Tag Archives: Disney

Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! It’s Off to Work on “Once Upon a Time” I Go!

Just as the 7 Dwarfs have returned to their menial labor mining precious fairy dust, my factory job as the dialogue editor for the ABC drama Once Upon a Time resumed this week. It’s been a long 4-month hiatus, and although I’ve enjoyed being a full-time unemployed mom to my two little beauties and the beast (their roles interchange depending on the day and the deed), I’m anxious to put on my big girl underpants again and start earning a regular paycheck.

I’m also excited to find out what has become of Storybrooke now that the Evil Queen’s spell is broken. After 22 episodes of the present day townspeople forgetting that they are actually fairy tale characters, last spring’s finale led us to believe that they have suddenly remembered. Will it be like the Dallas cliffhanger in the late 1980’s when poster girl Victoria Principal woke up and found that the previous season was just a dream? Will the show steal the standard soap opera formula in which a character suddenly has amnesia – but in reverse?

Last May when the first season ended, I wrote a blog post entitled “20 Predictions for Season 2 of Once Upon a Time.” I edit the show’s dialogue (sound), not dialogue (script), and my work is the second to last creative step before the show airs, so I was not made privy to any second season storylines.  As a humor blogger, I tried to make these prophecies ridiculously unbelievable and included tidbits like:

“Present Day Snow White, Belle, and Cinderella nearly kill each other in a catfight when they are all featured as contestants in Storybrooke’s version of The Bachelor.”

Even though this post was written nearly four months ago, every week I’ve been getting progressively more and more hits. Very VERY Busy Mom is just a simple humor blog with only 269 followers (most of whom are probably friends and family I had to strong-arm), yet I have had nearly 2,000 views of this post. Everyone seems to be Googling to find out what will happen to Snow White, Prince Charming, the Evil Queen, Rumplestiltskin, and their counterparts in present day Storybrooke. I wonder if fans are disappointed when their search engine ends up with my little fluff piece. I also wonder if any of those fans are dim enough to believe that my predictions came from the horse’s mouth. Could they truly be that dense? Would they really believe:

“Leroy (Grumpy) and perpetually-pleasant Sister Astrid (Nova the Fairy) get married and have a slew of bi-polar children.”

Naw. Those would be the viewers who prefer reality shows and turn Snookies into celebrities.

I am a huge fan of Once Upon a Time, so I too have been waiting on pins and needles to see what will happen in the Season 2 opener. And since I actually work on the show, I get to find out about a month before you do.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you because then I’d have to kill you. Maybe. On the other hand, Once Upon a Time is owned by Disney-ABC, so the Mouse Mafia might actually hunt me down and revoke my Disney Lot walk on pass.

If you believe the previous sentence, you are exactly the dim person I was just talking about.

If I did spill the beans in my blog, or frankly anywhere, I’d probably lose my job. I didn’t have to sign a disclaimer or anything, but I would think it’s both a common courtesy as well as proper business protocol to not be blabbing a television secret, even if it is only to my 269 followers and 2,000 other mystery readers, which would be a far cry from the millions of viewers Once Upon a Time attracts.

I’ve spent the last 18 years working on some truly amazing shows that were both popular and critically acclaimed, primarily ER, The West Wing, and Brothers & Sisters. They were all episodic dramas with continuous storylines, but none of them fueled the intense curiosity of what was going to happen next the way Once Upon a Time does. No one ever came up to me at my child’s Monday morning school assembly begging for a sneak peek into what would happen next week:

“Who’s getting admitted to County General next week? I hope it’s a cool disease! And when’s George Clooney coming back to ER?”

“What will President Bartlet’s next speech be about? What big words will he use? Watching The West Wing is the only way I expand my vocabulary.”

“Is Tommy coming back to Brothers & Sisters or is he away getting acting lessons?”

None of these conversations ever took place. But I must have over 200 people (or possibly every one of my 269 followers) ask me for clues about Once Upon a Time every single week.

“What’s going to happen?”



You’ll just have to wait until the Once Upon a Time premiere on Sunday, September 30th to find out (8:00 pm PST on ABC).


Filed under Career, Humor

Please, Fairy Godmother… Please Make “Once Upon a Time” a Mega Hit!

Once Upon a Time premieres on ABC tonight at 8:00 and depending on the number of Nielsen families tuning in for that hour, it will mean continuous employment for thousands of entertainment industry professionals, or just another show destined for instantaneous obscurity.

As the show’s dialogue editor, I am so far down the entertainment food chain that I don’t even warrant a screen credit (that goes to my sound supervisor Tom deGorter who absolutely deserves to be there on the big screen – depending on how large your tv set is). Yet I’m still antsy. It’s kind of like the big release of a new car model. I’m the guy who installs the floor mats, and I am anxiously waiting to see whether or not it will be the next Prius or just another Gremlin.

My desire for Once Upon a Time’s success is not motivated completely by selfishness (although the trickledown effect of its failure for me would be long-term unemployment followed by home foreclosure… and my kids really like their neighborhood and schools). The fact is – I actually love this show. I’m starting work on episode #5 this week, and I am genuinely hooked.

I’ve always loved fairy tales, whether they’re Disney, Golden Books or The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (if you have kids, beware; they’ll make you read this one to them over and over and over…). As a kid I performed a skit called Little Red Hot Pants, and in my early 20’s I wrote a Snow White direct-to-video (that never even made it to video) featuring normal-sized men on their knees acting as dwarfs (today that would be oh so politically incorrect). For years I did the sound for my daughters’ plays, which included fairy tale musicals like Into the Woods, Once Upon a Mattress, and Honk. And I know I’m not the only adult who still appreciates a good fairy tale. Although I’m not a fan of them, I’m certain there’s some X-rated film out there with Goldilocks gasping, “This one’s too soft!” “This one’s too hard!” “This one’s just right!”

You must be a shut-in if you haven’t seen a Once Upon a Time billboard. It features either a creepy Rumplestiltskin or an evil queen who looks a lot like Michelle Pfeiffer if Michelle was actually 20 years younger. The fancier billboards actually change the two characters back and forth as you move, which makes me believe it truly is magical, since there haven’t been any reported accidents while drivers were gawking at the metamorphosis.

Once Upon a Time contains all your classic fairy tale characters: Snow White, Cinderella, various princes and evil queens, even Jiminy Cricket and Little Red Riding Hood. The most memorable character is Rumplestiltskin (played by the amazing Scottish actor Robert Carlyle from Trainspotting and The Full Monty). The settings are grand castles and dark dungeons, and it features elaborate costumes, hair and makeup, and a cast of horses that would rival a Miramax film.

But that only half of this fairy tale. The evil queen has put a curse on the fairy tale characters, and they are all transported to a present day New England Town with no memory of their true existence. Henry, an adopted 10-year old boy, is the only one in Storybrooke who is aware of the curse. He enlists the help of his skeptical birth mother Emma, a bounty hunter whom Henry believes to be the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming.

Once Upon a Time is created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the executive producers of Lost, so I’m hopeful that their fans will be seeking an exciting (and hopefully not so confusing) refuge since that show wrapped last season.

The show is scheduled against The Amazing Race and The Simpsons. Now in its 11th season, that race is no longer so amazing, and as much as I still love The Simpsons, after two dozen years of downing Duff beer, Homer can’t possibly have a functioning liver.

Watch Once Upon a Time tonight. If you don’t want to do it for me and my family, do it for yourself, because I think you’re going to love it. If you miss it or don’t have a recorder, you can watch it online here.

And because Once Upon a Time is owned by ABC (which is owned by Disney), there’s sure to be a new theme park ride or attraction based on the show: Snow White’s Scary Adventure.

Looks like they already did that.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.


Stay tuned for the Grand Opening of Disneyland’s newest wild ride: Rumplestiltskin’s Spinning Room. However Disney will be the one taking home the gold.


Filed under Anxiety, Career, Debt, Financial Insecurity, Humor, Parenting