“I get why they’ve done it because they want to make sure it’s more movie-length kind of films,” “Bandersnatch” producer Russell McLean responds to Gold Derby (watch the video above) about the new Emmy rule that requires Best TV Movie contenders to be at least 75 minutes in order to qualify for the category. “Bandersnatch” stands to make it three consecutive years that the award will go to “Black Mirror,” with the 2018 Emmy going to the 75-minute episode “USS Callister” from the fourth season and the 60-minute “San Junipero” from the third season winning in 2017.
McLean adds, “The stories always are what [the showrunners] are aiming for and the great thing with Netflix as well is they can be as long as they need to be. They’re not stuck to a TV broadcast slot.” None of the three new episodes of the fifth season that Netflix released this week are long enough to qualify for Best TV Movie at the 2020 Emmys, validating McLean’s assertion that “they’re not written with awards in mind.” The run times of 60 to 70 minutes will presumably force the whole season to compete as a unit in Best Limited Series instead. Although “Black Mirror” has taken the trailblazing approach of submitting only one of its episodes each season in the program race at the Emmys and thus qualifying it as a movie, they are annually nominated for their complete seasons in the Best Limited Series category at the Producers Guild Awards, which shares voters — and procedures generally — with the Emmys.
On the red carpet before a “Bandersnatch” panel geared toward Emmy voters at Netflix’s FYSEE activation space at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles, McLean also speaks about how the manner in which viewers navigated the interactive film differed from crew expectations, as viewers “want to fight against where you’re trying to steer them.” He explains with reference to the film’s first choice point, which presents viewers with the option of accepting a job, “We were definitely steering people towards accepting that and we thought that maybe 90 percent of people would accept the job first time, but actually, that was more like 75.” McLean reveals more broadly, “Most of the time, we’re hoping for more like 50-50 responses.”
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