Friday, April 07, 2017

13 REASONS WHY: A Netflix Premiere

It's been a full week since you've been able to watch the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. And it's been a week and a day since the red carpet premiere, so I'm just now barely starting to begin to come down from La La Land, and thought I'd share a bit about that magical experience.

My book's journey to the screen began  when I met Selena Gomez and her mom, Mandy Teefey, for a sushi dinner. They impressed me immensely with their passion for my book, their understanding of the characters and message, and their ideas for adapting it.

Fast forward eight years, and it finally happened! While those years saw several false starts, the end result makes all of us feel it happened exactly how it was supposed to happen.

The day before the premiere, my wife and I drove down to L.A., directly to the Paramount Pictures lot.

That's where the premiere would happen, but first we acted like giggly tourists as guests on a studio tour. Joining us were the equally giggly Kristen Pettit (she edited Thirteen Reasons Why) and Peter Emmerich (he created the map inside the book). In the distance behind us is the Hollywood sign!

Our hotel was across from Capitol Records, with another distant view of the Hollywood sign.

And in the other direction, a much closer sign of our show!

The next afternoon, the day of the premiere, several of my guests came to our room where three hair and make-up stylists made the women premiere-ready.

From left to right in the picture below are Nate Asher (brother), Sarah Pinon (sister-in-law), Kristen Pettit (editor), Romina Russell (YA author), Mary Weber (YA author), Laura Rennert (literary agent) JoanMarie (wife), me (, Elyse Marshall (publicist), Trey Pearson (musician), and Ben Scrhank (publisher).

When we got to the premiere, the red carpet festivities had already begun. You could take photos next to the beautiful Mustang from the show, as well as blue lockers from the hallways of Liberty High.

JoanMarie and I walked the red carpet, where more cameras were pointed in our direction than ever before. That's Derek Luke (Mr. Porter) to my left!

One of the people I feel blessed to know because of this journey is the beautiful person and wonderful actor who drove that Mustang, Christian Navarro (Tony).

If you've read interviews I've done about writing the book, you may know that the TV show My So-Called Life had a big impact on me. When I found out Wilson Cruz, who played Rickie Vasquez on MSCL, would play a lawyer named Dennis Vasquez on my show... Well, the full-circle elements of this project have been incredible.

This entire thing would not have happened as wonderfully as it has for me if not for the dedication of my literary agent, Laura Rennert, and film agent for Thirteen Reasons Why, Sean Daily.

Other YA rockstars in attendance, pictured with Romina and Mary below, were Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi...

But there was also a rockstar rockstar named Courtney Love!

Then we all headed into the theater...

...took our seats...

...and watched the first episode of a project lovingly handled by so many talented people.

I could not bmore grateful for what all of these people have achieved.


Thank you.


Anne R. Allen said...

Thanks for sharing all the glamor and excitement, Jay. I'm loving the series. BTW, my cousin, Bess Armstrong played the mom in My So-Called Life. That was one amazing show. I gave you a big shout-out on my blog last Sunday. You're a major inspiration for newbie writers everywhere.

Sabrina Steyling said...

OMG Wilson Cruz!!! I loved him in MSCL!!! And how awesome that you met Ransom Riggs too!!!!

Marcio Tedesco said...

Hi Jay,

Congratulations for your achievement! The series is amazing.

Best regards,

profet said...

Great post, and fantastic series. I'm totally gripped with two episodes left to go.

I was blown away when I saw Wilson Cruz in the show. Like you, My So Called Life had a big impact on me growing up, and there are so many elements in the the Netflix show that clearly are influenced by MSCL. I'd love to know which of these are intentional, and which are just coincidence! Ricky/Tony, Brian/Clay, Angela/Hannah, Jordan/Justin.

Unknown said...

Thank you so mucho, for creating this story that so many people can be related with. I don´t think you know the impact that the characthers accomplished with their viewers of the serie. I have so many things to say, but overall i just want to say PLEASE MAKE A SEQUEL hahaha I dont know how to live my life without knowing what is going to happen with the characters!! Anyways thank you, because i am a mother now and this book and tv serie, has made my life with more consideration about parenting my baby daughter.. again... Thank you!

donna said...

I have read the book and watched the netflix priemiere and though family members and friends were hesitant and concerned in my reading it and watching it I just want to say that I am very appreciative at the way this was done. People do not realize the impact that the things they say and do can so easily influence other peoples decisions in life. How the smallest of things changes everything and the aftermath of what does happen is sometimes unbearable to live with. Though it was hard to watch at times and I was saddened and in tears it definitely hit home. I know all to well how bullying and lies can change a persons life and the way they perceive things. I also know what it is like to have to live life after losing a child to suicide and it is something no parent should have to live with but I feel that this may be an eye opener for alot of people and the way they handle treating others. I just want to say thank you

Unknown said...

I didn't read "13 Reasons Why" before watching the Netflix series. After watching the series I started to read the story and I realize how mesmerising this story is. Most people prefer to read books before watching Screen adaptation. But for me the reverse worked very well. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us.