2012 Creative Arts Emmys: ‘Justified,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘American Horror Story’ and ‘Downton Abbey,’ Among Winners

emmy banner

A week before the big awards are doled out at the Emmys, the technical awards and guest actors are being honored Saturday at the Nokia Theatre LA for the Creative Arts Emmys, which will air an edited special on the Reelz network, Sept. 22 at 8pm.

Among some of the winners already announced are HBO’s Game of Thrones for Outstanding Costumes for a Series, Showtime’s Homeland for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Girls for a Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, and HBO’s Game Change for Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or Special.

AMC’s The Walking Dead and Greg Nicotero‘s team of makeup artists for Outstanding Prosthetics and Makeup, Hatfields & McCoys for Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries or MovieDownton Abbey for Hairstyling for TV Series, NBC’s Smash for Outstanding Choreography, Downton Abbey for Outstanding Music Composition Dramatic Score and American Horror Story for Hairstyling for a Miniseries.

Shocking many was Jeremy Davies who took home an Emmy for Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work as Dickie Bennett in Justified. He beat out stiff competition from Breaking Bad’s Mark MargolisParenthood’s Jason RitterThe Good Wife’s Dylan Baker and Michael J. Fox, and Mad Men‘s Ben Feldman.

Kathy Bates took home the Emmy for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for her work in Two and a Half Men. She beat out Elizabeth Banks in 30 RockMargaret Cho as Kim Jong-il in 30 RockDot-Marie Jones in Glee and Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph who each hosted Saturday Night Live.

HBO’s critical favorites, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones tied for Outstanding Art Direction for a Single Camera Series; both series also took the Hollywood magic awards Thrones for Special Visual Effects and Empire for Visual Effects in a Supporting Role. 

2 Broke Girls won Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series, and there was another tie for Art Direction for Variety or Nonfiction Program by The 54th Grammy Awards and the 65th Tony Awards.

Editing Awards went to Homeland (for Drama Series beating Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Downton Abbey), Curb Your Enthusiasm (for Single-Camera Comedy beating Modern Family and 30 Rock) How I Met Your Mother (for Multi-Camera Comed), and Hatfields & McCoys (for Mini-Series or Movie). Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming went to Deadliest Catch.

Fans of animated series might be surprised to see that Penguins of Madagascar won for Outstanding Animated Program, beating out American Dad, The Simpsons, Futurama, and Bob’s Burgers. Futurama’s Maurice LaMarche took home another Emmy for Outstanding Voice Performance.

Commercial nerds will be a bit disappointed to know that Target’s “Color Changes Everything”, Chrysler’s “It’s Halftime in America” and Volkswagen’s “The Bark Side” and “The Dog Strikes Back” Star Wars parodies were beaten by Procter & Gamble’s “Best Job” commercial.

Other awards given out were:

Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series: Jeff Greenberg (Modern Family), Jennifer Euston (Girls), Julie Tucker (Nurse Jackie), Benard Telsey (The Big C), Seth Yanklewitz, Michael Nicolo, Anya Colloff, and Juel Bestrop (New Girl), and Allison, Jennifer Euston, and Pat Moran (Veep).

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Jimmy Fallon for Saturday Night Live, Bobby Cannavale for Nurse Jackie, Will Arnett for 30 Rock, Greg Kinnear for Modern Family and Jon Hamm for 30 Rock.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Kathy Bates for Two and a Half Men, Melissa McCarthy for Saturday Night Live, Maya Rudolph for Saturday Night Live. Margaret Cho for 30 Rock, Dot-Marie Jones for Glee and Elizabeth Banks for 30 Rock.

Outstanding Cinematography for Multi-Camera Series: Gary Baum for Mike & Molly, Steven V. Silver for Two and a Half Men, Gary Baum for 2 Broke Girls, Chris LaFountaine for How I Met Your Mother, and John Simmons for Pair of Kings (Disney XD).

Outstanding Single-Camera Editing for Comedy Series: Ryan Case for Modern Family, Steven A. Rasch for Curb Your Enthusiasm, Steven A. Rasch for Modern Family, Ken Eluto for 30 Rock and Leap Day for 30 Rock.

Outstanding Multi-Camera Editing for Comedy Series: Peter John Chakos for The Big Bang Theory, Joseph Bella for Two and a Half Men, Darryl Bates for 2 Broke Girls, Mark Alan Dashnaw for Hot in Cleveland, and Sue Federman for How I  Met Your Mother.

Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Half-Hour Comedy or Drama Series: Tom Stasinis, Dennis Kirk, and Todd Orr for Entourage; Stephen A. Tibbo, Brian R. Harman and Dean Okrand for Modern Family; Jan McLaughlin and Peter Waggoner for Nurse Jackie; Robert Palladino, Martin Brumbach, Josiah Gluck and William Taylor for 30 Rock; and John Cook, Steve Morantz, Peter Nusbaum for Parks and Recreation.

Blast Off #5: Animated Prime Time & The 2012 TV Schedule

The fifth Team Focus Blast Off is here, featuring Ernie Estrella and Mo Fathelbab.

buzzfocus blast off tv 2012 animated prime timeIn this podcast, we discuss the growing landscape for animated prime time TV shows, starting with old time favorites like The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama and Robot Chicken to newer series including The Looney Tunes Show, Thundercats, Archer, Young Justice and Allen Gregory.

We then shift our attention over to the 2012 TV show and check out some of the new shows coming in 2012, like HBO’s Luck and Showtime’s House of Lies, as well as returning favorites like Justified, Game of Thrones, Shameless and many more.

Check out the latest podcast and enjoy!

Click here to listen to the Team Focus Blast Off. Click here to Subscribe to our Podcast on iTunes.

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder Review (Blu-Ray)

The pop culture animated sensation is back with its fourth straight to dvd (blu-ray) release. “Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder” reunites all your favorite Planet Express characters with an irreverent look at the future of New Mars Vegas.

futurama wild greenWhen Leo Wong decides it’s time to build a bigger and better Vegas, the Planet Express crew is ricocheted into an all-new adventure that delivers an age-old battle of the sexes. It’s the women versus the men as Amy Wong, Leela, and LeBarbara join the eco-feminist movement to maintain inter-planetary life. Meanwhile, Fry discovers he has the power to read minds, and gets snagged into an underground-secret society charged with the protection of the Universe. His new found power will have him caught in the middle of the war between his friends.

As for Bender, he’s doing what he does best: engaging in lewd activities and loving every minute of it. Bender will raise the stakes on debauchery when he decides to make a play for the Don-Bot’s main squeeze.

“Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder” is the fourth and last feature-length Futurama epic. The movie is filled with tons of laughs, pop culture references and eye-popping animation – best viewed on Blu-Ray. However, like it’s three predecessors, “Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder” comes up short on lasting appeal. The movies were designed to be cut up into your standard 22-minute block segments should they later be aired on TV. Unfortunately, designing the movies with this in mind resulted in four features that were all less than epic. Don’t get me wrong, “Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder” is still funny and you will laugh. But, these movies just weren’t conceptualized right.

On the positive side, the end of this feature does hint at the return of more Futurama. So, with “Into the Wild Green Yonder” being considered the final home-release feature, maybe we’ll see a true theatrical release or a return to TV for the Planet Express gang.

Futurama once again succeeds where educational television would fail. Here me out. In educational television, facts and problems are forcefully drilled into your head dogmatically. Futurama takes the nonchalant approach to exposing human error, in a way that mirrors the great literary poets like Chaucer. Instead of directly telling audiences what’s wrong with society, Groeling’s Futurama points out important issues through comedy. So while you’re getting your laugh on, you are also reminded that some issues, if left unaddressed, will still be a problem for future generations. Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder touches on several issues from species extinction to the ongoing feminist movement.

Older fans will get a kick out of pop culture references, like the use of the 80s song “Hungry Like a Wolf” and of course a special appearance by Snoop Dogg.

The Blu-Ray release is definitely worth it. Unlike the prior three Futurama feature-length releases, Into the Wild Green Yonder feels like it was made for HD TV. The space scenes have exceptionally vibrant visuals.

The Blu-Ray release is packed with tons of special features, which makes this one release worth taking home.

Special Features Include:
– Audio Commentary by Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Patric M. Verrone, Michael Rowe, Lee Supercinski and Peter Avanzino
– Video commentary: Picture-in-Picture (Available on Bonus View Enabled Players)
– Storyboard Animatic: Into the Wild Green Yonder, Part 1
– Docudramarama: How we make Futurama so good
– “Louder, Louder!”: The acting technique of Penn Jillette
– Golden Stinkers: A Treasury of Deleted Scenes
– Matt Groening and David X. Cohen in Space!
– How to Draw Futurama in 10 very difficult steps
– 3-D Models with Animator Discussion
– Bender’s Movie Theater Etiquette
– Zapp Brannigan’s Guide to Making Love at a Woman

Futurama: Into the Wild Green YonderTitle: Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
Starring: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John Di Maggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: February 24, 2009
Rating: 7.5

Interview: Rich Moore of Rough Draft Studios

FuturamaI recently caught up with Rich Moore, Director and Sr. Vice President of Creative Affairs at Rough Draft Studios.

Rich was coming out of a table read for the third episode of the upcoming Fox prime-time series “Sit Down, Shut Up,” created by Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development). The new animated series stars Jason Batemen (Arrested Development), Will Arnett (Arrested Development, 30 Rock), Regina King (The Boondocks, 24), and Henry Winkler (Arrested Development).

Rough Draft recently released the second “Futurama” movie, “Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs,” on June 22 and is scheduled to release a third movie, “Futurama: Bender’s Game,” Nov 4, 2008.

In the interview below, we talk about “Futurama,” “Sit Down, Shut Up,” and the field of animation.

Congratulations on nearly 10 years of Futurama. I’m a big fan of the series, and looking forward to “Bender’s Game.” Are there any plans for a theatrical release of a “Futurama” like “The Simpsons?”

Rich Moore: There’s no talk of it right now, but I would think with the success of “Wall-E” and “The Simpsons” movie that there is money to be made there.

Futurama is a project that is very well suited for a theatrical feature. Personally, I would hope they (studio) would seriously consider that because I think it would make a really great movie.

Not from the standpoint of it would great to work on a movie just to work on it. I think it would have a lot of potential. The audiences would love it. It would be lucrative for the studio. There are a lot of animators who would love to put their heart and soul into a Futurama movie. So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I would love to be a part of a movie like that.

Tell to me about your work on your upcoming animated series for FOX, “Sit Down, Shut Up.”

Rich Moore: We had a table read for episode 3 this morning. The read was hysterical. Great characters and a great script. I just came out of meeting with Mitch (Hurwitz) and Josh Weinstein, who was a showrunner on the Simpsons. They’re sharing the showrunner responsibilities. It’s great to work with Josh again. This is going to be a really big show. The people working on it from top to bottom are fantastic. It’s a different type of show. It’s a situational comedy concept with high school teachers. It’s not family based like “The Simpsons” or “Family Guy.”

The humor is more like “Arrested Development.” A lot of the cast comes from “Arrested Development,” so everyone has an understanding of what Mitch is looking for. It’s different from a lot of stuff that is on TV right now, in prime time animation definitely. I have really high hopes for it. I’m having a great time working on this. It’s a great group of people to work with.

The table read was just the funniest table read I’ve ever heard. It was a killer. High hopes! High hopes, Bags!

Sit Down Shut Up

When can we expect a trailer or teaser?

Rich Moore: I’m not sure what the timeline would be for them. Maybe in the fall, just to keep people reminded. We’re shooting for Spring 09 for the Pilot to air. I think April 09 is when the pilot will air. They’re going to try to get four episodes at the tail end of the spring season and just roll into the fall of 09. As for additional stuff for the audience to see, maybe there will be some kind of teaser in the fall or winter. I’m just speculating.

Today we’re having our first animatic meeting on the pilot with Mitch and Josh. An animatic is a rough cut of animation. The first time we’ll all get a chance to sit down together and watch a visual representation of the episode. Mike and I were late in the hours last night on it. It’s very exciting to see this thing going from Mitch’s concept to Josh coming on board to them shaping it. On the animation end, I’m supervision director on the project. We put together a really great group of animators and directors. And to see everyone’s work to a finish episode is very excited.

But as far as a trailer goes I’m not sure.

Awesome. Could you describe the project life cycle at Rough Draft? How often does Rough Draft come up with their own ideas or is it primarily other studios that approach Rough Draft?

Rich Moore: We’re always working on ideas of our own. The problem is that we’re still an independent studio. We’re always working on the fly. We’re probably the last independent studio working in LA, working on projects like “Futurama” and “Sit Down, Shut Up” which are major network projects. For us we really earn our keep. As far as producing our own stuff we’re still trying to figure out how that works. Not that we won’t do that in the future.

I hope that there is a point when we’ll have more of the means to say; now we’re going to do what we want. There’s nothing wrong with working with other people and collaborating on their vision. And ringing our vision to their vision and making a collective piece of high quality media that is enjoyable to an audience. That’s where we are in the growth of Rough Draft. Not saying that won’t change.

Do you have any advice for fledgling animators and entering the business right out of grad school?

Rich Moore: You’ll get on these big projects, where it feels like, “Am I wearing myself out.” Am I doing the things I want to do?” I literally got out of college 20 years ago. And I realize these are the things I want to do. Futurama is the type of thing I always dreamed about working on as a teenager. I’m working with people I respect. Their humor and sensibility in filmmaking, I love and I want to be a part of.

Remember the things you want to do and just keep those things focused. Even though it doesn’t feel like your doing them, you’re doing them. It’s possible to do those things you always dreamed about. It may not be the same way you thought. It may take a while, but you’ll realize if you take a moment that it happened. Keep doing it and it will happen.