And the Primetime Emmy® winner for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media is…

The Interactive Media Peer Group is the fastest growing peer group in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), which is no surprise to those of us in the business of interactive. There are 450 active members of the Interactive Media Peer Group, and I am proud to say I am one of them.

Esther Lim (Social Media Consultant at  Altimeter Group), Rhett McLaughlin (Rhett & Link  Commercial Kings), Kelly Jo Horton (CrowdFactory), Link Neal (Rhett & Link  Commercial Kings), Howard Meltzer (CSA, Casting Director).This year I was privileged to be a part of the “Blue Ribbon Panel” that selected the 2011 Primetime Emmy® winner for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media. I brought Crowd Factory CEO Sanjay Dholakia along to be my +1 for the experience.

The event was hosted at ATAS in North Hollywood on Thursday August 25th, and MC’d by Rhett & Link, hosts of IFC’s “Commercial Kings” . The theme of this year’s event was “New Orleans,” and you would have thought the party planners had paid off Mother Nature to cooperate with the theme, because the thermometer topped 103 degrees that day. Sanjay and I arrived at the venue at 4pm and had a chance to do a little mingling with the rest of the attendees before heading into the auditorium to score this year’s top five contenders for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media. This year’s nominees:

  • ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy Sync; ABC.com, Nielsen, Gravity Mobile, Shondaland
  • Conan O’Brien Presents: Team Coco; TBS.com: Team Coco Digital
  • Fringe: Division; Fox.com: Warner Bros. Television, Bad Robot Productions
  • Late Night With Jimmy Fallon; NBC.com: Gavin Purcell, Producer; Sara Schaefer, Producer; Jimmy Fallon, Producer; Robert Angelo, Producer
  • Oscar Digital Experience; ABC.com: Disney ABC Television Group; Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Each team presented a narrated video showcasing their entry, and then Rhett & Link asked some hard-hitting questions like, “Does that high-pitched sync technology freak out all of the dogs in the neighborhood?”

When the presentations were over, those of us on the voting panel scored each entry in each of these five categories:

  • Creative Achievement
  • User Experience
  • Visual Design
  • Enhancing the Story
  • Advancing Interactive Media

And yes, there really were people from Ernst & Young in the back of the room with brief cases collecting our ballots when we finished scoring.

Brian Rodda (Brian Rodda Consulting), me, Howard Meltzer (CSA, Casting Director)Once the business portion of the evening was out of the way we were all invited to toast the nominees with a signature “Digitini” cocktail created by sponsor Grey Goose Vodka just for the occasion. I don’t know what was in it, but it was a cool and refreshing respite from the heat of the day. We then made our way through the crowd congratulating the nominees, and exchanging business cards as we went. Sanjay had to run to catch a plane back to San Francisco, but I stayed to enjoy the Cajun food and catch up with my ATAS buddies.

And who ended up winning the Emmy?  The Creative Arts Emmys were held on September 10, 2011, in Hollywood and the Primetime Emmy® for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media was awarded to the Oscar Digital Experience.

How to Win an Emmy: Add it to your Bucket List

I have a pie-in-the-sky bucket list. My bucket list contains very specific items like:

  • Sing karaoke in Tokyo while wearing a pink wig like Scarlett Johnasson in Lost in Translation.
  • Hot air balloon ride over Napa with someone I’m madly in love with.
  • Win an Academy Award.
  • Win an Emmy® award.

Well, okay, those last two aren’t very specific at all when you think about it. I never specified what kind of Academy Award or what kind of Emmy® I wanted to win. I just put it out there for the universe to chew on.

I spent last weekend in Hollywood: at the 62nd Annual Primetime Engineering Emmy® Awards, as the recipient of an Emmy®. Yes, really.

There are three  types of Engineering Emmys, and these are the definitions:

The Engineering Emmy®: This award is presented to an individual, a company, or an organization for developments in engineering that are either so extensive an improvement on existing methods or so innovative in nature that they materially affect the transmission, recording or reception of television.

The Engineering Emmy® Plaque: This award is presented to those achievements that exhibit a high level of engineering and are important to the progress of the industry.

The Philo T. Farnsworth Award: This award honors an agency, company or institution whose contributions over a long period of time have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering.

This year they awarded ONE Engineering Emmy®, TWO Farnsworth Awards (one went to Desilu Studios if that gives you an idea of how prestigious this award is), and FOUR Engineering Emmy® Plaques.

Ensequence and Showtime were awarded the Emmy® Plaque for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development for the Showtime Sports Interactive project, which I have been the technical operations lead on for the past 18 months.

I have submitted my application to become a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. You either have to win an Emmy® or get signatures from two sponsors in your peer group (mine is Interactive Media) to get approved. I did both just to hedge my bets!

I am still on Cloud 9.

Engineering Emmy Awards 2010

Right before I walked in.

Engineering Emmy 2010

Accepting the award with Showtime.

Engineering Emmy Awards 2010 Stage

Standing on the stage after it was all over.

Big Bang Theory Emmy

Our hosts for the evening, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg of Big Bang Theory.

Cheers and Jeers for July 8, 2010

Cheers: to Showtime for being nominated for a Technical Emmy for their Interactive Sports technology, and Dexter Interactive. I have been technical lead on their Showtime Boxing app for the past 18 months. Woot! You can see a demo of the application here: Showtime Boxing.

Cheers: to all of the Portland food carts downtown for providing me with ample lunchtime choices. My favorite by far is Rick’s Wild Seafood.

Cheers: to summer for finally showing up in Portland.

Cheers: to my friend Veanne who has kept her brilliant sense of humor throughout her battle with breast cancer.

Jeers: to the breast cancer and chemo that is making my friend Veanne feel like crap!

Cheers: to my friend Al in St. Petersburg, Florida for hosting me for a fun weekend in Florida. The Salvador Dali museum was the highlight of my trip.

Jeers: to the people two rows behind me on my red eye flight to Tampa who decided it was a good idea to watch a movie on their laptop without wearing headphones.

Jeers: to Hurricane Alex who made it rain the entire time I was in Florida!

Cheers: to Beth for taking me to see The Wailers at the KINK Live Performance Lounge on Tuesday.

Jeers: to BP for being so greedy.

Cheers: to Eleanor Reese Morse, who, together with her late husband A. Reynolds Morse, founded the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mrs. Morse passed away the day before I toured the museum. Fantastic collection of Dali art. I took home a print of my favorite piece Nature Morte Vivanteb (Still Life–Fast Moving).

Cheers: to all of the people who will be walking the Survivor Lap at Relay for Life in Lake Oswego this weekend.


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