Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Creative Arts Primetime Emmys, Part 1

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I find that one of the biggest problems with all of awards ceremonies that take place every year is that the nominees are announced really early. Now, I understand that this needs to happen in order for everyone to have enough time to familiarize themselves with the works and vote to the best of their ability. However, for us non-voters, it gives us SO MUCH TIME between when we find out who's in the running and when the winners are actually chosen. So, although the Emmy nominees have been available online for quite some time now, TheTalkingBox is just now dedicating some time to take a look at who might win, since we are in the camp who tends to forget who we picked for something two months ago.

We'll be doing a series of posts over the next couple weeks to take a quick look at each and every category. So, if you're hoping we're going to choose "Outstanding Comedy Series" in this entry, you're mistaken. In fact, we're only looking at the Creative Arts Primetime Emmys this week, as they will be celebrated on the 10th of September, more than a week before the big reveal with which most people are more familiar. So, stay tuned next week while we look at those acting, writing, and directing categories. For now, we're just tackling everything else... Today, we're going to look at the Art Direction, Music, and Cinematography categories.


Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series
The Big Bang Theory
"The Love Car Displacement," "The 21-Second Excitation," & "The Agreement Dissection"
Hot in Cleveland "Sisterhood of the Traveling Spanx," "I Love Lucci: Part Two," & "LeBron Is Le Gone"
How I Met Your Mother "Subway Wars" & "Natural History"
Mike & Molly "Pilot"
Rules of Engagement "Last of the Red Hat Lovers," "Singing and Dancing," & "The Set Up"
- I think there are some great contenders in this category. Especially when you look at some of the different episodes submitted from the same show. I'm going to go with How I Met Your Mother, since those two episodes really stood out when I watched them and when I caught pieces again. My second choice would be Hot in Cleveland.

Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series
Boardwalk Empire "Pilot"
The Borgias "Lucrezia's Wedding"
Mad Men "Public Relations"
Modern Family "Halloween"

True Blood "Beautifully Broken"
- I think that three of these episodes are great candidates for Outstanding Art Direction. It's difficult to pick one, especially when you've got a holiday episode up against a big pilot. I'm going to go with my gut and stick with Boardwalk Empire on this one though - there's just so much detail!

Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie
Downton Abbey
The Kennedys
Mildred Pierce
Upstairs Downstairs
- Honestly, this is a category where I'm not really qualified to make an educated guess. Of these nominees, I'll just have to choose the one with which I am most familiar - Downton Abbey.    
Outstanding Art Direction for Variety, Music or Nonfiction Programming
83rd Annual Academy Awards
American Idol
"Episode 1018"
2010 MTV Video Music Awards
Saturday Night Live
"Host: Russel Brand"
- I'll be honest here - I do NOT watch American Idol. I've seen about three episodes in my life, and two of those were during the Clay Aiken season. I also don't watch the Music Video Awards... what can I say, I'm not fourteen anymore. I will choose Gettysburg here, which I think stands an excellent chance against the two competitors I know a bit about.


Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series

How I Met Your Mother "Hopeless" - Christian La Fountaine, Director of Photography
Pair of Kings "Return of the Kings" - John Simmons, Director of Photography
Retired at 35 "Rocket Man" - Donald A. Morgan, ASC, Director of Photography
Rules of Engagement "Uh Oh It's Magic" - Wayne Kennan, Director of Photography
Two and a Half Men "Hookers, Hookers, Hookers" - Steve V. Silver, Director of Photography

Wizards of Waverly Place "Dancing with Angels - Rick Frank Gunter, ASC, Director of Photography
- I'm not at all familiar with Pair of Kings, so it's a little unfair for me to completely discount them. However, there are some wonderful candidates here, and I'm going to bet on Rules of Engagement this time.

Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series
Boardwalk Empire "Pilot" - Stuart Dryburgh, ASC, Director of Photography
Boardwalk Empire "Home" - Jonathan Freeman, Director of Photography
Boardwalk Empire "A Return to Normalcy" - Kramer Morgenthau, ASC, Director of Photography
The Borgias "The Poisoned Chalice / The Assassin" - Paul Sarossy, Director of Photography
The Good Wife "Double Jeopardy" - Fred Murphy, Director of Photography
- For me, when a single show has multiple submissions in a single category, I'm not always optimistic. Trying to watch scenes from each of the Boardwalk Empire episodes proved to be tricky - they sort of blend together after a while. So, while they're all brilliant options, I'm going to take the road less traveled and go with another gem - The Good Wife.

Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie
Downton Abbey "Part 1" - David Katznelson, DFF, Director of Photography
The Kennedys - David Moxness, C.S.C., Director of Photography
Mildred Pierce "Part 5" - Ed Lachman, ASC, Director of Photography
The Pillars of the Earth "Legacy" - Atilla Szalay, Director of Photography
Too Big to Fail - Kramer Morgenthau, ASC, Director of Photography
- I do not know how outstanding The Pillars of the the Earth might be, so I'm again choosing a potential winner without knowing all of the nominees. That said, there's something beautiful about Downton Abbey that I think gives it an edge here.

Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming
American Masters "Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter" - Nicola Marsh, Arlene Nelson, Directors of Photography
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations "Haiti" - Zach Zamboni, Todd Liebler, Directors of Photography
Gasland - Josh Fox, Camera
Gettysburg - Michael Snyman, Director of Photography
If God is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise - Cliff Charles, Director of Photography
Whale Wars "To the Ends of the Earth" - Cinematography Team
- Sometimes, things like cinematography are difficult to pay attention to. The subject matter is just so captivating that I struggle to notice other factors, even when I'm looking for them. So, my pick for Gettysburg might not be smart, but it's the best I got!

Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming
The Amazing Race "You Don't Get Paid Unless You Win" - Cinematography Team
Deadliest Catch "Redemption Day" - Cinematography Team
Intervention "Rachel" - Joia Speciale, Director of Photography
Survivor "Rice Wars" - Cinematography Team

Top Chef "Give Me Your Huddled Masses" - Tim Spellman, Director of Photography
- I haven't seen any Intervention episodes, so just going off my recollection of the promos there. And I haven't seen an episode of Survivor in ages, so it's really unfair to compare what they were doing eight years ago to the single episode in question. So, let's go with Top Chef and call it a day. (and no, I haven't seen that specific episode of that show.)


Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)
American Masters "John Muir in the New World" - Garth Neustafter
Family Guy "Road to the North Pole" - Ron Jones
Family Guy "And Then There Were Fewer" - Walter Murphy
The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror XXI" - Alf H. Clausen
30 Rock "100" - Jeff Richmond
- I adore the music categories. You can just close your eyes and listen! It might not be what you would select, but I couldn't not go with Family Guy's "And Then There Were Fewer," which was one of the stand-out episode in the season, I think.

Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score)
Any Human Heart "Part 2" - Dan Jones
Mildred Pierce "Part 5" - Carter Burwell
The Pillars of the Earth "Anarchy" Trevor Morris
Sherlock: A Study in Pink - David Arnold, Michael Price
Thurgood - Rob Mathes
- Brilliant and enriching, Sherlock: A Study in Pink is the only proper response for me.

Outstanding Music Direction
83rd Annual Academy Awards - William Ross, Music Director
An Evening of Stars - Tribute to Chaka Khan - Rickey Minor, Music Director
Harry Connick Jr., In Concert on Broadway (Great Performances) - Harry Connick Jr., Music Director
Hitman Returns: David Foster and Friends (Great Performances) - David Foster, Music Director
The Kennedy Center Honors - Rob Mathes, Rob Berman, Music Directors
2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony - Paul Shaffer, Music Director
- I'd be remiss if I didn't admit that I'm rather clueless in this category. And, when one if knowledgeable in the majority of an area, you should focus on what you do know. So, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards it is!

Outstanding Original Music & Lyrics

Family Guy "Road to the North Pole" (Song: "Christmastime is Killing Us") - Ron Jones, Seth MacFarlane, Danny Smith
Robert Klein: Unfair & Unbalanced (Song: "An American Prayer - Hymn II") - Robert H. Stein, Robert Klein
Saturday Night Live "Host: Jeff Bridges" (Song: "I Just Had Sex") - Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Justin Franks, Jerrod Bettis
Saturday Night Live "Host: Justin Timberlake" (Song: "Justin Timberlake Monologue") - Katreese Bares, Seth Meyers, Justin Timberlake, John Mulaney
Saturday Night Live "Host: Tina Fey" (Song: "Jack Sparrow") - Andy Amberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Mike Woods
Saturday Night Live "Host: Justin Timberlake" (Song: "3-Way (The Golden Rule") - Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Justin Timberlake
- Really? Four separate entries for Saturday Night Live? That's pushing it. But, at the same time, there are some quality suggestions there. It's a close call, and I'm really not sure if I'm 100% behind it, but I'm going to go with the Jeff Bridges episode.

Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music
Any Human Heart (Dan Jones)
The Borgias (Trevor Morris)
Camelot (Jeff Danna, Mychael Danna)
Episodes (Mark Thomas)
The Kennedys (Sean P. Callery)
Mildred Pierce (Carter Burwell)
- Camelot. That is all.
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