June 10, 2018 at 6:16 am #1202562045
I have been in the forum for ten years and writing for Gold Derby the last five. I went down to Los Angeles last week, finally met the gang in person and Chris generously organized for me to go to a bunch of events. Thanks so much also to Tom and Paul for the amazing time.June 10, 2018 at 6:17 am #1202562046
Having witnessed it firsthand now, I have a different take on what Emmy campaigning means. I saw literally hundreds of FYC billboards while I was there, which was really cool. Whether the billboards themselves make a difference is of course questionable, but it is probably indicative of what shows the networks are pushing.
I never saw billboards for Game of Thrones or The Looming Tower, but Daniel saw one for each. I had previously read Todd VanDerWerff saying that black-ish was running a strong campaign, but I never saw a billboard. Never saw anything from Starz or for Killing Eve. What was everywhere, especially on the sides of buses, were FYC ads from TruTV (Adam Ruins Everything, whatever show Amy Sedaris has and so on). As for shows that actually stand a chance, I saw a lot of GLOW, The Crown, Mindhunter and Ozark. Netflix has so much money. Only saw Stranger Things once though. Others that I saw frequently were Patrick Melrose and The Tale. These two differed in that the billboards explicitly advertised “FYC” and also watching them premiere (new episodes) on television. Every time that I saw a billboard for Godless or The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, it was of a different cast member.
I did not see billboards, but 9-1-1, Atlanta and American Crime Story were on a lot of bus stop benches. Also notable is that I only saw two (gigantic) vertical posters of Catherine Zeta-Jones, but they were in notable locations. One was right outside the Penske office where Gold Derby, Deadline, Variety and IndieWire work. The other was the only FYC advertisement in the tourist-heavy section of Hollywood Boulevard where the Walk of Fame is. Did not see anything else from Lifetime.
The Mindhunter billboards were horrendously designed. “Outstanding Drama Series” is larger than the title and some of the letters are in the title itself are too thin to read if glancing over while driving by. Black and white are the only colours and the leads are silhouettes, so you cannot actually tell that it is Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany. And half of the image appears to be a puddle for some reason.June 10, 2018 at 6:21 am #1202562047
It seems like you had a wonderful time. I’m glad you shared some info with us. Did the trip change anything big in your predictions?June 10, 2018 at 6:26 am #1202562050
Wow, this all sounds amazing, congrats!! Did you have the chance to talk about how to proceed with the slugfests?
Oscar FYC -- Give Viola Davis her second Oscar!June 10, 2018 at 7:31 am #1202562091
The first academy event that I went to was for 13 Reasons Why, but the red carpet was cancelled, presumably as further fallout from Netflix limiting interviews after the latest school shooting. The episode that they screened before the panel was the Mr. Porter-centric episode, which is their writing submission. It had me and others in the audience bawling. Having seen the season previously, I was surprised by how much exposition there was in the episode this time around and I was especially surprised that the episode had no guns, Polaroids or ghost appearances. I had not realized that such an episode from the second season existed. Except for the moderator mostly ignoring Derek Luke, the panel that followed the screening had everything that you would want. Brian Yorkey gave an excellent speech that justified the inclusion of the brutal sodomy in the finale and which brought Miles Heizer, who was sitting next to him, to tears (and it had the same effect on me of course). Then Katherine Langford was on the verge of tears with voice shaking as she explained putting Hannah Baker behind her and Daniel got it on video. It was Emmy bait. I got pictures with Heizer and Luke during the reception. Heizer says that he uses Gold Derby to predict The Voice. I told Luke that he should have won an Emmy for The Americans.
The crowd at the 13 Reasons Why event was suspiciously young. Not so much teenagers, but I do not imagine that there are that many Emmy voters who are close to my age. The Mindhunter crowd that night looked more like Emmy voters and it was a full house this time. During the screening of the finale, Daniel and I interviewed the cast and various department heads. The only ones who were there and did not do interviews were David Fincher and the casting director. I suppose that we also missed Ted Sarandos, who made an unscheduled appearance for pictures, but did not stay for the panel. Gold Derby was the only publication there for interviews (and not just photographs); we had a special section on the red carpet and in the schedule. I told Jonathan Groff that I thought that his performance in the Looking finale was the best of that television season and he said that he would tell Andrew Haigh. In the panel, Fincher recounted a time that they did seventy-five takes on something, although earlier in the story, he started to say twenty. This was a two-part panel, with the first half having the cinematographer, costumer and production designer and the second half having the cast and casting director; Fincher was on for both and there were many jokes about him doing so many takes; he was critical of directors who only do a couple. There was a lot of respect for him though and there seemed to be a subconscious effort to push him through the narrative that he is a master. Cameron Britton got the loudest applause and it is notable that Netflix brought him out, but not two of the five series regulars. I thought that it was cool that they brought out below-the-line people too; it indicates their ambitions for Mindhunter as an Emmy player. This event had the most security of the Netflix events that I attended.
Tony joined us the next day for One Day at a Time; they screened the finale. Rita Moreno kept yelling about how she loved Gold Derby. We were pretty surprised that Norman Lear did a red carpet interview with us. This event was so packed that they gave away our press seats and made us stand. This says a few things to me. Basically, I do not think that we should take these events as illustrative of anything. If a show that was nominated only for multi-camera editing can pack a house, anything can. Also, there were only four hundred seats and half of those are being filled by plus-ones. So there might have been two hundred Emmy voters at each of these events out of twenty-three thousand. And these are not random samples; these are Emmy voters who have at least some interest in these specific shows.
Paul and I were supposed to go to the 9-1-1 event, but went to one for the crafts of The Crown instead. RSVP for this one was not through the academy, so who knows who was there? They got rid of the back and middle sections of chairs for this one. All of these Netflix events were followed by receptions with open bars and free appetizers and desserts in a space that showcased all of their contenders. You really need to just watch Zach’s 108-second video that explores the whole thing. It was amazing. They had the stair car there. You could walk through the Upside Down. One of the bars was a saloon from Godless, complete with 4D stampede effects. There was a car that you could draw dicks on. Zach goes into all of it in the video. What was especially interesting for me was that you could kind of tell what shows they care about by how much space they got. The Grace and Frankie section was essentially just a table in a corner with some vibrators on it. She’s Gotta Have It was basically just a poster on the wall. Most notably absent entirely was The End of the F***ing World. Each event had its own food, with slightly different menus to fit the theme of the relevant show. The events seemed to have the same amount of food though, e.g. the event for the crafts of The Crown seemed to have an endless supply because far fewer attended.
Maybe because Netflix has so many events and they are all in their warehouse, the Homeland event was a bigger deal. It was at the Writers Guild Theater, which has 450 seats. The audience was lively, applauding and laughing throughout the finale—of Homeland, which I did not know was funny. Heard someone after say that the show gets better every season! Was hoping to get some Homeland swag after the swag-free Netflix events (and after seeing the swag that Daniel and Tony got from ABC Day), but there was none. The audience got bags, but it just had dinner in it. None for me though, as I was busy for most of the screening on the red carpet. I interviewed Claire Danes (pregnant), Mandy Patinkin (there with his wife), Lesli Linka Glatter (who remembered me from our Hangout last year) and Howard Gordon (complimented him on 24‘s unparalleled action and he told me off-screen how his kids are now watching the show for the first time). I asked them about the final season and they are unsure. There was a ton of security at this event and the red carpet was a much bigger deal, with much more aggressive photographers. They all shout “Just one more!” before clicking another fifty times. And they complain to the publicists about the stars not looking into their individual cameras. I commented about this to Danes, but she was unfazed; I suppose that she has been doing this my whole life. This event had way too much food and the buffet was all dessert. It was nice to switch to sangria after all of that Netflix white wine, but it meant that I had a new set of bartenders to card me. Patinkin was amazing on the panel, consistently speaking with such passion and emotion. Glatter also did what she does. Danes was just a little bit of an airhead. Gordon sat back, happy to let the others talk. When he did, instead of offering some insight into being one of the most influential writers/producers on television in the last few decades, it was to tell a weird story of little relevant consequence about someone else running for his life from a homeless man.June 10, 2018 at 7:37 am #1202562096
I think Homeland is a dark horse for drama series and could edge out Westworld. But who knows. I still have to watch this season. Can anyone tell me anything bout the ABC event? Did they screen the HTGAWScandal crossover?
Oscar FYC -- Give Viola Davis her second Oscar!June 10, 2018 at 7:56 am #1202562109
Gold Derby gets a bunch of FYC DVDs. Take a look at the Netflix boxes:
Do you see Arrested Development? It is that thin orange one. Voters are not going to notice it. I pulled out the DVD and it only has three episodes on it. The back cover lists categories and I was shocked to find that they are not campaigning it for writing or directing. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is just as thin and right next to it in the box, also with only three episodes. Chris got an email a few days ago from Netflix that listed their ten main program contenders; Arrested Development was not on the list, although Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was. As great as it is that The Crown and One Day at a Time got larger cases and complete seasons included, the ones that we really need to watch out for are the one not pictured here: Godless, GLOW, Mindhunter and Ozark, which were mailed out separately and individually sealed. The side of the Netflix box design is not as deliberate this year. A couple of years ago, it spelled out Netflix when you put the sides of the boxes together; this year, it would seem to be parts of an N, but I connected them and could not make it. It seemed just to be random overlapping parts of the N.
Even worse than having boxes inside of boxes is what CBS did. They went a step further by not labeling their shows on the sides of the cases. See that case that says “Bold”? What it means is Star Trek: Discovery.
In terms of prediction changes that the trip prompted, I am considering adding David Fincher, but then I will have to drop Stranger Things. The screening made me remember how good Homeland was this season, but most Emmy voters were not at the screening, so they have more likely forgotten if they ever watched it at all. By the way, Homeland seems pretty focused on Danes and Patinkin, if the numerous posters that they put up for the reception were any indication. One more thing that I forgot to mention above is that there were no Roseanne billboards—all of the ones that were up were swiftly taken down when the campaign was suspended. One more random tidbit is that I saw the DVD for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and they are only submitting the pilot for writing, directing and editing. The ABC Day had no Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder section. The lineup was black-ish, grown-ish, The Goldbergs, American Housewife, SMILF, The Good Doctor and American Idol.June 10, 2018 at 8:18 am #1202562124
Hey Riley, did you had the chance any sighting of The Americans campaign? By the way, you look just like Ezra Miller a few years back.
FYC: Fleabag Season 2 in ALL categories!June 11, 2018 at 6:54 pm #1202563570
Great reporting Riley – you look like you had lots of fun!!! Quick edit: you met *some of* the gang. OK, as you were 🙂July 15, 2019 at 9:29 pm #1202976672
Chris and Tom had me back this year from May 30th to June 9th! Thanks also to Daniel and Paul for all that they did for me.
I kept a tally this time for every time that I saw an FYC advertisement. I saw about 150. Perhaps what struck me most this year was how scattered Netflix is, between its FYC ads and its FYSEE space, which I will get to later. They had billboards everywhere last year for The Crown, GLOW, Godless, Mindhunter and Ozark. Not only did I seem to see fewer billboards for Netflix this year, despite my trip being longer and covering more geography, but it was also hard to tell what they were pushing. I never saw a GLOW ad, but Chris says that he has seen one. I only saw Ozark bus stop ads in one neighbourhood and no billboards.
I mentioned last year that there were TruTV ads everywhere and that was the case again, except they advertised At Home exclusively this time. I am not sure if the rest of their lineup is on hiatus or if they just gave up on all of their other shows. The other two shows that I saw advertised everywhere were The Daily Show and The Other Two. Right after my Los Angeles trip, I went to New York and it was no surprise that the only shows that I saw ads for there were those three, as well as Corporate, which is also from Comedy Central. The Daily Show‘s ad was always the “Don’t Green Book This One, Guys”. One of the more memorable slogans was for Broad City: “Never Been Nominated”.
One of the worst ads that I saw was for The Late Show, which was another one that tried to be clever and that is appreciated, except it was too wordy. It was something like, “Give Us an Emmy So That We Have Something to Barter with in the Looming End Times”. The worst ads though were for Bodyguard; they gave me major Mindhunter vibes (scroll up). I did see the side of an entire building covered with a Richard Madden ad though. I only saw a few Sorry for Your Loss ads, but they were strategically placed on or near Hollywood Boulevard and were the only other building ads that I saw. Like the Bodyguard ads, they focused more on the lead than the show itself. I met Rich Licata, the granddaddy of Emmy campaigning himself, at the Gold Derby party and learned that he is behind that campaign (and also that he is a handsy guy). All I am the Night ads were similarly just for Chris Pine.
Showtime campaigned mostly on bus benches and banners on the sides of buses; their ads were all focused on individuals instead of shows, e.g. Sacha Baron Cohen, Maggie Siff, Jim Carrey. I only saw two Showtime billboards, one for Patricia Arquette and the other a joint one for both Paul Dano and Benicio Del Toro. Also on many bus benches were Netflix stand-up specials and A Very English Scandal. I saw very little from Lifetime, but they again have the billboard that is right outside the Variety/Deadline/IndieWire/Gold Derby office. It was Cocaine Godmother last year and Surviving R. Kelly this year. Vida was the only Starz show that I saw advertised. I saw nothing from ABC. I saw Fleabag and Killing Eve each only once. The latter was right across from Better Call Saul, so I guess AMC bought that corner. HBO again did not play favourites, like I saw My Brilliant Friend once, but Game of Thrones only twice. If you have been keeping track of HBO’s mailers and magazine ads over the years, you know that their ads have a template.July 16, 2019 at 3:57 am #1202976989
I loved the Bodyguard posters. Madden looks super intense and the posters are certainly attention grabbing. Why do you not like them?
They are certainly much better than the awful “Cocain Godmother” ones for poor Catherine Zeta-Jones lol.
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