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The 67th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Cinematography & Beyond

As mentioned in our previous post, there was quite a bit of history making at last night’s 67th Primetime Emmy Awards. However given our industry focuses on the nuts and bolts of filmmaking, it’s only fair that we spend some time running through the companion to the Primetime Emmys, the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.


Once again, just as with the Primetime Emmy’s, HBO dominated in both nominations and wins (even more so than it usually does), with a staggering total of 23 wins. The next highest number is NBC with 11 wins. Compare that to HBO’s 12 wins last year, meaning they pulled in just over double the awards this time around. That’s not even counting the overwhelming amount of nominations, particularly for cinematography which we’ll get to in a moment.

The tipping point? Game of Thrones is easily the front runner, claiming 8 of those awards. However HBO’s strong documentary lineup this past year also provided multiple awards per show. These include Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming), The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming) and even Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways (Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming [Single or Multi-Camera], Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming). Even the limited series Olive Kitteridge contributed to the stack of Creative Arts wins for Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special and Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie.


Perhaps most interesting of all the Creative Arts Emmys is the Cinematoraphy category. Here we have a win for CBS’ Mike & Molly for Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series, a win for Netflix’s Virunga for Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming and HBO’s Bessie for Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie. When it comes to Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series however is where it gets interesting. Of the seven nominees, four of the Cinematographers nominated are for different Game of Thrones episodes. The winner, Jonathan Freeman, won for Boardwalk Empire, yet another HBO show. For some reason this is mind boggling to me, not in the sense that Game of Thrones doesn’t deserve it, but that it’s gone from snubbed to hailed in awards shows in but a year. It seems like The Good Wife and House of Cards never stood a chance…

One other small note about the Cinematography winners is that while I’m sure Bessie is deserving of its award, we were really quite sad to hear Michael Goi did not win for American Horror Story: Freak Show. It’s a shame that what was perhaps the best shot and best looking season of American Horror Story didn’t win. But perhaps we’ll see it win for the upcoming season, American Horror Story: Hotel, provided Goi’s impressive talent has checked in as well.


We also see HBO’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief winning Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming for Alex Gibney. The competition? All HBO projects including Dave Grohl for Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways, Andrew Jarecki for The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, Brett Morgen for Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and Laura Poitras for Citizenfour. Again, HBO tends to be a big presence at awards shows in general, but this year just cranked that up more than ever. And, to be fair, I would say most (if not all) their awards are well deserved this year.

Finally, Picture Editing was also dominated by HBO, with Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming going to The Jinx and the other contenders all again HBO documentaries. Otherwise the nominations were pretty well proportioned among multiple networks, with AMC making a strong showing with two Better Call Saul episodes nominated against a Mad Men episode and two Game of Thrones episodes for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series. It naturally went to Game of Thrones.

So, what do you think? Was there any particular show that you felt was snubbed at the Creative Arts Emmys? Did everything happen as it should? Let us know in the comments below!


Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series

Mike & Molly – Gary Baum (Episode: “Checkpoint Joyce”) (CBS)

  • 2 Broke Girls – Christian La Fountaine (Episode: “And the Old Bike Yarn”) (CBS)
  • The Big Bang Theory – Steven V. Silver (Episode: “The Expedition Approximation”) (CBS)
  • The Millers – Gary Baum (Episode: “Con-Troversy”) (CBS)

Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series

Boardwalk Empire – Jonathan Freeman (Episode: “Golden Days for Boys and Girls”) (HBO)

  • Game of Thrones – Anette Haellmigk (Episode: “Sons of the Harpy”) (HBO)
  • Game of Thrones – Rob McLachlan (Episode: “The Dance of Dragons”) (HBO)
  • Game of Thrones – Greg Middleton (Episode: “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”) (HBO)
  • Game of Thrones – Fabian Wagner (Episode: “Hardhome”) (HBO)
  • The Good Wife – Fred Murphy (Episode: “The Line”) (CBS)
  • House of Cards – Martin Ahlgren (Episode: “Chapter 29”) (Netflix)

Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie

Bessie – Jeffrey Jur (HBO)

  • American Horror Story: Freak Show – Michael Goi (Episode: “Monsters Among Us”) (HBO)
  • Houdini – Karl Walter Lindenlaub (Episode: “Part 1”) (History)
  • The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe – Chris Manley (Lifetime)

Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming

Virunga – Franklin Dow (Netflix)

  • Citizenfour – Laura Poitras (HBO)
  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief – Sam Painter (HBO)
  • The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst – Marc Smerling (Episode: “Chapter 2: Poor Little Rich Boy”) (HBO)
  • Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck – James Whitaker (HBO)

Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming

Deadliest Catch (Discovery Channel)

  • The Amazing Race (CBS)
  • Life Below Zero (Nat Geo)
  • Project Runway (Lifetime)
  • Survivor (CBS)

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series

Game of Thrones – Katie Weiland (Episode: “The Dance of Dragons”) (HBO)

  • Better Call Saul – Kelley Dixon (Episode: “Five-O”) (AMC)
  • Better Call Saul – Kelley Dixon and Chris McCaleb (Episode: “Marco”) (AMC)
  • Game of Thrones – Tim Porter (Episode: “Hardhome”) (HBO)
  • Mad Men – Tom Wilson (Episode: “Person to Person”) (AMC)

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series

Silicon Valley – Brian Merken (Episode: “Two Days of the Condor”) (HBO)

  • Inside Amy Schumer – Jesse Gordon, Nick Paley, Billy Song, and Laura Weinberg (Episode: “Last Fuckable Day”) (Comedy Central)
  • The Last Man on Earth – Stacey Schroeder (Episode: “Alive in Tuscon”) (Fox)
  • Silicon Valley – Tim Roche (Episode: “Sand Hill Shuffle”) (HBO)
  • Transparent – Catherine Haight (Episode: “Pilot”) (Amazon)

Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie

Olive Kitteridge – Jeffrey M. Werner (Episode: “Security”) (HBO)

  • 24: Live Another Day – Scott Powell (Episode: “10:00 p.m. – 11:00 a.m.”) (Fox)
  • American Crime – Luyen Vu (Episode: “Episode One”) (ABC)
  • Houdini – David Beatty and Sabrina Plisco (Episode: “Part 1”) (History)
  • Wolf Hall – David Blackmore (Episode: “Entirely Beloved”) (PBS)

Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory – Peter Chakos (Episode: “The Comic Book Store Regeneration”) (CBS)

  • 2 Broke Girls – Darryl Bates and Ben Bosse (Episode: “And the Move-In Meltdown”) (CBS)
  • Hot in Cleveland – Ronald A. Volk (Episode: “I Hate Goodbyes”) (TV Land)
  • Mike & Molly – Stephen Prime (Episode: “Fight to the Finish”) (CBS)

Outstanding Picture Editing for Variety Programming

The Colbert Report – Jason Baker (Segment: “Farewell Colbert”) (Comedy Central)

  • Conan – Robert James Ashe, Dave Grecu, and Christopher P. Heller (Segment: “Conan in Cuba”) (TBS)
  • Key & Peele – Phil Davis, Christian Hoffman, and Rich LaBrie (Segment: “Scariest Movie Ever”) (Comedy Central)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Ryan Barger (Segment: “N.S.A. Edward Snowden”) (HBO)
  • Late Show with David Letterman – Andrew Evangelista and Mark Spada (Segment: “Finale Montage”) (CBS)

Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst – Caitlyn Green, Richard Hankin, Shelby Siegel, and Zac Stuart-Pontier (Episode: “Chapter 1: A Body in the Bay”) (HBO)

  • The Case Against 8 – Kate Amend (HBO)
  • Citizenfour – Mathilde Bonnefoy (HBO)
  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief – Andy Grieve (HBO)
  • Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck – Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen (HBO)

Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming

Deadliest Catch – Alex Durham, Josh Earl, and Alexander Rubinow (Episode: “A Brotherhood Tested”) (Discovery Channel)

  • The Amazing Race – Andy Castor, Julian Gomez, Andrew Kozar, Ryan Leamy, Jennifer Nelson, Paul C. Nielsen, and Jacob Parsons (Episode: “Morocc’ and Roll”) (CBS)
  • Project Runway – Andrea Bailey, Jim Bedford, Julie Cohen, Ed Greene, and Jensen Rufe (Episode: “Finale”, Part 2) (Lifetime)
  • Project Runway – Mary DeChambres and Carlos David Rivera (Episode: “Something Wicked This Way Comes”) (Lifetime)
  • Shark Tank – David R. Finkelstein, Terri Maloney, Ed Martinez, Matt McCartie, Matt Stevenson, Andrew Oliver, Nick Staller, and Joel Watson (Episode: “Episode 608”) (ABC)
  • Survivor – David Armstrong, Tim Atzinger, Bill Bowden, Frederick Hawthorne, Evan Mediuch, Joubin Mortazavi, and Plowden Schumacher (Episode: “Survivor Warfare (Worlds Apart)”) (CBS)

What do you think?

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