Cheers To My Favorite Teammate

“Do you think he’d like any honey in his tea?” The chipper barista asked me while Marion stepped away to use the restroom.

“You know what, we have been together for fourteen years, and this is the first time I’ve witnessed him order green tea, so I am just as curious as you are about what else he might like in it.” I replied dumbfounded.

As my dear husband, Marion and I strolled down the quaint main drag of the sleepy SoCal surf town of Oceanside, CA moments after he took the first sip of his chilled, tasty green tea, I satisfied my growing urge to crack this newfound gnawing mystery, and asked, “When did you start drinking green tea?”  

 Marion ready to shoot the amazing athletes racing in Oceanside.

Marion ready to shoot the amazing athletes racing in Oceanside.

Marion joined me to spectate and photograph my sensational Team SFQ and HPB teammates at the Ironman 70.3 in Oceanside on Saturday. He is not making the trip to Boston, so we wanted to spend as much time together as possible before I blast off this Friday. Plus, he is a better photographer than me, and I wanted to focus on cheering and spectating on the sidelines, so it worked out perfectly.

 My teammate Linda Tivorsak SMASHING the 13.1 mile run!

My teammate Linda Tivorsak SMASHING the 13.1 mile run!

It was hot yesterday. And it was not just a welcome warm up, but a full-on oven blasting in your face heat wave that roared through the Los Angeles basin with little to no warning. It was pleasant all weekend? The conditions made my last hard effort pre-marathon run workout a little dicey, but it made my wardrobe choice for the special event planned that night really easy, I’d be fine just in the dress.

 Yours truly wearing the amazing Smashfest Queen "Hillary" dress to the Lost In Space premiere in Hollywood.

Yours truly wearing the amazing Smashfest Queen "Hillary" dress to the Lost In Space premiere in Hollywood.

My husband Marion and I both work in the entertainment industry. He is a creative and I am a producer. We met at a visual effects studio on April 26th, 2004, (I have a thing with dates), and I admired his work ethic, respect for his crew, both his superiors and the artists he supervised, and overall kindness right from the start. He is genuinely the nicest person I have ever met. We worked well together from the start, both leaning on each other to get each project done, and along the way fell in love. I think our foundation of working together has only helped our relationship over the years, because it takes a collaborative effort to be successful at work and at home. Plus, we have helped on each other on various projects we have worked on separately over the years, I hired him as an artist on a project last year because we needed the extra help to make our deadline, and he has asked me to proofread/write numerous emails over the years to clients and his crew.

I have watched him grow from a talented, hard-working artist, into a vital creative force on set and in post-production as a Supervisor for blockbuster movies, commercials, and streaming projects. Meanwhile, he has supported all of my writing, triathlon, marathon, and production ventures over the years without ever questioning the time, cost, or energy they would require. There have been about a twenty thousand challenges along the way, the hours are long, travel is a necessity, (time apart), and job security is non-existent, but we have been in it together because we both believe in the incredible power of story-telling, and each other.

We are a team.

I was a very proud teammate last night.

 The Lost In Space VFX team and their teammates sneaking a photo on the step and repeat after the stars had all shuffled through. Thank you Netflix marketing team!

The Lost In Space VFX team and their teammates sneaking a photo on the step and repeat after the stars had all shuffled through. Thank you Netflix marketing team!

Marion’s official title on Netflix’s new show, Lost In Space is additional Visual Effects Supervisor.

When this job first came to his attention in October, 2016, I had a great feeling about it, but he was slightly skeptical. He had never worked in TV before, (he was a movie snob), but I kept reassuring him that Netflix is the future, and that it would be an incredible opportunity. Plus, it was an eighteen month long gig, which is like twenty-five years in production years. We had just come off of a project where the company dragged their feet paying him, and I had to write a few stern/threatening emails to receive payment, (a practice unfortunately not uncommon in our business), so even though I knew it would be challenging for us to be apart for a few months, (the show was shot in Vancouver), and the work involved was bigger than any other project he had worked on, we knew it was too incredible of an opportunity to pass up, so he took it.

 The VFX producer, Terron Pratt, Marion, and the head VFX Supervisor and 2nd Unit Director, Jabbar Raisani rocking their favorite hats.:)

The VFX producer, Terron Pratt, Marion, and the head VFX Supervisor and 2nd Unit Director, Jabbar Raisani rocking their favorite hats.:)

Eighteen months later….

The first season is complete, and will be available to stream on Netflix THIS Friday, April 13th.

 Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer at Netflix introducing the show.

Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer at Netflix introducing the show.

Last night Netflix put on a premiere of the show, (they screened the pilot episode), at the famed Arclight theater in Hollywood. It was an honor and a definite life highlight to share Marion’s big night. Plus, since I basically live the life of a monk, this was a rare opportunity for us to get dressed up, go out, and even dance a little.

The most amazing part of the night was listening to the Executive Producer gush about the quality of the visual effects in the show, and that Marion’s energy was infectious and appreciated every step of the way. I also had the chance to geek out and chat with one of the head writers and co-creators about the important role visual effects can play in story-telling when done correctly. He was also amazed with the work Marion and his team completed for the show, and hopes to work with them again in the future.

Since it is a family show, most of the cast are kids, (very talented and lovely kids), the party was fun, but did not drag late into the wee hours, which I appreciated. Our Uber driver whisked us back to the valley just after 10:30P, and we were tucked in by midnight. YES.

I am proud to promote Lost In Space, because it is a fun and thrilling show fit for the entire family, and because I am very proud of the effort Marion put into it.

However, if you’re looking for a more suspenseful and terrifying entertainment experience, I suggest the movie I worked on that is out in theaters now, Tyler Perry’s Acrimony.

acrimony.jpg

Or, if cuddling up with a good book is more your thing, I have a great suggestion there, too… 

When it comes to quality, entertaining content, the Spates family has you covered.:)

In the mean time, please enjoy my new favorite song of all time, Pink's new tune, Whatever You Want.