When they found out they were nominated for the best picture category at the 2013 Oscars, film producers reacted in a variety of ways: a champagne toast, dumbfounded disbelief, a muted exaltation with sleeping children in the house, or simply, as Margaret Menegoz nominated for “Amour” put it, “happy.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominee questionnaire got producers in the category of best picture to open up and share their reactions, inspirations, and advice to others.
“Silver Linings Playbook” producer Donna Gigliotti wrote that she felt relief that her name was pronounced correctly when she heard she was nominated—it made her family happy, she wrote. Co-producer Jonathan Gordon said he celebrated “Quietly, but very animatedly,” because he didn’t want to wake up his children. “We looked like the world’s loudest celebration with the sound turned off,” Gordon wrote about jumping up and down with his wife.
Growing up, Gigliotti gave acceptance speeches in pajamas while watching the Oscars and Gordon said he watched the ceremony “religiously” since the age of 9 or 10.
While it’s the third Oscar nomination for Gigliotti, it’s the first for Gordon. Read what these producers say about their favorite movies and what advice they have for future filmmakers.
For theatre production, turn musical, turn film, “Les Misérables,” producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh found out about his nomination by email from Universal Pictures. The film is nominated for eight oscars this year. Sir Mackintosh is a theatre producer who aspires to make his musicals into films. He wrote that he watched the Oscars on occasion when growing up and that he was “naturally … delighted” to learn of the nomination.
Read about what inspires Sir Cameron Mackintosh here.
Producers of the French film “Amour,” Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka, and Michael Katz also answered the Academy’s questions. Some in electronic format, others by hand, each taking the task seriously. This is the first Oscar nomination for all three producers.
Menegoz said she didn’t watch the Oscars growing up and that she even didn’t decide to become a filmmaker. “I married a filmmaker and started to work with him,” she wrote. Co-producer Michael Katz wrote “for a moment, I could hardly believe my luck” about finding out that “Amour” was nominated. Last year, the French silent movie “The Artist” took home multiple Oscars including best picture.
All three producers grew up Europe and all share a love for Ingmar Bergman films. Read more of their answers here.
Producers Stacey Sher and Reginald Hudlin were nominated for “Django Unchained.”
“I was an obsessive Oscar viewer as a kid and was always on my best behavior around Oscars for fear of being punished and having no television,” Sher wrote.
For those who might want to follow in Hudlin’s steps, he advises, “Say what’s not being said. Show up and work hard. Take responsibility.”
See their full answers, including Hudlin’s longer than average list of favorite movies, here.
The producers for the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Joshua Penn and Michel Gottwald, also filled out the questionnaire, both describing how the team pounced on top of each other in an outburst of joy when they learned about their nomination.
“Non-stop shouting and jumping up and down and hugging” wrote Gottwald. You can check out Gottwald’s messy writing here.
Other nominees who didn’t fill in the questionnaire, or perhaps missed the deadline, were the producers for “Life of Pi,” “Argo,” “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”
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