“It means a great deal to me that a bunch of people who are not already established, who have not had opportunities or connections, are coming up and making stuff that I adore, and that millions of people are watching. I have no idea where [the television industry and the Internet will] meet, but I know it begins here, and the people here are creating the bedrock of what’s going to be not just the new media, but the media. And it’s very exciting for me to be a part of that. You are my heroes.” – Joss Whedon, 3/28/09
I’m totally exhausted, in a happy, hurts-so-good kind of way, after returning to the Bay Area from attending the First Annual Streamy Awards in Los Angeles. That said I want to blurt out a few thoughts about the experience while they’re still buzzing about my over-caffeinated brain.
For those of you not following the world of new media content production and web video, the Streamy Awards are a joint effort between a number of new media companies and the newly-formed International Academy of Web Television. The goal is to create a prestigious, world-class, awards program recognizing excellence in web video.
The big event was Saturday night, following a smaller event on Thursday to present, and honor the recipients of, the Streamy Craft Awards.
Okay slight digression/explanation …
My own attendance at the event was related to the VFX work I did for “The Guild” season 2 finale, and I have to make comment on that. The whole deal started out as a brief email exchange with Felicia Day late last summer. That exchange resulted in an invitation to add a little visual icing to The Guild’s well-baked, multi-tier, layercake of a season (Don’t ask me to explain the baking analogy right now, I’m a bit fried, so just go with it. It’s better than the dwarf-bowling analogy I was thinking of.) That invitation turned into a really great collaboration with Felicia, co-producer Kim Evey, and Director/Editor Sean Becker over the holidays and, ultimately, the last 20 seconds-or-so of the season.
We wound up with an FX sequence that everybody was happy with, was well received, and, most importantly, managed to live up to Felicia’s vision for the show. If that was where things ended, I would have called it a triumph (making a note here: Huge success! 🙂 ) But thanks to “The Guild” fans, who are rockstars all, and the members of the IAWTV, I was honored with a Streamy nomination for Best VFX in a Web Series for the effort (The first one, EVER!)
Working on the show, and the nomination, aside from being one of the highlight of my professional career, afforded me the opportunity to take part in the Streamy Awards festivities along with the rest of the cast and crew of “The Guild”.
BEST. NIGHT. EVER!
Some of the highlights of the evening:
- Finally getting to meet the entire cast and many of the crew of “The Guild“, some of whom I’ve only had email (or World of Warcraft 🙂 ) contact with, and experiencing the evening, and the recognition they received for all that hard work, with them, in the audience
- Sandeep Parikh and Felicia opening the show, and Sandeep’s bit with the video cam … Felicia: “Follow me on Twitter!”
- Sitting close enough to Joss Whedon to count his neck hairs (which I didn’t do because, well, gross, but I could have …)
- Neil Patrick Harris, the consummate comedian, accepting his award for Best Actor in a Comedy Web Series for “Dr. Horrible” and providing the revelation that Nathan Fillion “pads his junk” (Getting the feeling that this feigned antipathy is going to turn into a running gag with these two)
- Jeff Lewis’ acceptance of the Best Ensemble Cast award for “The Guild“, and his musings on person, or persons, unnamed, getting recognized in bath houses in Seattle because of the show
- Joss Whedon’s acceptance speech for Best Directing for “Dr. Horrible“
- Patric Verrone, from the WGA, making one of the funniest presentation speeches of the night (still wondering if he wrote it himself)
- Felicia Day’s “square peg” acceptance speech giving thanks to all of the humanity-crushing, soul-devouring forces at work in the Hollywood machine who, for various reasons, have rejected her for parts over the years, giving her the inspiration to go out and create her own show … delivered with her characteristic sweetness and in a way that made the irony all the more delicious
- Zadi Diaz’s inspired commentary on the night.
- Joss billing himself as the “outsider” coming from traditional media and giving props to Felicia as his web mentor … Total class
- The Fine Brothers short on “How to Make a Streamy Nominated Web Series” (Short answer from “Ask a Ninja”: Create a “a show about a troop of MMORPG players who are being documented while they are in college but then they are sucked into the game they’re playing … and it should be a musical” and then cast Felicia Day.) One of the best videos of the night.
- Guild producer Kim Evey, who was out of town for the weekend, being present in the form of her alter-ego, Kiko, from “Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show” also courtesy of the Fine Brothers
- Jane Espenson’s hat-and-liver analogy comparing web video to traditional television (and just seeing her there, as she wrote most of my favorite, non-Joss, “Buffy” episodes)
- “The Guild” winning Best Comedy Web series up against very, very, stiff competition from “Dr. Horrible“
- Lisa Kudrow riffing up a storm while presenting the Audience Choice Award
- “Dr. Horrible” winning the Audience Choice Award
- Following a car with Nebraska plates on the line for the after-party parking and thinking, “Geez, that must be Brigitte Dale …”, and it was (her video blog rocks)
- While still on the party-parking line, having Zoe Bell cross the street right in front of my car and thinking, for a fleeting moment, how cool it would be to get a picture of her on the hood of my car (okay, people, both of you out there who saw “Grindhouse” got that … I wasn’t being weird … much)
The whole event was meticulously planned, with every detail handled in a way that conveyed to all that this was a major, prestigious, awards event. There were some glitches with the live video streaming but, given the newness of the event, and how quickly they were able to put this together, all major props are owing to the IAWTV and the show’s sponsors. This is Year One folks, the Oscars have had over 80 years to get their act together. I’m looking forward to seeing where the Streamys are in 10.
Thursday Night’s craft awards were held at the Crocker Club in downtown L.A., which is an interesting place … an old-time bank building that has been converted into a nightclub. The reception and awards where held in what used to be the vault area of the bank. And no, I’m not making jokes about the craft awards being held in a basement. Not me. Not gonna’ do it. Won’t go there. (But I laughed like hell at the jokes made on Saturday night about the location. See the video for further reference.)
“Dr. Horrible” was the big winner on the craft awards side, taking home the Streamys for Editing, Cinematography, and Jed Whedon’s Original Music. TikiBar TV won the honor for Art Direction, and Best VFX went to Indy Mogul’s Backyard VFX.
So that was the First Annual Streamys, and what a time it was. Now it’s time for the suits and gowns to go back into the closet, and to start gearing up the creativity for next year … and for me to ditch the worsted wool and find some fabric that breaths cause, damn …