Through their production company, they presented it to a major television network which shall remain unnamed, since this small-screen gran escándalo is now in the hands of lawyers and getting more convoluted by the day.

The unfathomable aspect of all this is that production companies or studios buy the rights to a property because of the success it has achieved as is, and then proceed to change the plot and characters into something unrecognizable.

Why not just commission scripts from scratch to fit their marketing vision? We writers would love to make some real money, and since the only other Hollywood Latina character is the ever-present Mexican nanny or undocumented maid, we should seriously consider channeling Carmen Miranda under the cover of pseudonyms.

After all, she was a lot more fun and had more talent, maturity and integrity than the bunch of tight-assed, sex-crazed, twentysomething generic Latina characters producers seem to prefer.

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After issuing a lengthy statement and public apology about her recent legal struggle regarding the TV script adaptation of The Dirty Girls Social Club, award-winning Latina author Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez has been active today on her Twitter stream. Here is a timeline of what she tweeted last night:

She started a series of tweets with the following post, where she offers the best of wishes to Ann Lopez’s Encanto Productions, the company which owns the option to adapt the Dirty Girls script for television. In the tweet, Valdes-Rodriguez makes reference to her other books, especially her latest book, Three Kings.

Valdes-Rodriguez then tweeted the following and says, “To save my sanity, I am letting it go. Mourning.”

What follows is a reply to one Twitter profile who reacted to the news. Valdes-Rodriguez’s clear: legal fees are expensive and Lopez’s lawyer, high-powered attorney Marty Singer.

Valdes-Rodriguez then tweets about money, hinting that Singer’s efforts have been effective, even though she makes no direct reference to him.

Valdes-Rodriguez closes her series of tweets with one that explains her emotional ordeal.

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