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TV Awards Season-Editing Categories


By Mary Ann Skweres
The Emmy awards for editing are split intoseveral categories: nonfiction programming (large team entries –primarily multicamera productions, such as The Amazing Race),nonfiction programming (small team entries – primarily single-cameraproductions such as Rome: Engineering an Empire), single camera editingfor a comedy series, multicamera editing for a comedy series, singlecamera editing for a drama series and single camera editing for aminiseries or movie.
Winners are selected in a multistage process.According to Julie Shore, director of the primetime Emmy awards,editors submit an eligible shows for consideration. All members of theediting peer group vote for their favorites via paper ballots. They canvote for up to five shows in each category. The vote tally from theballots determines the five nominees in each category. The academymakes DVDs, sending them out to volunteers that choose which categoryor categories that they want to judge. They cannot judge their own workor episodes from other editors on the same series. They sign anaffidavit affirming that they have viewed all nominations, which theyrank between one and three, with one being the best. The Emmy isawarded to the highest ranked show in each category.
“Editing is thefinal chance to get it right,” says Chris Willingham, who has won threeEmmy awards for episodes of the popular series 24. He believes that itwould be best to judge an editor’s first cut before the director andproducer give their input, although unfortunately, that is never thecase. In judging editing, he takes into account not only the genre, butalso whether the show has action. An action show will be more “chop,chop,” he says.
No matter what category the editing falls into,however, he feels that the editing should be rhythmic. “Editors arestorytellers. There is a flow to editing. The story should be toldwithout meandering,” he says. “Editing is an invisible art. If peoplenotice your cuts, you are not doing your job.”

Written by Mary Ann Skweres

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