Trends Coming Out of 2015 International Emmy’s
Spotted at the 2015 International Emmy World Television Festival
By Victoria Prima / Big Apple Studios
This week I dropped by the International Emmy’s at the Sofitel hotel on 44th Street, in midtown Manhattan. Here’s a look at what’s trending in this year’s event.
1. Youth losing its iron grip
“It seems like there is a youth dictatorship in the television industry. We just wanted to bring the balance back”, says Jorge Furtado, executive producer of Sweet Mother TV series (Brazil), 2015 International Emmy winner in Comedy. The TV series follow a lively 85 year old Mrs. Picucha, who always gets into trouble but “enchants everyone with her life lessons.”
Sensitive Skin, another nominee in the same category follows a rediscovery & re-evaluation journey of a woman in her 50s, played by Kim Cattrall (Sex and The City). The show is an American remake of original British series of the same name.
2. Use of green screen in TV and TV movies is exponentially growing
“We used green screen to shoot that powerful scene where 300 local people are running. You can see some of them are armed…” shares Erick Zonca, director of Soldat Blanc (White Soldier), 2015 International Emmy winner in TV Movie/Mini-Series category. “Yes! Yes to green screen”, echoes Colin McKeown, executive producer of Common (BBC), nominated in the same category, “We rented a [place] for about a week and shot the green screen scenes.”
Using green screen is a no-brainer given the significant budget & time reduction in physical set building & set up vs. virtual set, and as a result producers are increasingly using green screen masterfully for dramatic storytelling in TV series.
3. Telling the unknown story behind the well-known one
“Everyone knows World War II, everyone knows the Louvre Museum and the Mona Lisa, but no one knows Jacques Jaujard, the museum’s director at the time and the men whose efforts made possible preservation of the priceless art”, explains creator of The Man Who Saved the Louvre, 2015 International Emmy winner in Arts Programming. This story behind the story follows Jacques Jaujard leading a resistance. The group managed an incredible exfiltration of masterpieces from the museum to save these works from the Nazis.
I must admit though, one thing caught me by surprise–the creators’ decision to make the main character…animated. “He was such a low key person; even though it was only 70 years ago there is no video of him, chronicles or photos, just nothing of this sort. So eventually we decided to make the main character animated. You’ll see there are about 8-9 min of the animation”, which by the way cost executive producer Helene Badinter around EUR 100K ($107K) to make.
Messiah at the Foundling Hospital, another nominee in the Arts Programming is also based on unknown story behind universally famous one–Handel’s Messiah. “It’s a surprising story behind something you think you know”, explains Ben Weston, executive producer. The film re-creates the 1750 performance, a fundraising concert, of Messiah at London’s Founding Hospital that raised crucial funds to save lives of thousands of children and heralded a golden age of philanthropy.