(Disclaimer: Written while fully appreciating every second of this insane and transient journey)
OK, so, throughout our entire
During production, I might have picked the infamous notes sessions that occurred every 12 weeks in our story room, where about 40 of my fellow directors, writers and story artists bombarded us with notes and tore our film apart. But that happened equally to my male directing partner, Chris Buck, so that can't be it. And it's not being undervalued as a woman making this film, because I wasn't, not for a second.
And it's not the insane schedule, or the legacy of Disney hanging over my head, or trying to be heard in a room full of men (that's easy … just stand up). In fact, the hardest part about being a female director has had nothing to do with the film production at all. For me, at least, it all comes down to the red carpet.
I'm a newbie to cameras, fancy dresses, strappy heels and makeup (I normally wear jeans to work and shoes I can kick off easily and leave beneath my chair). Going into all this, I didn't know my measurements (I preferred to think that I didn't have any). I didn't know that being a Size 2 at the Gap might as well be a Size 92 to the elite designers. And I certainly didn't know that a fitting for a proper boostie-yay would involve standing topless in front of three Ukrainian women, while they placed bets as to whether I was a D or a Double-D.
I didn't know that I had so much to learn (and to purchase, because unlike men, women apparently cannot be photographed in the same thing twice). Since November, I have rarely lived a day that hasn't involved hair and makeup or shopping or styling, and I now know more about myself than I ever wanted to. I know that my boobs don't fit, ever. My eyebrows are wild and should be committed. I have a cowlick ... and that is bad.
I shouldn't cover my shoulders too much because that looks matronly, but I shouldn't wear strapless gowns either, seeing as I "just don't have the armpits for it." I am shockingly short-waisted and yes, one stylist actually used the word "shockingly." I must wear no less than 5-inch heels … better yet, 6. They don't make that dress for "regular women," but I make a face when I'm thankful that that is just really unfortunate, and I should avoid it at all costs.
I have never wanted to be an animated character so badly — especially one who can manifest the perfect dress and cape and hairstyle out of ice with the wave of a hand.
But I'm not complaining. I mean, not in a real way. All the above got me to the Golden Globes, respectfully tucked in my Oscar de la Renta dress, Judith Leiber purse and
And I'll admit, I felt great. I felt like a character in
So here I am, preparing for the biggest carpet of them all — the
But I confess that I'm ready, so very ready to get back to the freedom of the story room — tough notes and all, where it's not about me being a "female" director. It's not about me being only 5-foot-3. In the story room, my boobs fit just fine, because in the story room, it's only the size of my imagination that matters.
Lee is the co-director of "Frozen," nominated for animated feature film.