“We love the Oscars and we love Neil Patrick Harris, so it was a no-brainer when he asked us if we’d like to write a song for him,” Fil-Am composer Robert “Bobby” Lopez said about the musical number that he and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez wrote for the host of the 87th annual Academy Awards show on Sunday, Feb. 22.
“It’s our first time writing for an awards show, so it’s been a learning experience—but lots of fun,” Bobby Lopez said about the special song, called “Moving Pictures.” The number was described by the Academy as a multimedia musical sequence performed by host Neil Patrick Harris and special guests, including actors Anna Kendrick and Jack Black, who both sang, and even appearances from Benedict Cumberbatch and Oprah Winfrey.
The performance was the opening number in Sunday’s star-studded ceremony honoring the best in film, which was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
“We are excited to tune in,” Lopez said, recalling last year’s Oscars when he and his wife won Best Original Song for their timeless Idina Menzel ballad, “Let It Go,” from the Disney animated hit “Frozen” (2013).
“On the heels of the international success of last year’s ‘Frozen’ and their Oscar for ‘Let It Go,’ we couldn’t be happier to have Kristen and Bobby Lopez write an incredibly special song for Neil Patrick Harris and special guests to perform this year on the Oscar stage,” said show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “YouTube, get ready!”
Harris first made the scoop announcement last month on his Twitter account.
This year, the successful husband and wife writing team watched the show from the comfort of their home in New York.
“We can’t make it out to LA this year to see [Neil Patrick Harris] perform our song live,” the Lopezes said. “We’ll be watching on TV in our pajamas.”
Bobby’s Oscar win has made him the 12th and youngest member of the “EGOT” club, a group of talents who have won all four major American entertainment awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony.
“It’s been a great year,” he said. “We’ve had a lot to celebrate, most recently a fun weekend at the Grammys.” The couple recently won the Best Song for Visual Media award for “Let It Go,” also sharing the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media prize with producers Tom MacDougall and Chris Montan, for “Frozen.”
“The success of ‘Frozen’ has led to so many opportunities,” Lopez gushed. “We just finished our work on the new short, ‘Frozen Fever.’” The short animated film, featuring a new song by Robert and Kristen, will be shown before Disney’s new live-action feature, “Cinderella,” out in theatres on March 13.
Bobby Lopez, whose grandfather was full Filipino and grandmother was Filipino-Scottish-American, also disclosed his new project with his wife, a stage musical called “Up Here,” which will premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in California. The play is being directed by Alex Timbers, who was also behind “Here Lies Love,” David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s well-received musical about Imelda Marcos.
“We are starting work on the ‘Frozen’ stage musical adaptation,” Lopez shared excitedly about the upcoming Broadway version of the hit Disney movie. The book will be written by the film’s co-director and screenwriter, Jennifer Lee.
“We are having so much fun collaborating, and have even enjoyed weaving our experience as Oscar nominees into the song.”
Sunday’s 87th annual Academy Awards was a night full of glamor and surprises, as well as riveting performances from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine, even an “Everything is Awesome!” collaboration from Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island. The big winners of the evening include Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Birdman” for Best Picture, Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore for Best Actor and Actress, and “Glory” by rapper Common and John Legend for Best Original Song.
(With reports from Inquirer, Huffington Post, Oscars.org.)
(LA Midweek February 25, 2015 MDWK pg. 3)