Quest for the Emmy

Reaching for the Elusive Emmy Award

Reaching for the Elusive Emmy Award

On Saturday, November 1, at the 56th Annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards Ceremony, the 2014 winners will be announced. We were successfully nominated in 2012 for the ‘Fundamentals of 802.11ac’ but did not win.  Now in 2014, “Connect to the Future” is on the shortlist and we are hoping to better this past performance. 

The TechWiseTV Fundamentals of 802.11ac was developed and released in 2012 to educate the market on the upcoming WiFi standard and showcase Ciscos leadership.  The 5G wireless standard had only been ratified by the IEEE in January of 2014.  But in 2012, competition for increased wireless speeds and the rush to dominate replacement of 802.11n devices was key for the industry. This 23rd episode of the popular "Fundamentals' series focused on correcting misinformation from the vendor hype, setting appropriate expectations about performance and simplifying key technical elements. All of this was to be done with the graphics, humor and subtle geek references that the TechWiseTV audience expects.  The 2012 Emmy Committee placed this animated video in the category for "Outstanding Achievement for Informational/Instructional Programming Program/Special/ Series/Feature/Segment. It did not win. 

This years successful nomination, “Connect to the Future” found itself in the category for "Outstanding Crafts Achievement Off Air: Director - Post Production. This was a specialized one-off creation commissioned by the Enterprise Networks team for their Cisco Live 2013 ‘Game Changer’ launch. 

Credit to Director Steve Ewertz for his leadership made sense on this one.  Despite multiple script re-writes with input from multiple Cisco departments and executives traveling overseas, all work was leading toward one important and specific day.  The concept, an homage to the 1985 movie ‘Back to the Future’, centered on the iconic time traveling DeLorean for its punch. The team had found only one car to use for this…owned by a couple out of North Carolina.  As luck, and planning would have it, access to the car was available for ONE day only as it traveled between West Coast events in May 2013.  

With that requirement defined, the team continued to nail down the 4K camera package, crane, lighting and guest executive, Rob Soderbery.  Production was completed in two, 14 hour days, including 'day for night' lighting challenges, set building and some special effects make-up. Post-production and custom music scoring were all overseen on the accelerated timeline to support coordination with the Cisco Live events team as it would be showcased in the keynote less than 2 months later. Cisco Live 2013 in Orlando was a success of course and the DeLorean was even featured on the show floor as attendee’s lined up to get their picture taken. 

“Connect to the Future has already been awarded 6 Telly's and 1 W3 award across multiple categories.  It is the elusive Emmy award however that requires a much more involved submission process starting with a 3rd party mentor.  The Emmys are unique in that they only allow you to submit one subject for one award.  This makes the mentor’s assistance with category selection key.  

The Emmy Selection Process

All submitted videos then go through a first round vetting process for certification by the Emmy Committee. A smaller judging panel, made up of an enviable cross-section of industry peers: program producers, news directors, assistant news directors, creative service directors, sports directors and long time TV veterans, then takes over based on the certified category. 

The final hurdle includes a panel of  5 judges,  assembled in various chapters across the country, who cast their votes by secret written ballot. Each entry is scored 3 criteria: creativity, content and execution on a scale from 1 to 10 with a perfect score being 30 points. An auditor tabulates final scores in secret.  The awards committee is presented a double blind category list containing the scores arranged by percentile.  The final winners are not announced until the awards dinner. 

As of right now, in October 2014, TechWiseTV has entered 6 video assets for possible Emmy awards and been nominated for two. 

  • Fundamentals of 802.11AC (2012) Category #7 Outstanding Achievement for Informational/Instructional Programming Program/Special/ Series/Feature/Segment
  • Connect To the Future (2014) Category 26-b Outstanding Crafts Achievement Off Air: Director - Post Production. 

The Fundamentals of 802.11ac has earned 3 awards:

  • Silver Chairman’s choice Davey Awards (2012)
  • Gold Davey Award (2012)

‘Connect to the Future has earned 8 total awards. 

  • 1 Emmy Nomination
  • 6 2014 Telly Awards
    • Silver Award: Commercial - Entertainment/Amusement
    • Bronze Award: Internet/Online, Commercial - Telecommunications/Internet Service
    • Bronze Award: Internet/Online, Commercial - Videography/Cinematography
    • Bronze Award: Internet/Online, Programs, Segments, or Promotional Pieces - Visual Effects
    • Bronze Award: Internet/Online, Video - Infomercial
    • Bronze Award: Internet/Online, Video - Editing
  • Silver W3 Award for Best Editing
  • Not publicly hosted - available for viewing here: 

About ‘Fundamentals

The‘Fundamentals of 802.11ac’ is the23rd video animation in a conceptual style that began in 2009 with Cisco EnergyWise.  The fundamentals concept was created as a specific storytelling vehicle to be used inside TechWiseTV episodes to help explain unique Cisco technologies in a compact amount of time.  As one of the only tightly scripted programs for the team, they are used very sparingly. Almost 40 Fundamentals have been created so far although TechWIseTV episodes will soon approach 200.  These animations include a geographically spread production model with writing and storyboarding from Wisconsin to Texas, Video Production in San Jose, Animation in San Francisco and hand drawn artwork from the UK. 

About TechWiseTV Awards

TechWiseTV started in 2006 and accrued 11 awards by 2011.  2012 yielded 13 industry awards including 4 Telly’s, 3 Communicator’s, 3 Davey’s and 3 W3’ and 1 Emmy Nomination. 2014 - 7 awards (6 Tellys for Connect to the Future and 1 Telly for Networking 101: Graphene'