Monday, September 18, 2017

Congratulations to ALL the Emmy winners

A reminder, my review of last night’s Emmy Awards can be accessed by going to my podcast. The easiest way to listen is to just click on the big gold arrow under the masthead. But if you’re reading this on your smart phone, a) you have good vision, and b) there are podcast apps and it’s available on iTunes. Later in the week I will post the written version here on the blog.

But today I’d like to focus on the deserving Emmy winners you never see – the Creative Arts Emmys. They’re never televised because Allison Janney will never win an Emmy for set design. America doesn’t want to see wardrobe people or boom mic operators. Hell, they don’t know half the actors that win Emmys these days, much less crews.

Still, it’s a shame these very talented behind-the-scenes artists (and they are artists) never get the recognition they deserve. Their award ceremony was held a week ago in relative obscurity. A few actor categories are announced, but several of the winning actors didn’t bother to show. God forbid they should break bread with the people who do their hair and make-up.

What makes it worse -- almost criminal -- is that on the televised show last night, the Creative Arts winners were never mentioned.  Not even in a crawl.  Like we needed more time to see Jermaine Fowler destroy the telecast with his atrocious announcing.  

I always thought it would be a good documentary or TV special to take a hit series and show how the sausage is made. Go backstage and learn what these various people do. Some of the most dedicated workers of any show are members of the crew. Wouldn’t you like to actually see how shows are edited? Or how the sets are designed? Or how the camera guys on multi-cam shows move around while the scene is playing out and somehow land in the right spot to get the desired shot? Not that reality show host isn’t a talent that deserves to be celebrated before a national TV audience, but these crew members contribute as much or more than the people who are in front of the camera. Sorry Heidi Klum, they do.

Everyone thinks Julia Louis-Dreyfus has a lot of Emmys (including one last night). There are sound guys who have twice as many. It’s a shame that in many cases the only time their faces fill the screen is when they’re in the In Memoriam segment.  And even then they usually share the screen with another crew member or they're in the background as the camera centers on the singer. 

So today I pause from my snark and bitchiness to offer a sincere congratulations to the Creative Arts winners and for your ceremony, I hope you didn’t have to pay for your own dinner.


Wendy M. Grossman said...

Some DVD sets do include the type of feature you're asking for here - how the costume designers were done, highlighting the set design, for BUFFY a thing on how they did the monster prosthetics. And some shows' websites also include such features; I'm pretty sure the AMC site for MAD MEN had a bunch of stuff on the costume design.

Ken, a Friday question: There was a piece in VARIETY last week saying that the head of Amazon's TV content production division has announced a change of strategy: he wants a GAME OF THRONES type success. How do you think this will alter the stuff Amazon chooses to make? Does the next TRANSPARENT or ONE MISSISSIPPI get a shot, or will Amazon become like the networks, trying to micromanage everything trying to get a blockbuster hit?


Matt said...

Why don't you post the winners?

Roy DeRousse said...

I'm not seeing your Emmy podcast. The latest one I see at the top of the page is episode 37. Is it just me?

Stephanie said...

While the Creative Arts Emmy show isn't on a major broadcast network, it was on FXX on Saturday night. Actually it's a lot more watchable because of the excellent editing. No watching people go up on stage, etc. They manage to take two events and edit into one.

David Dreger said...

Last nights announcing.....yes, where was Randy Thomas when you need a professional to do the job?!

I would love to see a documentary on how a hit show is made and who is all involved and what they do. That would be great TV.

Anne said...

Uh Oh--not seeing the podcast on the iTunes feed or the any of my podcasting app thingy's. If anybody has been able to access, would you please post where? Thanks!

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Yes, the only one I see at the moment is Podcast 37.

I would rather watch the Creative Emmy's than the actual Emmy's.
It's the REAL Emmy's.

BTW, Does anyone on Broadcast TV ever win anything anymore? Not counting SNL.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Not to promote another podcast, but the podcasts completed by Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul's Kelley Dixon (one of the editors on each series) is very good in this regard. In addition to the EPs, some of the cast, and an episode's writer, other participants include the technical crew and designers. I've learned a lot about technical aspects of production, and, more importantly, how good these people have to be in order to be good enough to not draw attention to their good work and just enhance the show.

It's why I don't get that upset about bad shows any more; people are trying their best, and they want to do good work. (I don't continue to watch the bad shows, though.) It's also why I'm just delighted at good television; it's quite the constellation of talent, hard work, and good luck that leads to a great show.

DwWashburn said...

Many years ago, the Discovery channel did a one hour special showing how a Friends episode was put together. The acting talent were given about five minutes of air time in the special while technical people were spotlighted. Very interesting program. Every time I see the episode appear in syndication that they highlighted, I have a renewed interest in watching it because of the extra "behind the scenes" information I learned.

Unknown said...

Snif sniff. I spent the weekend building and fixing servers so my company could work Monday morning. Where is my award? Why only TV and movies get awards?
Where is the award for desktop and tablet support? We have ties too, but no agents.

Bill Jones said...

I'll second the documentary about the Friends episode. Really fascinating stuff. It's probably somewhere on Youtube (that's where I saw it).

Todd Everett said...

I'll second the documentary about the Friends episode. Really fascinating stuff. It's probably somewhere on Youtube (that's where I saw it).

Is this it?

Phil said...

I would also love to see a series about how a show is made. What are the chances you could interview some of these talented people on future podcasts?

Jahn Ghalt said...

What are the chances you could interview some of these talented people (who make "the sausage") on future podcasts?

Podcasts would be great, and much easier to make than a documentary film.

BUT - why not do the film, too? Do it, before all your old colleagues quit, retire, and/or forget you?

Or better, bring a film student grunt (or two) to handle the camera, mike(s), while you direct and occasionally) get in front of the camera.

Or maybe even better - hire a director too - you would be the producer - the "grease" to get in, in the first place.

(if Better Call Saul can be believed, the kids will work cheap)

Rich Shealer said...

I remember a PBS documentary of NBC's Homicide Life on the Street that was very good. From the IMDB page:

Anatomy of a 'Homicide: Life on the Street' (1998)

"The primary focus of this PBS documentary is the "Subway" episode which aired on December 5, 1997 on NBC. This two-hour documentary follows the "Subway" episode from conception to award nominations."