Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Academy's

Warning: This may be the longest entry I ever Blog... read or skip whatever you wish!

Pajama Gladiator won Gold!!!

Per, Glenn's Swedish brother

At the Griffith Park Observatory- awesome! We all got to hold a meteorite.

You can see how serious Glenn was about all of this!

This is the award! It is actually really heavy.

Talking with Eric Goldberg- SO cool!!!

On the roof of the Marriott

Let me live in a house
by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
- Excerpt, Sam Walter Foss The House By the Side of the Road

So last week was the Student Academy Awards, and I want to tell my real opinion about the whole thing. Feel free to stop reading at any time, but for my own sake I am going to post my real, lengthy thoughts.

First, what the week entailed:
  • Renaissance Hollywood Hotel- check in for four nights. Yeah, with the kids, we only stayed at the hotel one of these nights!
  • Marriott Hotel: Dinner and drinks (for us, water) on the top floor overlooking the entire LA area from Malibu to our house. Gorgeous. You could go out on the roof and watch the sailboats in the harbor and city lights after nightfall. This dinner had us mingling with the Academy members and fellow student winners. At dinner we sat with the director of Pocahontas (he is a famous animator for Disney, this is just the beginning of his work) on our right, and the creator of green screen technology (he also worked on the special effects for the original Star Wars) on our left. We met actors, voice artists, sound artists, editors- all very accomplished.
  • Beverly Hills Hotel: Rotating dinner with the academy governors. This hotel is EXTREMELY fancy. I didn't know and showed up in our minivan wearing something I'd wear to church!
  • Meetings with Cinematographers and Writers (Glenn went to these, but these are people who did major stuff like Field of Dreams, Superman Returns, etc.)
  • Photoshoot at the Samauel Goldwyn Theater for the Academy's (this is the nicest theater in the US), VIP party before-hand, and wrap party afterward.
  • The Student Academy Awards ceremony. Very cool, big name presenters (the Disney Animator who animates Jafar, Scar, etc. gave Glenn his award)
Everything felt like the fanciest and best. It was quite the experience.

Now, let's talk about the reality of the week. It was EXHAUSTING running back and forth across the city in major traffic with the kids, trying to desperately find something for my prego body to wear that would be fitting, expensive paying parking and babysitters (totaling over $300)- and we were out way too late for my stamina at this point. Each morning after an event, I'd feel like I'd been hit by a truck but had to keep moving (can you imagine how I'd feel if I drank too?!). So, the week was full of quite a bit of stress for the luxury being offered.

Now, here's the part I like. People are people!!! We were constantly among the very accomplished of Hollywood and they were wonderfully pleasant, down-to-earth, charming people. We loved each event with them- they were wonderful to be with and it was a treat to get to know how human we all are. They made me feel lovely as a pregnant woman, were very complimentary of Pajama Gladiator and Glenn's work (which equals BYU's student's work), and genuinely intelligent in all of their various fields. We heard about eccentric directors who will only mumble their instructions to you into a voice recorder even when you're standing 10 feet away, and the adventures of doing make-up art on Cher to cover up her real black eye on the right side and create a fake black eye on her left for a week of shooting! It was really very fun. That experience was a treasure. It was a fun side-light to be in these very fancy locations for all of this, but I would have loved it as much if we had been meeting in BYU's auditorium.

I learned some things this week.

First, Woody (an organizer) became one of my heroes. He could go around the room and tell you just how genuinely wonderful everyone was, but when you tried to hear more about him, it took some work- and he is a VERY accomplished cinematographer. He made you feel welcome & wanted, and remembered your names & situations. Glenn's grandpa has a saying,"If you want to get promoted, make your boss look good." Woody made everyone look good, with nothing in it for him. He and his sweet wife of many years were simply lovely. Woody is a treasure.

Second, good planning definitely lends itself to more successful events. The coordinators were fabulous- from name tags to detailed itineraries, they ran the week smoothly and created the best atmoshpere to socialize in. This, in contrast to the Emmy's (put people into a dark, loud room with nowhere to sit or name tags for an hour) was an eye opener to this principle. We were able to make great connections and Glenn had a blast making friends- he became good friends with a guy from Sweden... I think these two should have been brothers. They were hilarious together and a coordinator said they have footage of the two of them that will make up their entire B-roll... apparently they had everyone rolling.

Third, it doesn't matter what we are wearing, the size of our girth (mine is growing rapidly!), or economic status- all company can be wonderfully comfortable. The only trick is to be genuinely interested in the other person and just love and appreciate them. I've decided it is the great equalizer. I felt it from other people this week, and tried to apply it myself. Mother Teresa was right "Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier."

Last- I already knew this one, but it was emphasized to me a lot- this is not success. We have some friends who talk a lot about success, kind of like it is a destination. If that was the case, this weekend would have been the most validating experience of our lives thus far. But it wasn't. It was fun. It was cool. It was new. But I feel success so much more in the company of my children and husband when I know they are safe, loved, well cared for and happy. The prophets are not leading us astray, being an at-home mother is much more satisfying than being the PR rep or event coordinator for the Academy's. This is definitely the greatest treasure I could ever be investing in.

None of that is meant to discredit Glenn's (and all the BYU student's) accomplishment. It has been wonderfully validating for Glenn's work and tenacity to finish Pajama Gladiator (not to mention Shawn and Murphy! Never would have been finished without those guys too!). He really did have to fight to finish this thing and this is tasty fruit to glean from it! It is wonderful for Glenn's career. The award is a very unique and an important accomplishment for him as an artist. It is incredibly impressive and does definitely add a large chunk of clout to his name. I can't tell you how proud I was of him all week- the way he so easily socializes, keeps his fun personality in every environment, is so intelligent in the field he is in, making friends all around, and such poise at his acceptance speech. He is a gem. As I mentioned to my dad, as always- Glenn walked away loved and appreciated by so many this week. He doesn't take himself too seriously and helps everyone to laugh. I am a lucky, lucky woman (make that blessed!!!!).

Tomorrow we'll celebrate our fifth anniversary and I definitely love him deeper than I ever knew I could. Here's to a set of new adventures, Love... it's mighty fine if the next ones are in our backyard and not the Beverly Hills Hotel.


TM CLAN said...

Sounds like a wonderful daring adventure! Thanks for sharing and congratulations to you both.

Todd said...

It is so much fun to see you having these adventures. Thanks for sharing both the events and more importantly, the insights.

Valerie said...

Way to go Glenn! It sounded so much better than the Emmys and I'm sorry Ben couldn't come. We'll blame it on baby Zoey, who has decided to bake a little longer before making her appearance.

Steve & Theresa said...

So glad you posted that. You it was funny Tyson and I went to see UP last night - it was a great flick and we stayed until the very end and I'm not kidding when I say this ... as we saw the credits pulled up, we both turned to each other and said "Glenn Harmon will have his name up there soon". This is just an example of his talent. Congrats Glenn!


zaharacafe said...

What blessed souls you both are, Kristen and Glenn! Happy wherever you are, I call that "truly blessed"! There is a reason that Glenn can make it with his talent. Many people share same talent but never could make it anywhere close. Congratulations, to all of you!

zaharacafe said...

And, Happy Anniversary!

Ben Porter said...

Congrats to you both! PJG would have definitely failed if it weren't for BOTH of your sacrifices! It looks like it was a lot of fun too. Good. You deserve it!

A deal stealing mom said...

Wow- what an experience! I'm so glad ALL that work looked like it paid off! I guess Glenn's job at Sony is a tribute to that- but really- I'm glad he was recognized even more, as well as YOU- because he couldn't have done it without your support. It's fun to hear your thoughts on success too- and what it really means. I totally agree with you- and realize these life experiences are so small in comparison to the daily living of life- but being a mom to these kids are where the real success and happiness come into play. You're great! I'm sorry we'll miss you when you're out here- but we'll hopefully see you before TOO much time passes!

Emilie said...

That is so awesome! Way to go Glenn!

Brandon And Kimberlee said...

You are so amazing Kristen! I seriously have tears in my eyes! What a wonderful (and challenging!) experience and you are so real and just take the positive and focus on real goals in life! Congrats to Glenn - completely amazing! I am happy you guys get to have these wonderful experiences! You are missed though!

JDF said...

Congratulations to you all! You deserve this award. We wish you much success to you and your entire family as you go forward.

Brianne & Jarod said...

WOW! That was all so interesting..how could you not read it! I love your perspective on everything!! And I am sure that everyone loved you and that cute belly of yours! Congrats to Glenn...we were all looking forward to giving him a big high five at the reunion :) It is great to see all that my friends have accomplished over the years...including their beautiful families!