Recently I published an article on the 2012 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Special Visual Effects. In doing so, I unwittingly overlooked the fact that this year — for the first time — the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has split the Visual Effects Emmy Award into two categories: The Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role. This distinction is important, as there is a tremendous amount of artistry involved in creating both types of FX, but the visual effects that exist to imperceptibly enhance storytelling are often overlooked; the more skillfully done, the less we notice them — and the less likely we are to appreciate the work that went into their creation.
Mark Spatny, Governor of the Special Visual Effects Peer Group at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, reached out to inform me of the new category breakdown.
"Outstanding Special Visual Effects, which you covered, is a category specific to the traditional 'in your face' kind of effects," he said. "This is the category where shows featuring space ships, superhero powers, CG creatures, giant robots, large scale military battles, and similar effects compete. These are the effects that are designed to catch your attention. The category you overlooked was Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role. These are the effects that are designed to be invisible. Typically, they involve set extensions for period environments. In this category, the artists pride themselves on their work NOT being noticed by the audience."
Mark went on to express his disappointment with the new category's poor coverage in the press. "Their work is not [being] recognized by our industry press. The work in CG environments for shows like Boardwalk Empire and The Borgias is every bit as difficult, and requires just as much visual effects expertise as the work done on FX-driven shows like Falling Skies and Game of Thrones. They just serve a very different purpose in the context of the narrative."
As a supporter of the visual effects community in general and visual effects artists in specific, I'm happy to correct my mistake and help promote the work of these talented VFX professionals. Below are the nominees for the 2012 Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.
1. Boardwalk Empire - Georgia Peaches (HBO)
Dave Taritero, VFX Supervisor; Robert Stromberg, VFX Designer; Richard Friedlander, VFX Producer; Eran Dinur, VFX Supervisor; David W. Reynolds, Compositing Supervisor; Matthew Conner, Digital Matte Painter; Austin Meyers, Digital Compositor; Jonathan Dorfman, 3D Artist; Steve Kirshoff, Special Effects Supervisor
2. The Borgias - The Choice (Showtime)
Doug Campbell, Visual Effects Supervisor; Bill Halliday, Visual Effects Producer; Luke Groves, Visual Effects Technical Producer; Kirk Brillon, Compositing Supervisor; Steve Ramone Gordon, Compositing Lead; Jim Maxwell, Matte Painter Supervisor; Irit Hod, CG Lighting Lead; Tim Sibley, FX Supervisor; Adam Jewett, Visual Effects Production Manager
3. Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO)
Chris Morley, Visual Effects Supervisor; Kip Larsen, Visual Effects Producer; Nathan Abbot, Compositing Supervisor; Chris Paizis, Matchmove Supervisor
4. Bones - The Twist In The Twister (FOX)
Christian Cardona, Visual Effects Supervisor; Andy Simonson, Visual Effects Producer; Buddy Gheen, Compositor; Beau Janzen, 3D Artist; Ulysses Argetta, Compositor; Heather Fetter, Compositor
5. Touch - Pilot (FOX)
Tony Pirzadeh, VFX Producer; Mark Spatny, VFX Supervisor; Nicole Zabala, VFX Coordinator; Christopher D. Martin, Lead Digital Compositor; Kristin Johnson, Lead Matte-Painter; Whitman Lindstrom, Matte Painter; Diego Galtieri, Digital Compositor; Meliza Fermin, Digital Compositor; Anthony Ocampo, 3D Artist
6. Breaking Bad - Face Off (AMC)
William Powloski, Visual Effects Supervisor-Producer; Greg Nicotero, Special Makeup Effects Designer; Bruce Branit, CGI Supervisor; Werner Hahnlein, Special Effects Coordinator; Steve Fong, Senior Compositor; Sean Joseph, CG Artist; Matthew Perin, Lead Compositor
Congratulations to all of the nominees! The 2012 Creative Arts Emmys will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Nokia theater LA LIVE in Los Angeles. I'll be at the ceremony representing VFXG - If you're there, feel free to stop me and say hello! For those who can't make it to the ceremony: Watch the highlights on Saturday, September 22, at 8:00 ET/PT on the ReelzChannel.
Thanks to Mark Spatny for bringing this oversight to my attention!
Emmy Award image copyright The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
The Borgias image copyright Showtime and SpinVFX
Boardwalk Empire logo copyright HBO
Hemingway & Gellhorn logo copyright HBO
Touch image copyright FOX
Breaking Bad image copyright AMC