2017 Emmy race for Best One-Hour Single-Camera Cinematography: Dramas contend in revised category

Best One-Hour Single-Camera Cinematography is technically a new Emmy category this year, but all of last year’s Best Single-Camera Cinematography nominees would have been eligible:

  • Bates Motel” season 4: “A Danger to Himself and Others” (John S. Bartley)
  • “Downton Abbey” season 6: “The Finale” (Graham Frake)
  • “Game of Thrones” season 6: “Home” (Gregory Middleton)
  • “Gotham” season 2: “Azrael” (Crescenzo Giacomo Notarile)
  • Homeland” season 5: “The Tradition of Hospitality” (David Klein)
  • “House of Cards” season 4: “Chapter 45” (David M. Dunlap)
  • Winner — “The Man in the High Castle” season 1: “The New World” (James Hawkinson)

The new Best Half-Hour Single-Camera Cinematography category is set to recognize comedies that were overlooked in the defunct Best Single-Camera Cinematography combined category.

Past or present Best Drama Series nominees were nominated exclusively in this category’s predecessor from 2013 to 2015. This is unusual because unlike in most other fields that determine nominees by simple popular votes, cinematography nominees are ultimately determined by a panel that screens clips from submitted episodes — a specified six continuous minutes each, for this category. However, the panel only screens clips from episodes that did reasonably well in a preliminary popular vote.

Because the number of nominees per cinematography category correlates with how cinematography submissions spread across the various categories, there is usually an expanded lineup of seven drama nominees (and reduced lineups of four each for Best Multi-Camera Cinematography and Best Limited/Movie Cinematography). Before this year, the popular vote narrowed each cinematography category to ten, so the panel merely eliminated three dramas. As of this year, the popular vote does not necessarily narrow each cinematography category to ten, which probably means that the panel will consider more clips from submitted episodes in Best One-Hour Single-Camera Cinematography, which has 127 submissions from 100 series.

This allows for the greater possibility of nominations for fringe contenders with exceptional submissions. The American Society of Cinematographers Awards should give some indication as to what these fringe contenders might be. Being an industry organization that shares members with the cinematographers’ branch of the Television Academy, the ASC and Emmys have nominated many of the same dramas for their cinematography.

In recent years, both groups have nominated “Boardwalk Empire,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” “Gotham,” “House of Cards,” “Mad Men” and “The Man in the High Castle.” With the exception of “Bates Motel,” the dramas that the Emmys have nominated in recent years that the ASC has snubbed have been Best Drama Series nominees: “Breaking Bad,” “The Good Wife,” “Homeland” and “True Detective.” The dramas that the ASC has nominated that the Emmys have snubbed have also been ignored in the Emmys’ major categories: “Blindspot,” “Manhattan,” “Marco Polo,” “Outlander,” “Penny Dreadful,” “12 Monkeys,” “Underground” and “Vikings.”

Submissions from top contenders:

“American Gods” season 1
“A Murder of Gods” (Aaron Morton)
“Git Gone” (Darran Tiernan)
“The Bone Orchard” (Jo Willems)

“Bates Motel” season 5
“The Cord” (John S. Bartley)

“The Crown” season 1
“Smoke and Mirrors” (Adriano Goldman)

“The Good Fight” season 1
“Inauguration” (Fred Murphy)

“Gotham” season 3
“The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” (Christopher Norr)
“Red Queen” (Crescenzo Notarile)

“The Handmaid’s Tale” season 1
Pictured: “Offred” (Colin Watkinson)

“Homeland” season 6
“America First” (David Klein)
“Imminent Risk” (Giorgio Scali)

“House of Cards” season 5
“Chapter 64” (David M. Dunlap)
“Chapter 62” (Tim Norman)

“Legion” season 1
“Chapter 1” (Dana Gonzales)
“Chapter 4” (Craig Wrobleski)

“The Man in the High Castle” season 2
“Fallout” (James Hawkinson)
“Land O’ Smiles” (Gozalo Amat)

“Marco Polo” season 3
“Lullaby” (Vanja Cernjul)

“Mr. Robot” season 2
“eps2.0_unm4sk.tc” (Tod Campbell)

“Penny Dreadful” season 3
“The Day Tennyson Died” (John Conroy)
“The Blessed Dark” (Nigel Willoughby)

“Preacher” season 1
“Finish the Song” (John Grillo)
“Pilot” (Bill Pope)

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” season 1
“A Bad Beginning: Part Two” (Bernard Couture)

“Stranger Things” season 1
“The Upside Down” (Tim Ives)

“Underground” season 2
“Minty” (Kevin McKnight)

“Westworld” season 1
“The Original” (Paul Cameron)
“The Bicameral Mind” (David Franco)
“The Well-Tempered Clavier” (Jeffrey Jur)
“Contrapasso” (Robert McLachlan)

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