Looking at the lineup of nominees for the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, you’re quickly reminded of the amount of choices we have for quality programming on network and cable television. The best series are continuing to break new ground in writing, directing, visual effects, and performances, with some of the year’s most gripping entertainment from any medium being found on the air.
We’re also proud to see that a large number of Full Sail graduates helped to produce many of the standouts from the previous season of television – including nominees for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, and the top acting prizes for both comedy and drama.
The network garnering the most nominations this year was HBO, a longtime leader in original programming, recognized for four of their recent breakout hits – Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Girls, and the original movie Game Change.
The drama Boardwalk Empire featured grads in positions like set dresser (Tara Boccia; Film, 1996), sound designer (Ruy Garcia; Recording Arts, 1992), digital compositor (Kelsey Randle; Digital Arts & Design, 2010), and sound re-recordist (Paul Tirone; Recording Arts, 2005). Game of Thrones also had four alumni working on its postproduction team, as digital media assistant (Paul Finchbaugh; Recording Arts, 1992), ADR recordist (Paul Tirone), foley editor (Brett Voss; Recording Arts, 2003), and matchmove artist (Zhou Zhang; Computer Animation, 2008).
2003 Film grad Julia Sage was location assistant for Girls, one of the year’s most buzzed-about new series, with nominations in such categories as Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Game Change, multiple nominee for the Miniseries or Movie categories, also saw the work of grads Bryan Carrigan as digital score recordist (Recording Arts, 1991;), Chris Fogel as music scoring mixer (Recording Arts, 1996), and Todd Norton as rigging best boy (Film/Digital Arts & Design, 2000).
HBO’s sister network Showtime was recognized for their comedy Nurse Jackie, which Tara Boccia (Film, 1996) worked on in the props department. The cable network’s other major contender is Homeland, nominated in categories like Outstanding Lead Actor and Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The acclaimed newcomer included the efforts of Film graduates Patrick Borowiak (1992; first assistant camera) and Evan Showler (2010; location assistant).
AMC is another a strong competitor for their creative and evocative programming, with shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad scoring multiple Emmy nominations. Both series featured Full Sail alumni, including 2003 Film graduate Sharla Cipicchio who served as second camera assistant: “b” camera on Mad Men, while 2010 Film grads Bryan P. Jones and Lani Wasserman acted as additional set production assistants for Breaking Bad’s powerful fourth season.
Five grads were also credited on FX’s American Horror Story. The gripping anthology series became a hit when it debuted in late 2011, and its first season included efforts from Chris Cotterman (Film 2004; Grip), Cesar Davila-Irizarry (Recording Arts, 2007; theme song), Judah Getz (Recording Arts, 2006; ADR mixer), Spencer Hutchins (Film, 2009; Second Assistant Camera), and Eric Kovtun (Film, 2005; Production Coordinator).
The national networks also saw grads credited on their high-profile nominees. This includes Rory Ambron (Recording Arts, 2003) as sound mixer on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, Lucas McGough (Film, 2007) as prop assistant and Michael Jay (Film, 2010) as logger on CBS’s The Amazing Race and Toby Miller (Film, 2005) as electrician on the webisodes for NBC’s sharp comedy 30 Rock.
Additionally, grads contributed to the broadcasts for the 84th Annual Academy Awards and 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction – both nominees for Picture Editing for Short-Form Segments and Variety Specials. The Oscar ceremony featured Ben Folts (Film, 2002) as editor, Geoff Knight (Film, 2006) as lighting technician, and Nate Selvidio (Show Production/Music Business BS, 2009) as post-production assistant. Ben Folts also acted as editor for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame broadcast.
This is only a sampling of this year’s Emmy nominees, as well as the Full Sail alumni working throughout the television industry on groundbreaking projects. The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, September 23 at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST, and we’ll report back with a full update of winning projects and our graduates credited in their production.