Years ago, when I was the associate entertainment editor for the University of Texas college newspaper, The Daily Texan, this incredibly cheerful ex-cheerleader from El Paso would hang about in our office chatting with people late into the night as we waited for final proofs. I lost touch with Gigi for several years until, in a totally chance encounter in Tribeca, I found her working at a film production company that had asked to see one of my screenplays. I was looking for somebody else in this dark, hip office but was startled to instead find my long lost friend. I peered through the dark at a familiar figure, no longer a former cheerleader but a harried film producer, and said with head-slapping incredulity “Gigi?????”
Fast forward a few years, and I’ve watched Gigi with great admiration work tirelessly in the indie film world to get a number of really great projects off the ground, many with her extraordinarily talented husband, actor, director and producer Andrew Bowler. Occasionally we would have lunch and I’d ask Gigi, the seasoned film producer, for tips on how to play around with my own cinematic projects.
A couple of years ago she showed me a screenplay for a short film called “Time Freak,” written by Andrew. I’m not even sure why they showed it to me, unless it was just to hear me validate what they likely knew and say what everybody else likely did: “This is brilliant. Shoot it!”
I should have known that they would not only shoot it, but do it with real style and heart and cool. But they did far more–reached Olympian heights I dare say even they didn’t dream about: They this week found out they had received an Oscar nomination for best live action short film.
I had almost given up on this Oscars, especially after they started nominating 10 films for best picture. But this year, I’ll be doing it backward, and watching the middle of the show, not the end, rooting for my friend Gigi, who is still, though an older and much wiser ex-cheerleader, one of the coolest, nicest people you’ll meet.
The couple filmed their reaction to the news that they would, forever after and henceforward, be styled “Oscar nominated Gigi Causey and Andrew Bowler.” Here is the video, a suspenseful film with a highly satisfying conclusion.
Also, enjoy the “Time Freak” trailer. The entire film should be coming to the Web shortly, says Gigi.