Local talent scores big at Golden Globes

Lisa Bechard worked as a digital producer on the film Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse which took home a Golden Globe Sunday night. January 8, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Imageworks)

As if her resume wasn’t impressive enough already, Chatham native Lisa Bechard can now add that a movie she worked on took home a Golden Globe.

“When they announced our name it was shocking,” Bechard said. “Really, really shocking and amazing at the same time.”

Bechard worked as the digital producer on Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, which won Best Animated Film Sunday night. Bechard said no one thought the film really had a chance as it was up against The Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Isle of Dogs.

“To go up against Pixar and Disney, after working with both those organizations over the years, we were really the black sheep of that group,” Bechard said. “It is really exciting, especially for Image Works who has been an underdog for such a long time in the film industry. I am very proud of the team.”

Bechard has worked on recent films like Hotel Transylvania 2, The Angry Birds Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Villiage, but admitted no film she’s worked on has ever received such a prestigious award. She didn’t want to get too ahead of herself but said there is potential for an Oscar nomination.

“I am very excited about that,” Bechard said. “We’re not sure if we would get an Oscar nomination because we came out very late. We just released on December 14, but it feels like it has a lot of momentum. I think a nomination would be extraordinary for the studio and for this team. Winning? Who knows what happens but a nomination would be extraordinary.”

She added there were two main goals the team set out to accomplish when making the film. First, they wanted to make something new and fresh, which explains the unique animation style used. Bechard said Writer Phil Lord would tell the team he wanted the movie to be as anti-Disney as possible.

“That is what inspired the visuals and made the film so captivating visually,” Bechard said. “He really wanted to break a lot of rules there.”

The second goal was making the movie relatable to the audience. She said the team wanted to make it feel like anyone watching could wear the mask. According to critics, the relatable factor is what put the movie over the edge to upset Disney and Pixar and win the award.

Bechard started her career in Ottawa making government instructional videos and then moved to Toronto where she worked for C.O.R.E Digital Pictures for 14 years. There her team was nominated for two Daytime Emmy awards for the Angela Anaconda television show.

Bechard then took her talents west to Vancouver and worked for Pixar Canada. It was there she found a passion for full-length movies. When Pixar closed their Canada branch, she went to Sony Image Works, also in Vancouver, where she still is now.

As for the future, Bechard said two sequels of Into the Spider-Verse have been confirmed and she will also be working on the new live-action Mulan film from Disney.