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As a movie fan, my heart has always belonged to the romantic comedy. I love action, dramas and thrillers too, but even a cheesy romantic comedy with a good cast would get my butt in a movie theater seat. Nora Ephron knew how to make us laugh, cry and get to the heart of what every romantic relationship feels like. A movie marathon and revised reading list is in my near future to solute this talented lady.

My heart is not alone in feeling sad about the passing of Nora Ephron. She was a class act that you couldn’t help aspiring to be. The few occasions that I encountered her were funny, awe inspiring and just that deep need to have a quick wit that she always displayed. There was nothing false about how she behaved, she was who she was and the confidence in being authentic was my mantra throughout my Hollywood experience. Can’t say I always succeeded at it, but I loved reading her movie quotes or something I overheard her say at the studio kept me smiling and striving to do better.

My one quick story to share is the numerous staff meetings (years!) of an executive trying to convince our studio head to send the screenplay of Sleepless In Seattle to Nora. Development hell at its finest. She had a conversation about Hanks and Ryan being a great cast, and the studio head consistently said no. We were all so frustrated, but now looking back, it of course, came out at the right time and the success of this movie classic speaks for itself. Every time I see the movie on tv or catch a DVD on a store shelf, I always send out a mental thank you to the executives in that room, so many years ago, for not giving up and to Nora for creating the magic to make the movie so beautifully. It really is magic when all the stars align for that great movie experience. I’m grateful to have been a part of it and I’ll never forget my crazy adventures while witnessing the creative genius.

So many great scripts have turned out badly on film, but it doesn’t stop the dream and I solute the future Nora’s out there to keep going. Whether it’s screenwriting, directing or producing, I’m waiting to buy my ticket for that magical experience once again. Don’t give up.

Thank you Nora for your wisdom, magical dialog, and for being you. 

Staci

PS, to the Sony Pictures (Columbia Pictures) family who lost their friend, I send you hugs. 

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