Name-dropping at Academy® Nominees’ Luncheon
(This post is by Marcy Page, producer of Academy Award®-nominated, Me And My Moulton)
I’m a big fan of occasions in which “it was an honour to be nominated” is frankly the case. The Academy Nominees’ Luncheon is just that—a great level playing field with no press in attendance (excluding the occasional blogger which today includes me) at which one can hobnob with fellow nominees and guests. Torill and I were advised to arrive early for the drinks and above all, not to be shy! This was our mantra. I recalled my Junior High ballroom dancing class when, seeing that the line of boys across the room was just too scared to make the excruciating walk over the floor to the girls, I flaunted convention and was the one to cross over. Fortunately I was met with relief and gratitude by the young man I approached, or I might, to this day, be scarred with incurable bashfulness. Thus, armed with the memory of that social awkwardness we all can feel, but with our Mimosa drinks in hand (cheers!), Torill and I began to shamelessly “work the room”!
We’d seen a screening the night before of Birdman, with a funny and revealing Q&A from the talented and quirky Michael Keaton. Feeling like we knew him, we introduced ourselves. He had spoken at the screening about admiring handcrafted cinema, so when we told him we were involved in animation, he was suitably enthusiastic. Patricia Arquette (of Boyhood) was also lovely, responsive and sincere, just as she appears on the screen. We spoke with the production designer for Interstellar, sound editors and mixers for many of the nominated films, short film directors, Visual FX artists for Captain America and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and documentary directors (more on that next post). Playing on their country connection, Torill freely approached director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) and his amiable wife Janne, speaking Norwegian. Torill had told me earlier that she and my Norwegian fellow producer, Lise Fearnley, noticed that Torill’s “15 minutes of fame” in Norway had been eclipsed by press speculation about what Janne would be wearing on the red carpet—so we were pleased that she was at least very nice. The film is one that intrigued me greatly and led my friends and me to research the described history, but, alas, I gleaned little new information from the Norwegian conversation.
We of course also saluted our animation clan, most of whom we had met at the Annies. Torill shook Clint Eastwood’s hand when she went up for the group photograph and Laura Dern was kind and open when we nearly collided with her in the ladies’ room.
Stars were sprinkled among the tables, as were the various Academy Board of Governors who act as host/hostess for their tables. Robert Duvall sat at the next table. At our table we were joined by Jeremy Kleiner, one of the producers of Twelve Years a Slave and Selma (fellow Selma producer Oprah Winfrey dropped by to say hello to him) and Roy Conli (producer of Disney’s Big Hero 6) though we had already met him, along with directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, at the Annies. Everyone wore nametags with associated film titles, so there were no traumatic “subconscious password” moments of elusive recall for us. And we were not shy!
Okay… that’s much enough name-dropping for this post.