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    Regional "Emmy Award Winners" are frauds and should go to prison.
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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Here's why. So, there are the Primetime (Nationwide) Emmy Award's and congrats to all those who win those as those are not easy to win. Then there are the regional Emmy's which from what I've gathered all you have to do to win is pay the entry fee, submit, and you'll probably end up winning something. Ridiculously easy. Now you can call yourself an "Emmy Award Winning" filmmaker.

    Except, the deceit lies in that when you put this on your website, tell you clients, etc., most "Emmy Award Winners" in the video industry do not clarify that these are just regional Emmy's, which are ridiculously easy to win and hold very little real merit. So, they're basically lying and misleading clients to believe they've won some big national award when that is not the case. Then, these clients who have all heard of the Emmy awards and assume the video company won a Primetime award hire and pay money to the video company often based on this lie. The biggest problem with this is just how rampant the deception is as I see so many video companies listing themselves as Emmy award winners while not clarifying they were just regional Emmy's.

    Now, the Emmy organization uses these regional awards as a cash grab and it's in their best interest to give out as many awards as possible to get more people to sign the entry fees so more people can get awards. Thus, the only way to end this is to spread awareness of the misleading marketing tactics that many in our industry are using, and from our end here on a video forum, to hopefully discourage people from using such misleading marketing tactics. Now if one just wants to go to these ceremonies, hang out with friends, win awards, pat each other on the back, etc., I see no problem with that. It's when they use it as a fraudulent marketing tactic that it becomes problematic.

    I'm not aware of having personally directly lost any clients myself due to this (though indirectly I wouldn't be surprised if I have), but I do know one video production company owner who said he lost a client to a competitor who the client had said was an "Emmy Award Winner," whose video production work was low quality, and trying to explain to the uninformed client that a regional Emmy is a meritless award wouldn't be likely to rectify the situation. So, yes, using regional Emmy's can potentially boost your business and apparent credibility, but as far as I see it, it is fraud.


    The definition of fraud is...

    "wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain."

    "a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities."

    In conclusion, people who are regional Emmy Award winners and lead on clients to falsely believe they are Primetime Emmy's, and don't make an effort to clarify the "regional" aspect to clients, are frauds and should go to prison.

    And should be shamed.

    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 12-26-2020 at 12:00 PM.


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    Pia Zadora objects to the award shows being a sham.


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    I hear you on this in theory, Eric. I recognized that weird discrepancy between primetime and regional Emmys years ago and have always reacted negatively to those who have flaunted their regional Emmys (but then again I have a knee-jerk reaction to anybody who self-describes themselves as "award-winning" when it comes down to it). I would have to say though that it is only fraudulent if they claim to have won a Primetime Emmy if they have not. The regional ones are unfortunately still considered Emmys, so there's nothing misrepresentational there.

    Even amongst the Primetime ones there is some inequality. On the broadcast/live TV side they hand out statues to crewmembers like candy--most regularly working live TV camera operators I know have a cabinet full of them. While it is incredibly competitive for the two cinematography Emmys, ironically the way to get one as a DP in the broadcast world is to make sure you have operated a camera yourself--I got shut out of a nomination a few years ago while the operators I hired got named!

    Ultimately, one gains a bit of perspective on all of it. I have become less impressed with that type of "recognition" knowing that it is a highly political game often coupled with a lack of comprehension from the voting body on what they are even voting on. But that's a whole other rant.

    Casting back to when I worked in a small market and constantly dealt with the kind of issue you describe--yep, that's frustrating all right.
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    (but then again I have a knee-jerk reaction to anybody who self-describes themselves as "award-winning" when it comes down to it).
    Well if someone won an Academy Award for say Best Cinematography for example and called themself an Academy Award winning cinematographer, I think that would be well deserved. Sure, the bigger awards may still be full of politics in who wins, but I'd still say it'd be impressive regardless and worth advertising oneself as. From what you described, a Primetime Emmy for Cinematography would be a big deal as well. Not saying the Academy Awards are perfect, but I am glad they don't have regional Academy Awards to confuse things with.

    At the smaller level I like to participate in, the 48 Hour Film project you can win locally, but the worldwide competition is called by a different name, Filmapalooza, so there is a differentiation between the local and the national winners. This is good, and unfortunate that the distinction with the Emmy's is less clear since both the regional and primetime Emmy's are both called Emmy's, and many fail to put in the "regional" part of their award.


    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    I would have to say though that it is only fraudulent if they claim to have won a Primetime Emmy if they have not.
    Perhaps as far as the letter of the law is concerned, but from an ethical standpoint, deception is deception. If one intentionally leaves out the "regional" part when listing "Emmy Award Winning" on their site or wherever, they are likely intentionally trying to deceive clients into thinking it's a primetime award.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 12-26-2020 at 01:07 PM.


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    Eric, I brought that argument here before with one of awarded editors, wouldn't make you popular here, get ready for downvoting.

    I would post a link to that post, but censorship here is too strong.
    From 391 posts I made here, only 196 show up.
    And server throws errors when want to go through archives.

    This make any attempt to leave written trail on any subject futile.
    Why would you invest time to make a research and then you find out it's gone?

    Anyway, I respect the right of having different opinion on subjects, but please let the reader decide what's the weight of given argument.

    Sometime society couldn't comprehend the given conception, sometimes we are just plain wrong, but please leave it as is.

    Because communication is the key for society to prosper. And people do change.
    Last edited by laverdir; 12-26-2020 at 04:12 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    Well if someone won an Academy Award for say Best Cinematography for example and called themself an Academy Award winning cinematographer, I think that would be well deserved.
    Deserved perhaps, but it's hardly humble to describe oneself that way, one leaves that up to others (or your publicist, ha). This is just a personal reflection of mine, I don't necessarily expect others to agree. It's like carpet-bombing a short to 150 film festivals then slathering your promo materials with laurels--other than for show and ego, I don't get the point.

    Literally anytime I see a bio that describes the person as "award-winning", I flinch. And yes, I flinch a lot.
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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    I had no idea that it was so easy to get a Regional Emmy, now all I have to do is save some money and... oh yeah, ethics.
    Last edited by Imamacuser; 12-26-2020 at 11:25 PM.


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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    I'm surprised in your body of experience you have not ran into this before Eric, it's so common in our business. I discovered what a sham awards are back in the 90s when I had a salesperson for our company
    do the same thing for my company, they signed us up for every pay for play award on the market at the time, mainly to fill up our awards cabinet we had in the lobby where
    very occasionally, clients would sit.

    The Cindys, Tellys, Regional Emmys, all of these awards that you have never heard of (other than the Emmys) are a scam to make money for
    the organizers, you pay an entry fee, they award you some bogus category award, then you pay them a few hundred bucks for a stupid hunk of plastic or glass. I remember the
    trophy cabinet kept getting more and more full and I had little to nothing to do with "winning" the awards in that I didn't enter them or pay for the trophies (directly), someone at
    my company did. I never tracked if those stupid hunks of plastic ever got us more business. I recall when we moved, I spent a few hours chucking them into the
    dumpster out back. That was fun.

    Awards in general, in life, mean very little and fortunately these days, I find most clients dont really care about them or are impressed by them. The HBO film I shot for my director friend that just won the Critics Choice Award,
    I'm happy for him but in the world of landing work, nobody has hired me because I shot it, I don't use that in marketing because who cares? It may help him to secure another film sale to HBO, possibly, but for me, it doesn't do
    much. Life's too short to worry about what schmuck competitors are up to, you're a talented, solid DP and a funny guy, that should get you more work than you can handle. Those people you see doing this, roll your eyes and get
    on with your day.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    I'm surprised in your body of experience you have not ran into this before Eric, it's so common in our business.
    Oh, I've seen it plenty before. I just came across it again today which prompted the topic.



    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    Deserved perhaps, but it's hardly humble to describe oneself that way, one leaves that up to others (or your publicist, ha). This is just a personal reflection of mine, I don't necessarily expect others to agree. It's like carpet-bombing a short to 150 film festivals then slathering your promo materials with laurels--other than for show and ego, I don't get the point.

    Literally anytime I see a bio that describes the person as "award-winning", I flinch. And yes, I flinch a lot.
    Going to Emmanuel Lubezski's website I see his Academy Awards are listed on his resume.

    https://wp-a.com/clients/emmanuel-lubezki#narrative

    https://admin.wp-a.com/wp-content/up...mmanuel-DP.pdf


    I think if you win an award that is an actual challenge to win, that requires talent and skill to win, there is nothing wrong with using that to help market yourself. It's these awards like the regional Emmy's that bother me because they mostly just take an entry fee to win, not actual talent, along with in the Emmy's case, are often confused by the uninformed with the Primetime Emmy's, and thus often are used by people to mislead clients.

    I guess I do mostly agree as I also get annoyed when a filmmaker describes themself generically as "award winning." Because the follow up is always, "What award did you win? Anyone can win an award. What's the point of saying you did what anyone can do?" That said, when I see, "Academy Award winning," that actually means something, like how trailers often list the Academy Award winning actors in the cast list. If you told me there was a movie coming out with 10 Academy Award winning actors in it, my initial thought would be, "That sounds like a really good cast."

    I'm rather proud of the 48 Hour Film projects I've won as the competition for them can be stiff particularly at the worldwide level, and I do use that to some degree in my marketing, though I've never anywhere described myself generically as an "award winning filmmaker."
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 12-26-2020 at 05:47 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    Deserved perhaps, but it's hardly humble to describe oneself that way, one leaves that up to others (or your publicist, ha). This is just a personal reflection of mine, I don't necessarily expect others to agree. It's like carpet-bombing a short to 150 film festivals then slathering your promo materials with laurels--other than for show and ego, I don't get the point.

    Literally anytime I see a bio that describes the person as "award-winning", I flinch. And yes, I flinch a lot.
    Flinching right there with you - I completely agree with this, Charles. In fact, I've learned from 25+ years of experience that is it usually those with the biggest egos - or at least those who prance & preen for attention the most - often have very little talent. And conversely, those who are very talented usually let their work speak for itself.


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