What’s it like to win an EMMY? A starry ceremony in LA, 200,000 fresh roses and the 45 second dash to collect your gong… But wait – I’m getting ahead of myself here – let’s start at the beginning.
Around January time we posted a piece about MOMOCO’s beautiful title sequence made for the BBC’s Great Expectations adaptation (top video above). It turns out that it was also played out on the US public broadcast station PBS Masterpiece. Further to that they had made another title for an HBO show called Strikeback.(second video below)
The Emmys are widely regarded as the television equivalent of the Oscars. The ceremony took place in LA on the 15th September and was broadcast live on ABC America Both the BBC and HBO entered their respective title sequences in to the Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Main Titles. Amazingly both of their sequences were chosen to be nominees for the award (from a list of about 80 other entries on the longlist). On top of this Momoco also became the first British company ever to be nominated twice in the same year for the award.
I popped in on the Momoco team – Nic Benns, Miki Kato and producer Tom Bromwich to get the scoop. It sounded like an amazing yet alien experience, Nic told me “For a start – although we were at the Primetime Emmy’s – those that celebrate the technical side of TV making – there were still lots of A List stars wandering around – which is always nice!
Although it looks like a night time ceremony – it takes place at 3pm – and goes on for over three hours, without a break – as it is streamed live on the internet. It’s a very sober affair – no alcohol. This is probably just as well as you only get 45 seconds from the time your name is read out to get to the stage and give your acceptance speech – some people were literally running from the back of the auditorium to get theirs in time. They are pretty ruthless with the timings too (there is a timer on the wall) – the feed from the mic is cut dead at 45 secs – so no time for teary acceptance speeches! One of the memorable moments was meeting up with title design legends Garson Yu and Kyle Cooper at the Emmy Nominees party afterwards.”
Here’s a shot of Nic & Tom onstage at the ceremony accepting their award. When I asked them what was next for Momoco, they told me they are working on a new show called Ripper Street, they have just completed a show called Wolfblood for CBBC, as well as just finished working with Dustin Hoffman on the film Quartet and currently designing the opening to BBC’s Christmas film The Lady Vanishes. Additionally they will be doing a session on title design at the UK Promax in Novemeber – which sounds great – and I’m sure they will be able to impart some wise words for those junior designers who also have an eye on winning an Emmy…
You can find behind the scenes material (photos, original storyboards, lost pitches, questions from students) on their facebook page