"Pajama Gladiator", The student film I produced at BYU won the Producer's Choice Award in the Nicktoons Network Animation Festival. That means that the producers who are responsible for Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Backyardigans, etc. liked our film best out of 4500 other animated shorts. That's pretty impressive and gives me a little hope that we might actually have a chance to win some more festival awards.
The award ceremony was held last Friday at the Nickelodeon Studio in Burbank. They flew me down, put me up in a swanky hotel and sent a limo to pick me up for the event. Glenn, the Director of Pajama Gladiator, just moved down to L.A. to start working for Sony Feature Animation (they made Monster House). He drove up and met me at the hotel and we rode together in the limo. It wasn't a stretch limo, it was a nice Lincoln Towncar with black windows and black leather seats. You know that little cubby on the side of a car door where you can store maps or trash? They filled those up with suckers (blowpops and dumdums).
When we got to the studio, a guy in a white uniform opened the door for us so we could get out and walk down the orange carpet (Nickelodeon's color is orange). We walked down and waved to the lone photographer who promptly asked us to get out of the way so he could take a picture of the front entrance of the event. When he was done, we hopped back on the carpet and proceeded to the front gate where the security guard told us he couldn't let us in yet.
Glenn and I hung out and talked until our friends Dan and his wife Kori showed up. Dan also worked on Pajama Gladiator and, thankfully, he got be there because he works for Nickelodeon. Eventually the guard let us in.
We walked to the check-in desk to get a cool yellow tag, but were told to go to the other table because we actually got a special blue tag identifying us as nominees. Along the walkway there were pictures of the 29 finalists. In front of the Pajama Gladiator picture, there was a little 'light table' pedestal with the trophy plaque on it. We walked into the main area and went straight to the bar. There's no way we were going to let the open bar go to waste! 7-ups for everyone! We took our drinks and grabbed a seat on some cool Ikea couches in front of the stage. I should mention this was all out-doors. Pretty soon one of the event producers came and told Glenn and I that we had reserved seats closer to the front. That was cool, but we decided to lower ourselves to the level of the little people and sit by Dan and Kori until the event got started. We had reserved seats after all. Shortly before the program began, some people sat in our reserved seats. We asked the producer lady about it and she said they were the family of another winner, and said we could sit in some other reserved seats instead. We did. And we decided Dan and Kori are like family, so they came and sat by us in the reserved area.
The program consisted of some dirty jokes by the emcee, an entertaining question and answer with Stan Lee (if you don't know who that is, you are not allowed to read my blog anymore. But in case you had a lapse in memory and you want to be able to read it in the future, you should know he invented Spiderman, the X men, the Hulk, and 200 other Marvel superheros), a performance from a band I'd never heard of, and the announcement of the winners of the various awards. When they announced us, we just stood up and waved while people clapped.
Afterward, the limo picked us up (this time a black SUV with no candy in the doors) and delivered us back to my hotel where I slept on the worlds most softest bed with the softest sheets and pillows. It was like sleeping on room-temperature butter! I flew home the next day and saw Natasha Henstridge in the Burbank airport.
She is a year older than me. I only say that because comparing celebrities ages to mine puts my oldness in perspective. When I start to think celebrities my age are old, I will know for sure I am old. So far, so good.
It was pretty fun over all and I hope we win more awards where I can attend an event. Next time I'll bring Valerie so I'll have pictures to share.
Oh! I almost forgot. Pajama Gladiator is till in the running for the "Viewers Choice" Award. On October 29, you can go to the NNAF website and watch and vote for Pajama Gladiator. It will also be shown on the Nicktoons Network at 11:00 pm EST that night if you have the channel. Anyway, remember to visit the website on Oct 29 and vote for us! Here is the URL: www.nicktoons.com/nnaf