The most unusual of years for the Emmy Awards will include the most unusual of tasks: This year, everyone nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy has been asked to pre-tape an acceptance speech.
In a letter to nominees, the Television Academy has asked all of the contenders to record an acceptance speech as if they have just won for the categories in which they are nominated. Of course, the thank yous — which can be no longer than 30 seconds — will only be used if the nominee actually wins.
“Due to the ongoing pandemic and the sheer number of nominees for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, all nominees have been asked to submit a pre-taped acceptance speech,” a TV Academy spokesperson said. “Though all of the elements of the Creative Arts Awards will be pre-taped, each ceremony will be called live by the director. Winners for each category will remain known only by Ernst & Young until they are revealed to the director as the category is being aired.”
The nominee pre-tape request is similar to what the Television Academy’s East Coast counterpart, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, did for the Daytime Emmy telecast in June. In that case, every nominee in the categories that aired on the CBS show were also asked to shoot an acceptance speech from home, with only the winners’ speeches actually airing. The TV Academy also did the same thing with the L.A. Area Emmy Awards.
As of now, it’s not believed that the TV Academy and ABC have asked nominees in major categories airing during the Primetime Emmys telecast to do the same thing.
In an earlier letter to key nominees, the telecast’s producers hinted that they likely have something more elaborate in mind: “We are assembling a top notch team of technicians, producers and writers to work closely with Jimmy Kimmel and with you and your team, to make sure that we can film with you (and loved ones or whomever else you choose to be with) at your home, or another location of your choice. We’re going to make you look fabulous – we’re exploring the cutting edge of technology to allow to use good cameras and lighting and look forward to working with you to produce your unique ‘on screen” moments.’”
The Creative Arts Emmys have been split into five different virtual ceremonies this year: The first four, from Sept. 14 to Sept. 17, will stream on Emmys.com. The final night, on Saturday, Sept. 19, airs on FXX. According to the Academy, the winners will be announced live, before presenters throw to the pre-taped acceptance speeches. Bob Bain Productions is producing the shows, which will be split into reality and nonfiction (Sept. 14), variety (Sept. 15), scripted (Sept. 16-17) and a mix across all genres (Sept. 19).
Only one speech will be accepted per nomination, however. For crafts categories, which often include multiple names, those shows will have to decide who will represent the nomination (or else splice together an acceptance speech that includes multiple faces).
Here’s what the letter to Creative Arts Emmy nominees says:
In preparation for the ceremony, we are asking you to record an acceptance speech video as though you have just won for the category (s) in which you are nominated.
Please note: this video will only be used by the Television Academy if your achievement is announced as the winner. The rules are simple:
• Be yourself and have fun!
• One video per nomination (NOT one per person listed on the nomination). Please coordinate with your fellow nominees to create one video.
• Each video must be no more than 30 seconds.
• Each video must be delivered with all content including talent, music, background images, etc. completely cleared and paid for by you — you assume all responsibility for clearing all third-parties’ rights and will indemnify us against any claim for payments; please furnish copies of any needed clearances with video (no music, visible photos, art of logos can be used unless they have been cleared/licensed as per instructions above).
• If you are a former Emmy winner, you may display your statuette in the background, but for consistency’s sake with first-time winners this year, we ask that you refrain from holding it.
• If you submit a video, you consent to our use of it in the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Show Presentation(s), the Television Academy website and/or Television Academy social media platforms, with no restrictions or payments.
• We are also providing you with Emmy Key Art that is suitable to use as a background for your video. This 4K resolution image can be cast from your phone to your smart TV and devices.
• Make sure to shoot horizontally!
The deadline to upload your video is Friday, Aug. 23 — so don’t wait!