Sunday, June 3, 2018

Son of a Gun. We Won.

Karen and I just got home from the 47th Northern California Area (which also includes Nevada and Hawaii) Emmy Awards in San Francisco, where I was surprised and thrilled to take this lady home.

The entire thing has been pretty surreal, topped by hearing my name announced as a winner for an Emmy Award for Best Public/Current/Community Affairs-Feature/Segment for KQED's video version of my "Fire Story." KQED Arts Editor (and former Santa Rosan) Gabe Meline contacted me shortly after I posted my "Fire Story" comic online and asked if they could try to animate it. Sure, I shrugged; what the hell. Producer/director Kelly Whalen came to my daughters' apartment, where Karen and I lived for a month after the fire, to record us reciting scripted lines from our own lives. Back at the station, Farrin Abbott edited and animated. I couldn't have been happier with the result:

More than two million people watched that video after NPR linked to it. Weeks later, Kelly told me she was submitting it for Emmy consideration. That was nice and flattering. A while after that, Kelly told me it had made the cut and been nominated. That was nicer and flatteringer. But ours was still one of seven nominees in our category. I hadn't seen the other six but had no reason to believe a jury would find ours the best of the bunch.

Until last night.

We clean up pretty good.

Karen at our seats looming over the stage at the SFJazz Center, a nice concert venue in the San Francisco Civic Center that probably holds a couple thousand people.

These are regional Emmy Awards given for local news and programming, not the Hollywood Emmys for network TV series, but it's still the same organization, rules and standards. They awarded several Emmys in related categories all at once. It was a bit confusing. Also, to save time, they had all the nominees come down just before their categories were announced and wait off-stage--which happened to be right below where Karen and I were sitting, and from where she shot this video. In the first part of the video, after our win is announced, Karen pans down and you can see my gray head celebrating and getting ready to go on stage.

I know the sound quality on that isn't great. I just found this version from the Emmy folks themselves. If I've embedded it right, it should start at the right spot:

BTW, the Emmy they hand you on stage is a prop. You pick up your real one after signing for it backstage, right after which they whisk you away for an interview. If you think I look a little shell-shocked, I applaud your perceptiveness.

Me, Kelly and Farrin. I hadn't actually met Farrin before Emmy night, although we'd corresponded by email. That alone was a real treat.

What a neat, extraordinary night! Mom would have loved it. Thanks again to Kelly Whalen, Farrin Abbott, and Gabe Meline at KQED who made it happen.


Amy Coapman said...

Spectacular, and well-deserved. Congratulations, Brian!

Sharon Tuttle said...

Cool beans! Congrats! 8-)

Anonymous said...

Good job Sir.

Comic Nurse said...

Hahahaha! That last photo is hilarious! Thanks for posting all this, felt like we got to be there with you and Karen. xo

Anonymous said...

Keep the Tux. You don't look half bad in it and you may need it again.

Brian Fies said...

I bought the tux. I'm sure I'll wear it all the time. In fact, I'm wearing it right now.

(No I'm not.)

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you. It is a powerful piece and I am glad you are getting recognition.

Mike Beede said...

Huh. First I skip your blog for a while and your house burns down. Next time, you win an Emmy. I confidently expect next year to be ble to congratulate you on your election to the Senate.