On a beautiful night back in September 2015, the EMMY’s Motion + Title Nominees were honored at the fancy Mr. C Hotel in Beverly Hills. As I gathered with members by the pool to celebrate our craft, an almost immediate buzz between female Academy members began to grow. The conversation was centered on an article published earlier that week titled “Meet The Magicians of Motion Design,” and I was hooked… what was the clamor over Issue No. 6 all about?
As soon as I got home that very late night, I tracked down the magazine with Téa Leoni on the cover. As I flipped through the Contents page, I found what everyone was discussing — the feature titled “Forward Motion.” The description read: As pros in motion design get ready to féte their first Emmys, meet some of the standouts in this fast-growing field.
It is important to note that in 2015 two nominated titles carried amazing women designers: FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show under Creative Directors Kyle Cooper + Ryan Murphy, creator of the show, and Art Director Nadia Tzuo, among other artists. Also that same year, HBO’s Olive Kitteridge by Studio yU+co, crediting its founder Garson Yu and Art Director Synderla Peng.
Also notable in 2015 was that the online publication “Art of The Title,” under editor Lola Landekic, started publishing a series called “10 Women of Title Design.” The series was launched in celebration of International Women’s Day with the goal of bringing attention to the ladies in our profession, and to strive for balanced representation. And most importantly, 2015 was the first year the Motion EMMY was awarded.
However, despite all the movement happening in 2015, the article celebrating the “Magicians of Motion Design” and the “Standouts” failed to include our Co-Governor at the time, Lynda Kahn, an EMMY winner and a longtime champion for our peer group. Furthermore, out of the 12 selected “Magicians,” only one talented lady, Lauren Indovina, made the editorial pages.
I am not here to argue that the gentlemen featured were not “Magicians,” many of them are not just magicians, but geniuses. However, the article was a missed opportunity for some exceptionally talented women, genuinely invested in our industry! We missed having their voices and creativity heard at a critical juncture in the history of motion and title design, just as the wider community was beginning to recognize this art form.
So, what excites me about 2018 is that we have the chance to right the wrongs of 2015. The nominations for the 70th EMMYS are a breath of fresh air… Three of the five nominations are titles lead by female Creative Directors, Colleagues, Friends, and/or Bad-Ass Women who are — like our industry — always in MOTION!
Lisa Bolan with a double nomination, because she’s awesome, for Netflix’s “Altered Carbon” + TNT’s “The Alienist”
And someone who needs no introduction, industry pioneer Karin Fong, for STARZ’s “Counterpart”
Many women have been in the forefront of Motion Design for decades, and there has been an explosion of female innovative designers + directors leading the craft. A craft that is often misunderstood, as it is not always just about a graphic approach, but a true mixed-media masterpiece with live-action, cinematography and vfx in the blend.
Last year, Michelle Dougherty took home her first EMMY for Stranger Things after being nominated 15 years ago for HBO’s Band of Brothers. In the case of Karin Fong, she has been nominated seven times, winning her first EMMY for “Outstanding Main Title Design” in 2001.
Other great artists in this category, in no particular order, include:
Ana Criado + Florence Deygas + Leanne Dare + Arisu Kashiwagi + Heidi Berg + Vanessa Marzaroli + Audrey Davis + Jessica Hurst + Cecilia De Jesus + Margherita Premuroso + Miki Kato + Lauren Hartstone + Rachel Fowler + Johanna Marciano + Lindsay Daniels + Joan Lau + My Tran + Eve Duhamel + Yolanda Santosa + Veva Burns + Peggy Oei + Manija Emran + Rachel Brickel + Ellen Kahn + Eunha Choi + Joyce Ho + Anzie Lee + Rachel Kim + Amanda Koh + Monica Perez and so many others…
From super Editors such as Justine Gerenstein, to stellar Producers like Kate Berry, we have an enormous amount of talent in this bunch. Also, let’s not forget, outstanding Executive Producers such as: Jennifer Sofio Hall and Carol Wong; and amazing Studio owners like Erin Sarofsky, who are some of the many women that have created innovative methods on how to finance this underfunded mastery, a serious issue that deserves its own thought piece.
This year, at our “Meet the Nominees” celebration, members will gather once again leading up to The Creative Arts Emmy Awards. I am hopeful the buzz this time will be about the ladies dominating the race to take home the statue, and not about issue No. 6!
View all 2018 Nominees for “Outstanding Main Title Design” .
The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be held Saturday, Sept. 8 and will air Saturday, Sept. 15, at 8/7c on FXX.