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  • 2015 MU MACE Award Recipients Background

    Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the prolific writing and directing duo behind some of today's most successful films are this year's 2015 MACE Award Recipients.  Their work includes The Lego Movie, 21 & 22 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs which have all had incredible box office success. As the only writers/directors with two top grossing films of the year, Monmouth University is proud to present this excellence in communication honor.

    The Lego Movie, which the pair wrote and directed, debuted at #1 and remained on top of the box office for four straight weeks. The hugely successful film earned over $468 million worldwide and was the 5th highest grossing domestic feature of 2014. It also earned Lord and Miller rave reviews for their imaginative and unique sensibilities, as well as the BAFTA, PGA and BFCA Critics Choice Awards for Best Animated Feature, the National Board of Review award for Best Original Screenplay and The Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Writing for an Animated Feature. Additionally, The Lego Movie was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Film and was named one of the top ten films of 2014 on over 75 critics' lists. The film has been green lit for a sequel which Lord and Miller will write and produce, as well as multiple spin-offs that the pair will produce.

    Also in 2014, Lord and Miller directed 22 Jump Street. The film debuted at #1 and has garnered over $331 million worldwide, earning Lord and Miller praise for their innate ability to transform unlikely material into cinematic brilliance. Lord and Miller had previously directed the hit action-comedy 21 Jump Street, which took in over $200 million worldwide in 2012 and earned a Critics Choice Award nomination for Best Comedy.

    Lord and Miller's first feature was 2009's Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, which the duo wrote and directed. The film was loosely based on the beloved children's book of the same name and earned Lord and Miller a Golden Globe and Critics Choice nomination for Best Animated Feature along with four Annie Award nominations for excellence in animation, including Best Direction and Best Screenplay.

    Up next for film, the duo will be directing the highly anticipated untitled Star Wars Anthology, slated for a May 25, 2018 release date and will be written by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan.

    In 2015, Lord and Miller returned to their television roots as executive producers on the Fox comedy series The Last Man on Earth. The duo also directed the first two episodes of the series, for which they are nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series. The show is written by and stars Will Forte as the sole male survivor working to ensure the survival of the human race at the end of the world. The series premiered to rave reviews and was the highest rated broadcast series of the night with 5.7 million viewers during its debut airing. The pair also directed the pilot episode of the breakout hit "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," which was one of most anticipated television series of the 2013 Fall Season. Also among their television writing credits, the duo served as co-executive producers on successful CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother."

    Lord and Miller's collaboration began when the pair met as students at Dartmouth College. The two contend it was a mistake that landed them a job developing Saturday morning cartoons for the Walt Disney Company, which led to their stint developing primetime animated shows for Touchstone Television. In 2002, they executive produced, wrote, and directed the short-lived but highly buzzed about animated series Clone High on MTV. The series was critically acclaimed for its well-developed and unique personalities as well as for its witty, fast-paced dialogue, but is probably best known for causing a hunger strike in India and being quickly cancelled. Miller voiced the characters of John F. Kennedy and Mr. Butlertron and Lord voiced the characters of Principal Scudworth, Genghis Khan, and Geldhemoor, the Humkeycorn.

    Lord graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a degree in Art History. His college animated short "Man Bites Breakfast" won Best Animation at the 1998 New England Film and Video Festival and was also included in several other festivals, including ASIFA East and ASIFA San Francisco. He is a native of Coconut Grove, Florida and likes bikes.

    Miller is a native of Lake Stevens, Washington. He left there to attend Dartmouth College, where he found a lifelong friend in Phil Lord while obtaining a degree in government and studio art: three achievements, two of which are useful to his career.