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Voice Of The Crew - Since 2002

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Emmy Coverage


By Bruce Shutan
Two years into the lucrative eight-year television network pact to air the Emmys, crew now capture the limelight more than ever before.
But time-management challenges are just as pervasive below the line as above it. The Creative Arts Emmy, broadcast for a third year on E! Entertainment Television, clocked in at about three and a half hours. The event drew a cadre of celebrities in part because four guest-actor honors were handed out at the ceremony.
“The name value of presenters has grown incrementally every year, and this was certainly the best year we had in terms of star power,” said Michael Hoey, a co-executive producer of the Creative Arts Emmys for the past seven years, along with John Moffitt.
Alias star Jennifer Garner began attending the ceremony two years ago to support her show’s hair and makeup artists and vowed to return until they won, which they did last year. Even so, she was glad to again sit in the audience among 3,100 people who attended last month’s show.
“It’s no longer what they used to call technical awards,” added Moffitt. “There’s a wide vertical spectrum of 73 awards from best shows and acting awards right on down to audio mixing. If you look at the show with the red carpet and everything else, I think the creative artists are so pleased that this has finally come up from what used to be a little dinner downstairs in the conference-room area.”

Primetime Praises
Then on a night when Joan Rivers was conspicuously missing from the red carpet a week later at the Primetime Emmys due to new contractual obligations with the TV Guide Channel, some of TV’s highest-profile acting, producing and directing talent paid tribute to the crew during backstage interviews with the Hollywood press corps.
Drea de Matteo, who won for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for the Sopranos, lauded the HBO show’s hair and makeup artists for transforming her into the quintessential Jersey girl who fell short of marrying into the mob.
“They’re partially responsible for me winning the award,” she told Below the Line at her post-award press conference. “I was up there for four hours every morning before I stepped on the set. They were the best, and I trusted them completely.”
Sopranos creator David Chase, whose acclaimed show finally earned Emmy gold for best drama, boasted about having “the best crew in television. They’re all really talented artists who work very, very hard. I can’t say enough about them. They work harder than we do.”
Asked what it was like collaborating with behind-the-scenes talent on HBO’s western drama, Deadwood, director Walter Hill quipped: “Simple. I tell them what to do. They do it, and they’re great at it!” Then, turning serious, the winner for best directing in a drama series added: “It was like being given the keys to a Ferrari. The crew was great, and a lot of them I had worked with previously, including cameraman Lloyd Ahern, and production designer Maria Caso.”
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, whose Amazing Race came out on top in the reality programming category for the second straight year, relished a question about the increasingly vital role film editors have played in the emerging reality TV genre. He’s always impressed by how such compelling stories emerged from “miles and miles of footage they put together in a 30-day trek around the world. It was grueling and very difficult.”
Bertram van Munster, who shares an executive producer credit on the show, couldn’t help but elevate the show’s editors for serving as skilled storytellers whose story arcs clearly had a beginning, middle and end before they hit the editing room where the day’s best sound bytes were evaluated. “Everything you’d see and hear happened at that very moment,” he said, defending the genre’s unscripted ethos.
In his acceptance speech for outstanding directing in a miniseries, movie or dramatic special, Angels in America director Mike Nichols singled out Stephen Goldblatt, ASC, as “a great cinematographer without whom I could not have done it.” He also thanked John Bloom, described as “my editor and friend,” as well as Ann Roth, “the world’s greatest costume designer,” and Richard Edlund, “magnificent advisor of visual effects.” Angels tied the Primetime Emmy record for walking away with 11 gold statues.

Life is a Carnivàle
HBO led the pack of Creative Arts contenders in 62 categories with 16 awards (see accompanying list of all award recipients), followed by Fox and PBS at seven apiece, ABC and NBC at five each, and A&E with four. Programs with multiple awards on the Creative Arts side included Carnivàle with five, Angels in America, 24 and Frasier with four apiece, and A&E in Concert and American Masters with three.
Carnivàle, a Dust Bowl-era drama about carnival workers, won for single-camera series cinematography, art direction for single-camera series, hairstyling for a series and costumes for a series. The Angels in America epic miniseries triumphed in casting, art direction and makeup in longform categories.
Walking off with two statues proved surreal for Michael G. Olman, who won for outstanding single-camera sound mixing for a series on Fox’s 24 as well as outstanding sound mixing for nonfiction programming (single- or multicamera) on the Discovery Channel’s Dinosaur Planet.
“We were actually backstage kind of joking around with each other and not paying attention to the announcements when the stage manager told us to get out there,” he recalled, standing alongside colleague Ken Kobett. The dynamic duo joined a small but elite group of multiple-award winners.

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