Sunday, March 2nd, 2014
It’s early congrats, but I’m thinking it’s a foregone conclusion that Disney’s latest movie will take home the Oscar for Frozen. One of my best friends, Jenn Lee, wrote the movie, then came on to co-direct it. She is a pioneer at Disney–she is the first female director there. Ever. For a company that has been around since the 1930s, that’s a pretty f–king amazing feat (and pretty f–king amazing it hasn’t happened until now. Though of course if it had to wait until 2013-14, I’m psyched that it’s my friend who broke the glass ceiling). Now Jenn is behind a movie that is quickly approaching the one-billion dollar mark. That’s 9 zeros if you can count that high.
Phil brought Jenn on to help him write “Wreck-it Ralph” after doing the initial drafts himself. They met the first day of film school. I’ve written about their journey before with Ralph. But tonight the spotlight is all on her.
She wrote a piece in today’s LA Times about the hardest part of being a female director. It’s not the writing room or the story room or the endless flights around the world (that while exotic can be exhausting, especially as a single mom raising a 10-year-old girl). What’s hardest she says? The red carpet. As in all the things women have to do in order to make themselves look the part. An excerpt:
I certainly didn’t know that a fitting for a proper boostie-yay would involve standing topless in front of three Ukrainian women, while they placed bets as to whether I was a D or a Double-D.
I didn’t know that I had so much to learn (and to purchase, because unlike men, women apparently cannot be photographed in the same thing twice). Since November, I have rarely lived a day that hasn’t involved hair and makeup or shopping or styling, and I now know more about myself than I ever wanted to. I know that my boobs don’t fit, ever. My eyebrows are wild and should be committed. I have a cowlick … and that is bad.
She texted me last night that in her final fitting yesterday they had to build a special harness for her boobs. It’s not easy being a woman on the red carpet.
I shouldn’t cover my shoulders too much because that looks matronly, but I shouldn’t wear strapless gowns either, seeing as I “just don’t have the armpits for it.” I am shockingly short-waisted and yes, one stylist actually used the word “shockingly.”
But amidst it all, it has been a wildly fun ride for her–and for her friends who get to cheer her from the sidelines.
So tonight, when she’s bound to get up on stage and accept the Oscar with her two male counterparts, don’t look at her boobs. Just look at the gigantic smile from a woman who has made history. So proud of you girl!
(Click here for the entire article by Jenn)
Picture of Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, winners of Best Animated Feature Film for “Frozen,” at the Golden Globe Awards show on Jan. 12, 2014, in Beverly Hills. Courtesy Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / January 12, 2014
Add a Comment
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Okay folks. This Sunday is Oscar time. Do a good luck dance for Wreck-it Ralph. Preferably to Owl City’s When Can I See You Again. Unfortunately, Phil and I don’t get to go. Since it was nominated for Best Animated Picture, but not Best Screenplay, only the producer and director go.
For the Golden Globes it was the same thing. But we did get invited to the big CAA after party (where apparently the best sighting of the night was Bill Clinton). And guess what? We were L-A-M-E. As we sat on our couch feeding the kids–banana and macaroni smeared everywhere–both of us in our sweats (me greasy from my Thai massage I had earlier in the day in lieu of a manicure), watching the stars parade around, we slowly lost all motivation for going. Then when Brave won (WTF? We thought if it wasn’t Ralph, it would be Frankenweenie.) our night was sealed. We’d rather be in bed. Or with friends.
We had already booked a sitter, and our good friend Jenn Lee, who helped Phil write the movie, was going to the party with us. Earlier in the day we had discussed our dresses, what time we’d go, etc. We were set. I called her–even before Brave took the prize.
“Are you watching?” I asked.
“Yeah, I am,” she said with a bit of the same joie de vivre I had in my voice.
“How set are you on going to the party?”
“On a scale of 1-10, I’m at about a 2. In terms of not going.”
Me: (Sigh of relief.) I don’t have to shower after all. I can stay greasy.
We decided instead to meet at a local wine bar. One that reminded us former Brooklynites of our past stomping grounds. We three hadn’t gone out like that since we left the borough. We had a blast, drank too much, and celebrated not winning. It was like old times–before the Oscars were even on our radar.
Phil and Jenn met on their first day of Columbia Film School. He brought her home for lunch. I was unpacking our apartment. Phil and I had just driven a U-Haul from Minneapolis with all our possessions, plus two cats. Draino (found in a sewer) was loose and got stuck under the brake pedal just as Phil was crossing the George Washington Bridge. I was under the steering wheel, sweating, trying to pull Draino out. Fur was flying. It was a record heat of 103-degrees so it stuck to me like a lint brush. It was high drama. And thrilling. It was a month before September 11th. We were young(er), naive(er), and never planned on having kids. I made us turkey sandwiches. Then they went back to school.
Fast forward to this night at Bar Covell. Jenn and her 8-year old daughter are thriving out here. I have two babies who have turned my world upside down with love. We are all aware that we have “made it” in business terms. But we are equally aware of how blessed we are personally–and how sacred that is.
But back to the Oscars:
We decided for the Academy’s we had to rally. We would go to dinner while the awards were on. That way we’d already have momentum. Then we’d go straight to the party. I promised I wouldn’t get a massage since that just deflates all my energy.
So now Oscar night is fast approaching. The sitter is booked. The dress is picked out. And guess what? We aren’t invited to any official after party. HAAAA HAAA. The joke is truly on us, huh?
Oh well. Maybe we’ll sit in our sweats, pop some corn, and enjoy it from our couch. Win or lose, we’ll toast to the fact that we are even here, in this place and time… That we have two slumbering bits of perfection upstairs sleeping while we watch to see if a movie their Dad wrote–partially for them–gets an Academy Award.
My prediction–based on the winnings at the Producer Awards and the Animation Awards–is that Ralph will take the big prize. Even if it doesn’t we already hit the jackpot. Big time.
Add a Comment
babysitter, Clark Spencer, golden globes, Jenn Lee, nomination, nominations, Oscar, Owl City, Phil Johnston, Rich Moore, Wreck It Ralph | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Moving to Los Angeles
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Just a quick post to share the exciting news. Wreck-It Ralph is nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. However, we probably won’t be going, as Phil wrote the screenplay. Most likely it will just be the director (good friend Rich Moore) and producer Clark Spencer.
Nevertheless, it was an exciting piece of news to wake up to.
Golden Globes are Sunday. And, similar to the Oscars situation, Phil won’t be going. However, we are going to one of the official post-award parties. Which doesn’t start until 9 pm–which is right around my bedtime. But it’s great, really. I mean, who wants to sit in an uncomfortable theatre when you could watch the awards from your couch, all dressed up, with babies and a cat drooling on you?
Add a Comment