Tune in to what’s haute in media—everything from books
to the big screen—from 3 Valley tastemakers.

{  Encino }

Samantha Harris  |  TV Personality

If you like to laugh out loud, read Mo Willem’s An Elephant and Piggie book series. Great for kids but also clever enough to make a parent laugh out loud!

I get stuck for hours on YouTube. Our older daughter is in love with Broadway musicals. I’ve been introducing them to her during car rides for years. So in limited amounts of time, we allow her to pick a stage show from which to watch one or two numbers. One day Wicked, another day Seussical. Even Aida! 

The last time I balled my eyes out through an entire film was The Notebook. Talk about tugging at your heart strings!

My favorite movie of all time is Moulin Rouge, because the first song my husband and I danced to at our wedding, “Come What May,” was from that film.  

My last iTunes buy was Annie, for my daughter Josselyn to learn the words to “Tomorrow” and “It’s The Hard Knock Life.” It brings back memories of my childhood—belting it out on any given occasion for anyone who would listen.

Working out, I love listening to lots of hip-hop. This seems to surprise many people. But I also really like Black Eyed Peas, Fergie (solo), and the soundtrack from the film Burlesque.


{ Tarzana }

Eric Champnella |  Screenwriter 

On my nightstand is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Since the movie is coming out, I wanted to read the book first. I’m about halfway in, and so far it’s living up to the hype.

I could not put down Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes. I was drawn to this book by the reviews and reading about the author’s 30 year journey to get it published. It took so long because every publisher was saying the same thing you’re probably thinking right now: the last thing I want to read is a novel about the Vietnam War. But the book is a gripping, feel-like-you’re-there-in-the-foxhole account of war and its cruel absurdities. 

My guilty pleasure is EDSBS.com (college football with a sense of humor) and MGoBlog.com (for the true Maize and Blue fan). As a University of Michigan alum and diehard Wolverine football fan, I get pretty into college football season. 

I recently saw and loved these indies: Margin Call, Take Shelter and Martha Marcy May Marlene. All are good if you’re tired of prequels, sequels and remakes. 

My favorite shopping website is Amazon. It’s just convenient. Heck, that should be their slogan: it’s just convenient. Everything under the sun in terms of products and selection and at prices that are usually very competitive. By the way, if you’re still buying all your music from iTunes, check it out.  From albums to individual songs, Amazon usually costs less. 

 I was surprised I liked 50/50, which I’d initially skipped when it came out in theaters. A comedy about cancer? No thanks. But somehow this film manages to be laugh-out-loud funny while also hitting all the right emotional notes. 

A soon-to-be-released movie that I have my eye on is a family film I co-wrote called Thunderstruck, featuring NBA superstar Kevin Durant. It is scheduled to come out later this year. 

For music, I’m currently loving the 28 Weeks Later soundtrack by John Murphy.  I love writing to soundtracks to set a mood/tone and get me in the right frame of mind for the story I’m trying to tell.  And this soundtrack is certainly keeping me sufficiently creeped out and on the edge of my seat as I work on my latest project (the title of which I’d rather not yet mention).


{ Sherman Oaks }

Adam Jordan  |  Supervising Producer of Access Hollywood & Access Hollywood Live 

On my nightstand is Yiddish for Dummies! Yiddish is a very colorful language (especially the jokes!) but also a dying one. My grandparents are gone now but spoke Yiddish with my mom growing up. My mom has very few people left to still talk to in Yiddish. 

I’d like to read Killing Lincoln this summer.

On my phone is the application Texas Hold ‘Em King 2. I’m currently doing very well in their World Series rounds. All for fun—no cash involved!

The last time I teared up at a movie was The Vow (if I must admit it) on Valentine’s Day, with my wife, Stacie. Also, I just attended a press screening for People Like Us (out this summer) with Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks. Excellent. This one “got me” even more. Tears … real tears.

My last purchases on iTunes were “Ray Charles” by Chiddy Bang and “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars.

My kids love Sirius’ Hits 1 and 20 on 20. We listen to those stations often.