Winners Aglow In Soft Spotlight

Sep 19, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Announcers stumbled over names. Graphics were decidedly low-tech. Presenters were unaware whether award recipients were actually present. In other words, it was pretty clear that the Creative Arts Emmy Awards held earlier this month is the less prominent of the prime-time Emmy ceremonies.

And yet, a certain air of quiet efficiency permeated the show, which was reasonably paced (67 awards given in four hours) and featured only the barest hint of the microphone-hogging and grandstanding typical at larger award shows.

The Creative Arts Emmys honor technical achievements in television. The event also comprises some artistic categories that are considered too minor for inclusion in the live broadcast ceremony.

At the main Emmy event, the Primetime Emmy Awards, winners don’t often thank their favorite products, which outstanding music direction winner Michael Kosarin did when he thanked Apple’s video conferencing software iChatAV.

And winners are less likely to hold up their trophies and declare, “We promised the academy we would not make a bong out of this,” as Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney did after winning an award for outstanding music and lyrics for Showtime’s “Reefer Madness.”

Casual was the theme of the evening. After making a goof while reading the TelePrompTer, emcee George Lopez drew one of the biggest laughs of the night by shrugging it off.

“What? We’ll fix it in post,” he said, addressing an off-stage authority. “I can say ‘f**k’ and you’ll fix it.” Looking into the camera, Mr. Lopez muttered, “Always a white man keeping us down.”

Backstage in the press tent, accommodations also reflected the lesser status of the awards, with a modest pack of reporters jammed shoulder to shoulder watching the ceremony on a 27-inch monitor. Only a handful of winners and presenters came back to face the press, such as presenter Anne Heche, who gave hints about her upcoming stint on FX’s “Nip/Tuck.”

Ms. Heche said her character, Nicki, will be introduced in the sixth episode and will be covered in prosthetics.

“I’m going to be doing something very sexy and very dangerous,” she said. “I’m working very hard to make you not able to recognize me.”

Jamie Bryant, Emmy winner for costume design on HBO’s “Deadwood,” also braved the press tent and gave some insight into how differently men and women react to her period designs.

“Women complain about the corsets; men complain about the big collars and tight pants,” she said.

Jerry Lewis, who received the Governors Award for his annual telethon benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, came back as well, and when questions dried up he left the podium with a declaration of worldly insight.

“This press conference is no different than any press conference in the world,” he said. “Nobody talks.”