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The Simpsons and Rome Win Animation and VFX Series Primetime Emmy Awards

THE SIMPSONS and BEFORE THE DINOSAURS won the Animated Programming categories in the 58th Annual Emmy Awards race during the 2005-2006 Creative Arts Primetime Emmys presentation Aug. 19, 2006, for programs and individual achievements at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. THE TRIANGLE and ROME won in the Visual Effects categories.

SIMPSONS co-exec producer Al Jean Was credited for having the best quip of the night when, in his opening onstage remarks he said, I guess this is what happens when you don't mock Scientology, which was the controversial subject matter of the only SOUTH PARK episode entered for Emmy consideration after it was pulled by Comedy Central for a second airing, reportedly worried about offending Tom Cruise. Long time voice of SOUTH Parks chef, Issac Hayes, a Scientologist quit the show in protest. THE SIMPSONS have taken a few humorous jabs Scientology without backlash, not even from voice of Bart Simpson, Nancy Cartwright, also a Scientologist.

SIMPSONS supervising director David Silverman, accepting his fourth Emmy, said he thought it was one of the strongest animated episodes of the long running series the crew had put together in some time.

BEFORE THE DINOSAURS, produced by Impossible Pictures with animation by Framestore in London, has won six Emmys now for this line of specials, which started with WALKING WITH DINOSAURS. The entire show is done in keyframe animation -- no animatronics or mocap involved. Hardware and programs have gotten easier to use over the years, the show is now done on PCs using Shake, Maya and Mental Ray with Photoshop for textures. The new tools have not decreased the amount of time it takes them to turn out a show because they do more, such as increase the action, fights and death scenes in a show.

Mike Mine, director of animation on the show told AWN/VFXWORLD that Framestore prefers to use conventional animators and train them to work in 3D, because they understand the drama that needs to be conveyed by the characters. Their latest effort is PREHISTORIC PARK, a look at what would happen if prehistoric animals were placed in a futuristic zoo, which is airing on the BBC and will air on Animal Planet in the U.S.

The crew on ROME had just finished working on the sixth episode of the next season, involving a battle of 2000,000 warriors they are creating from a reference of 50. While on stage, vfx supervisor Joe Pavlo took out his small digital camera to snap photos of lead vfx supervisor James Madigan accepting this award along with vfx coordinator Anna Panton.

THE TRIANGLE was achieved using a remarkable business model. Producer/vfx supervisors Marc Weigert and Voker Engel create their own company for each production, obtaining the space, hardware and software and crew to do the vfx in-house. When completed, the facility is disbanded and the equipment sold on E-bay for about half a million dollars in three days, said Weigert. They said it gives them greater control of the production, they avoid paying high overhead costs for themselves or for an outside effects house and they accomplish more with a smaller crew. It also frees them to change people more easily to suit a production and change the tools for each productions special needs. Weigert and Engel are developing a new project under their Uncharter Territory shingle in Los Angeles.

Many big stars where on hand to present categories for the crafts and voice actor Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob SquarePants) was given the entire animation category, which was the second to last group of awards for the evening. He was sorely tempted to run off with the voice performance Emmy, when Kelsey Grammer did not turn up to accept his award. Individual Achievement in Animation winner Jarek Szyszko, animator for CLASSICAL BABY 2 was not on hand either. But Sarah E. Meyer, stop-motion animator on ROBOT CHICKEN, was thrilled to accept her award. She has been working in the field for about eight years.

Long-time vet Frederick Gardner, background key designer for THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUNIPER LEE, picked up his second consecutive Emmy for individual achievement. While the other winners had not submitted their own work, he got studio permission to make his own submission. He said he believes carefully putting together your best work speaks to the animation peer group jurists better than those packaged by a studio coordinator.

On the other hand, Bryan Arnett, winner for his character designs for ESCAPE FROM CLUSTER PRIME, had not made his own submission. In fact, this was his first job, having graduated Cal Arts two years ago; he toiled around at odd jobs before getting the opportunity on the special. Arnett has been out of work since May, but an Emmy in hand on his first professional work will hopefully open a few more doors in what he sees is a pretty closed industry.

Another industry vet, Mike Diederich, storyboard artist on THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY & MANDY, had no idea Cartoon Network Studios had submitted his work and was thrilled to win his first Emmy. He admitted he feared it might all turn to be a tremendous hoax until he was called to the stage by Kenny and handed his statuette to accept and hold.

The Awards ceremony will air as a two-hour special on E! Entertainment Television on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 8:00-10:00 pm. Emmys in 27 other categories will be presented at the 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006, 8:00 pm over the NBC Television Network at the Shrine Auditorium.

The complete list of animation, visual effects, main title design and commercial winners is as follows:

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PROGRAM (FOR PROGRAMMING ONE HOUR OR MORE) (Area Award: Possibility of one, more than one or, if none has a majority approval, no award.)BEFORE THE DINOSAURS * Discovery Channel * AnImpossible Pictures production in association withDiscovery ChannelAdam Kemp, Executive ProducerTim Haines, Executive ProducerGaynelle Evans, Executive ProducerFiona Walkinshaw, Executive Producer of ComputerAnimationWilliam Sargent, Executive Producer of Computer AnimationChloe Leland, Producer/DirectorGreg Smith, ProducerMichael Olmert, WriterMike Milne, Director of Computer Animation

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PROGRAM (FOR PROGRAMMING LESS THAN ONE HOUR)THE SIMPSONS * The Seemingly Neverending Story * FOX * Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox TelevisionJames L. Brooks, Executive ProducerMatt Groening, Executive ProducerAl Jean, Executive ProducerMatt Selman, Executive ProducerCarolyn Omine, Executive ProducerTim Long, Executive ProducerJohn Frink, Co-Executive ProducerDon Payne, Co-Executive ProducerDana Gould, Co-Executive ProducerKevin Curran, Co-Executive ProducerJ. Stewart Burns, Co-Executive ProducerMichael Price, Co-Executive ProducerBill Odenkirk, Co-Executive Producer/WriterJoel H. Cohen, Co-Executive Producer/WriterLaurie Biernacki, Animation ProducerRick Polizzi, Animation ProducerIan Maxtone-Graham, Written byDavid Silverman, Supervising DirectorRaymond Persi, DirectorShannon OConnor, Assistant DirectorRichard Gasparian, Animation Timer

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS FOR A SERIES ROME * The Stolen Eagle * HBO * HBO Entertainment inassociation with the BBCBarrie Hemsley, Visual Effects ProducerJames Madigan, Visual Effects SupervisorJoe Pavlo, Visual Effects SupervisorDuncan Kinnaird, Lead Visual Effects CompositorDan Pettipher, CGI SupervisorMichele Sciolette, CGI SupervisorCharles Darby, Lead Matte ArtistClare Herbert, Visual Effects CoordinatorAnna Panton, Visual Effects Coordinator

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A SPECIAL THE TRIANGLE * Part 1 * Sci Fi Channel * Bad Hat HarryProductions and Electric EntertainmentMarc Weigert, Visual Effects SupervisorVolker Engel, Visual Effects SupervisorIngo Putze, Lead Visual Effects CompositorRobin Graham, Visual Effects Compositing TechnicalDirectorTodd Sheridan Perry, Senior CG Technical DirectorConrad Murrey, Lead CG AnimatorSam Khorshid, CG AnimatorPaul Graff, Visual Effects CompositorBen Grossman, Visual Effects Compositor

OUTSTANDING COMMERCIALREQUIRED READING - Hallmark The Institute for the Development of Enhanced PerceptualAwareness, Production CompanyLeo Burnett Chicago, Ad Agency

STICK - FedEx Partizan, Production CompanyBBDO New York, Ad Agency

Included in the awards presentation were the previously announced winners in Individual Achievement in Animation:

Outstanding Voice-Over PerformanceKelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob, THE SIMPSONS, episode: The Italian Bob FOX; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television

Outstanding Individual Achievement in AnimationJarek Szyszko, AnimatorCLASSICAL BABY 2, segment: The Hippo DanceHBO; HBO Original Programming

Sarah E. Meyer, AnimatorROBOT CHICKEN, episode: Easter BasketCartoon Network; ShadowMachine Films

Frederick Gardner, Background Key DesignerTHE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUNIPER LEE, episode: Adventures in BabysittingCartoon Network; Cartoon Network Studios

Bryan Arnett, Character DesignerESCAPE FROM CLUSTER PRIMENickelodeon; Nickelodeon Studios

Shannon Tindle, Character DesignerFOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS, episode: Go Goo GoCartoon Network; Cartoon Network Studios

Mike Diederich, Storyboard ArtistTHE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY & MANDYCartoon Network; Cartoon Network Studios

The TV Academy's Governors Award was presented to mtvU, MTVs 24-hour college network, for the outlet's Sudan Campaign which for the past two years has been informing and empowering college students to help stop the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The following are the recipients of plaques for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development: Vid-Wave Boxx (BOXX Communications, Llc.) First and only digital point to multi-point video transmission system for video assist and camera monitoring. The most important benefit of the invention is that it is safer for camera operators, because the power output is equivalent to a Wi-FI card on a laptop rather than microwave transmitters that are legally used only if they are on the side of a building - not on a camera 10 inches away from the cameraman's head. Plaques go to Scott Walker, Mark Walker, Jeff Watts, Scott Noe, Richard Brooker.

Quad-Split (Harry D. Flagle) Patented in 1962, enables viewing of four film or video cameras on one monitor. Plaque goes to Harry D. Flagle.Also previously announced were the winners of the 2005 Interactive Television Emmy Awards:

Outstanding Achievement for Program Specific Enhanced or Interactive Television:TiVo Service, TiVo, Inc. 2005-2006Jim BartonThe TiVo service advances the state of the interactive arts and sciences by providing a simple, smart, and connected new way for people to enjoy television and much more. TiVo also provides subscribers a powerful search engine to find and automatically record their favorite shows and even discover new shows that match their interests. The TiVo service seamlessly connects consumers to the digital entertainment they want, where and when they want it.

Outstanding Achievement for Non-Program Specific Enhances or Interactive Television for a Channel, Network or Service:ABC.com Full Episode Streaming PlayerABC.COMAlbert Cheng, Bruce Gersh, Alexis RapoConventional wisdom dictated that it was not possible to provide high bit-rate streaming video, over the Internet, to large numbers of people simultaneously, while maintaining consistent quality and doing so in a cost-effective manner. ABC.com's full episode streaming player dispenses with those previously held beliefs as it leverages emerging technologies and digital platforms to enhance and extend the ABC television network's relationship with consumers.

For further information, see http://www.emmys.tv.

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