what a night!!!
we decided to walk to the Emmys last night. it was a distance that, on a normal day in NY, you would cab. we wanted to have some time to take it all in before the show started. looking back just a couple years, a weekend in late April would probably see us off shooting a wedding somewhere and now we were hours away from receiving multiple Emmy’s for our work in A Game of Honor.
stillmotion was nominated for 8 Emmy’s, which we couldn’t help but get excited about, but we went in trying to keep our expectations down. this was out first time at the show and there are a lot of strong entries across all of the categories.
one of the first categories we were nominated in was Outstanding Promo, for the trailer to A Game of Honor. for each category, like most award shows, they announce all the nominees and play a brief clip of each. that’s followed by the winner being revealed from a white envelope. sitting there, waiting for announcement, you’d almost start saying ‘A Game of Honor’ to yourself almost as if hearing it would make it real. and then it happened. they called…
‘A Game of Honor’, everything went fuzzy, and we had won our first Emmy.
Pete Radovich, the director, giving the acceptance speech for the team at the podium
by the end of the night A Game of Honor went home with 3 Emmy’s; outstanding promo (the trailer), outstanding new approaches (web series), and the highlight of the night for most of us, Best Sports Documentary.
A Game of Honor was by far the most challenging piece we have ever been a part of. from the shoots, to the travel schedule, to adapting to a longer form of storytelling – it was a very tiring 8 months, but one that left all of us involved changed forever.
the entire team up on stage when we won for Best Sports Documentary
first and foremost, we have to thank Pete Radovich for taking a chance on us. we certainly weren’t the safest option to shoot his first feature length doc, and i know we didn’t make his life any easier throughout the process, but through it all i know that everybody is so proud of what we did together. more than anybody else, Pete demonstrated such a powerful vision to see through hundreds of shoots, dozens of characters, and a complex web of storylines. from that, he pulled together not just a cohesive storyline, but a very powerful story that delicately balanced humour, emotion, and action, a story that we believe is very special. thank you Pete for the trust you had in us, always pushing to innovate, and for sharing your vision with everybody on the team.
we had a great team at CBS to work with. Steve Karasik produced an incredibly complex film with many moving parts. he also had to ensure the growing pains of us working through out first documentary. through it all, we always got his support and understanding. producing can be one of those under appreciated positions in a large project like like this, but we definitely have a huge thanks to Steve for everything he put in to make this happen and all of the amazing access we got throughout the film.
Steve Karasik, our producer, up on stage representing for our 3rd Emmy of the night
Gareth, Shelby, Lindsey, Carrie, and Mia made a great team of of field producers and broadcast associates, living their life on the road with us, often trying to apologize for extra access we sometimes took without asking, or pushing to get us that extra little bit of time we needed.
Anthony Cortese, the lead editor on the film, had piles of shoots and footage to make his way through. Anthony put the film together beautifully, but getting it to where it was meant crafting piles of scenes and moments that never ended up making the final film for one reason or another. As Gareth often said,we could put together a pretty special film just from what doesn’t make the final doc. i don’t think many people realize the scope of just how much footage and story had to be gone through to get to where the film is, and while that was absolutely a team effort, Anthony was often the last one there and the first one in because anything less and A Game of Honor wouldn’t be what it is.
our team also devoted so much of themselves into making this film happen. while Joyce, Justin and myself shot the majority of the film, it was toughest on Joyce who is based in San Fran and would often travel weekly to the opposite coast for a shoot in West Point or Annapolis. Paul and Ray also came in whenever needed and made it possible for us to cover many different story lines all at one time. it was a long gruelling stretch but everybody gave everything they had, did their best to make the next shoot even better, and happily took on weeks on the road at a time. nobody knows that better than Quenna who moved to New York for about 8 weeks near the end of the film to help on post.
there was also a large network of other shooters across the country that stepped in and helped when we had shoots in their area. Josh, Tim, Jon, Cristina, Joey, Roey, James, and so many others that gave their time to help when and where they could. the biggest addition to the team outside of stillmotion was Davey Finch, a member of the CBS team, who moved to NY from LA and covered shoots that came up last minute any time day or night. Davey has quite a collection of Emmy’s from years past and has shot every major sporting event in this industry. despite such a strong career thus far, he jumped in and joined a team with far less experience, and was always incredibly kind, humble, and helpful in any way he could be.
through it all we made some great friends, became better filmmakers, and shared an incredible experience. a film that started out about an iconic football game, quickly developed into a much deeper story about who these kids are and what they give up. winning these Emmy’s really just validates something that everybody on this team already knew, together we put together something pretty special. we also got word that DVDs and digital versions of the film will hopefully be appearing in the next month – news that rivaled the Emmy wins :)