Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

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Not to be confused with Chris Miller (animator).
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Chris Miller & Phil Lord by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Miller (left) and Lord (right) at the 2015 WonderCon
Born Philip A. Lord
(1975-07-12) July 12, 1975 (age 41)
Miami, Florida, United States
Christopher Robert Miller
(1975-09-23) September 23, 1975 (age 41)
Everett, Washington, United States
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Occupation Film directors, producers, screenwriters, actors, animators
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) Robyn Murgio (Miller)
Children 2 (Miller)

Philip A. "Phil" Lord (born July 12, 1975) and Christopher Robert Miller (born September 23, 1975) are American film and television writers, producers, directors, actors and animators. Lord and Miller met at Dartmouth College. They are known for directing and writing the animated films Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) and The Lego Movie (2014), as well as directing the live-action comedy film 21 Jump Street (2012) and its sequel 22 Jump Street (2014). Their films have received critical and commercial success.

Early life[edit]

According to The New York Times, Lord is from Miami; his mother is a Cuban-born psychologist, and his father recently retired from the aviation business and before that directed a dance company, Fusion, for 10 years. Miller is from the Seattle area, where his father runs a lumber mill.[1]

Lord and Miller both grew up making short films with an affinity for animation. They met freshman year of college at Dartmouth and quickly bonded after an incident where Chris set fire to Phil’s then-girlfriend’s hair.[citation needed] On campus, the two had separate columns in the school newspaper. Lord was a member of Amarna, a co-ed undergraduate society while Miller was a brother at Alpha Chi Alpha. During his time in college, Christopher met his girlfriend, now wife.

During their time at Dartmouth, the school paper published a profile on Miller, which caught the attention of then chairman of Disney Michael Eisner. According to Lord, Eisner brought the profile to the attention of his fellow Disney executives who then offered to set up a meeting with Miller. Miller agreed to the meeting as long as he could bring Lord. After three months, the two moved to Los Angeles and after one meeting were offered a two-year development deal for Disney Television Animation.[2]

Career[edit]

Though nothing they pitched made it to air, they produced the pilot to Clone High, which was subsequently dropped by Fox. After they wrote and produced on a series of sitcoms, MTV informed the duo that they were interested in purchasing a 13-episode season of Clone High. Although the show was met with acclaim, MTV canceled the series after hunger strike protests occurred in India over the show’s portrayal of Gandhi as a motor-mouthed partier.[3]

In 2003, the two were tapped to write a screenplay for what would become their first feature film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. After a year working on the script, they were fired for story issues and replaced with new writers, who after a year were also fired. Lord and Miller were then re-hired in 2006. The two completely redid the script, this time with the creative input of their crew. The new draft had the protagonist as a failed inventor who wanted to prove himself to his town. The two were almost fired again after Amy Pascal, head of Sony, criticized the film for a lack of story. Although the film succeeded on the comedic front in the animatic stage, Pascal cited the lack of an anchoring relationship in the film as a failure in the story telling. Unable to create new characters and environments to suit the new story demands, the two elevated the character of the tackle shop extra to be the protagonist’s father, thereby creating the relationship Pascal had requested. The pairs' experience on Cloudy taught them two valuable lessons: the power of creative collaboration and the importance of emotion in a story.[4]

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was released in 2009 to critical and popular acclaim. After the film was released, the two sought to try to make something different from Cloudy and pitched themselves as possible directors for the 21 Jump Street script that Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill had written. The studio agreed and the two directed their first live-action R-rated film, once again released to critical and popular acclaim which led to the production of a sequel titled 22 Jump Street.

In an interview with Robert K. Elder for his book The Best Film You've Never Seen, Lord stated that "in an animated feature, you remake the movie three or four times, and it's really easy to get bummed out that the way you did it before didn't get greenlit, didn't get paid, and you're making a totally different version of that movie."[5]

During the production of 21 Jump Street, they pitched a take on a possible Lego film to Dan Lin. Lin and Warner Brothers loved the take so Lord and Miller wrote and eventually directed their third feature film together, The Lego Movie. The duo were picked by Warner Bros. to write the script for the upcoming superhero film The Flash.[6] The duo were also picked up in 2015 by Sony Pictures to make an animated Spider-Man film with the option to direct.[7]

The duo have recently developed a live-action/animated series, Son of Zorn, for Fox, with Jason Sudeikis voicing the lead role of animated character Zorn, and Johnny Pemberton and Cheryl Hines playing the live-action roles.[8] They are also producing a cable-TV drama based on the popular NPR/This American Life spinoff podcast Serial.[9]

They will also direct the untitled upcoming Star Wars film about Han Solo.[10]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Directors Writers Producers Notes
2008 Extreme Movie Yes
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Yes Yes Also additional voices
2012 21 Jump Street Yes
2013 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Yes Yes Story only
Executive producers
2014 The Lego Movie Yes Yes Voice role: TV Presenter (Miller)
22 Jump Street Yes Yes Executive producers
2016 Storks Yes Executive producers
2017 The Lego Batman Movie Yes In production
The Lego Ninjago Movie Yes In production
2018 The Flash Yes Story only
In production
Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film Yes In production
Untitled Animated Spider-Man film Yes Yes In production
2019 The Lego Movie Sequel Yes Yes
TBA MIB 23 Yes

Television[edit]

Year Title Directors Writers Producers Notes
1998–2000 Caroline in the City Roles: Bill (Lord) and Cliff (Miller)
1999 Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane Yes Episode: " Crossing the Line"
2000 Go Fish Yes Episode: "Go Wrestling"
2002–2003 Clone High Yes Yes Yes Role: Principal Dr. Cinnamon J. Scudworth and Genghis Khan (Lord) / JFK and Mr. Butlertron (Miller)
2003 Luis Yes Supervising producers
2004 Cracking Up Yes Consulting producers
2004 Method & Red Yes Episode: "Well Well Well"
2005–2006 How I Met Your Mother Yes Yes Episodes: "The Sweet Taste of Liberty", "Belly Full of Turkey"
2013 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Yes Yes Episode: "Pilot"
2015–present The Last Man on Earth Yes Yes Episodes: "Alive in Tucson", "The Elephant in the Room"
2016–present Son of Zorn Yes
2017 Making History Yes In production

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Nominated work Result
2009 Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Nominated
2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Nominated
Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Nominated
Annie Award for Directing in a Feature Production Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Nominated
Annie Award for Writing in a Feature Production Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Nominated
2012 Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie: Comedy 21 Jump Street Won
2013 People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Movie 21 Jump Street Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Comedy 21 Jump Street Nominated
Empire Award for Best Comedy 21 Jump Street Nominated
2014 Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Movie[11] 22 Jump Street Won
National Board of Review: Top Ten Films[12] The Lego Movie Won
National Board of Review Award for Best Original Screenplay[12] The Lego Movie Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Feature The Lego Movie Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay The Lego Movie Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Animated Film[13] The Lego Movie Won
New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Animated Film The Lego Movie Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Animated Film The Lego Movie Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Picture The Lego Movie Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Animated Film The Lego Movie Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Film The Lego Movie Won
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Film The Lego Movie Won
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Animated Film The Lego Movie Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Animated Feature The Lego Movie Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Animated Film The Lego Movie Won
2015 People's Choice Award for Favorite Movie[14] 22 Jump Street Nominated
People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedic Movie[14] 22 Jump Street Won
People's Choice Award for Favorite Family Movie[14] The Lego Movie Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film[15] The Lego Movie Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature The Lego Movie Won
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Comedy 22 Jump Street Nominated
Annie Award for Best Animated Feature[16] The Lego Movie Nominated
Annie Award for Directing in an Animated Feature Production[16] The Lego Movie Nominated
Annie Award for Writing in an Animated Feature Production[16] The Lego Movie Won
Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature[17] The Lego Movie Nominated
Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay[17] The Lego Movie Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film The Lego Movie Won
Saturn Award for Best Animated Film The Lego Movie Won
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series The Last Man on Earth Nominated
Monmouth Award for Communication Excellence (MACE)[18] Lifetime contributions in the field of communications Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/08/movies/lord-and-miller-directors-with-a-golden-touch.html?ref=arts&_r=1
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOQl8ZXcBqQ
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3Rf-8bBSJI
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeP9fSlmgjc
  5. ^ Elder, Robert K. The Best Film You've Never Seen: 35 Directors Champion the Forgotten or Critically Savaged Movies They Love. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review, 2013. Print.
  6. ^ Busch, Anita (April 9, 2015). "'The Flash' Movie: 'Lego' Guys Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Building Warner Bros Pic". Deadline. 
  7. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike. "Sony Spins Animated Spider-Man With 'Lego' Filmmakers, Sets' Equalizer' Sequel And Dates Next Spidey". Deadline. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 10, 2015). "Fox Gives Series Order To 'Son Of Zorn' Live-Action/Animated Comedy From 'Wilfred' Duo, Chris Miller & Phil Lord". deadline.com. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  9. ^ http://deadline.com/2015/09/serial-tv-series-podcast-chris-miller-phil-lord-fox-21-1201561363/
  10. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3778644/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_wr#writers
  11. ^ Malec, Brett (June 17, 2014). "Teen Choice 2014 Nominees: Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars Lead, Catching Fire Comes in Second". E! Online. NBC Universal. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "National Board of Review selects 'A Most Violent Year' as Best Film". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  13. ^ "New York Film Critics Give 'Boyhood' Best Picture, Director & Supporting Actress". Deadline. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c Nominees Full List
  15. ^ 72ND ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE® AWARDS NOMINEES ANNOUNCED. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  16. ^ a b c "42nd Annual Annie Awards Winners". Annie Awards. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Birdman Leads Satellite Awards Nominations". The Wrap. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  18. ^ "'Lego Movie' filmmakers visit Monmouth U". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved October 27, 2015. 

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