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June 01
2023

ISSUE

Summer 2023

Emmy VFX Evolution

Image of Carl Sagan for his Emmy-winning Cosmos TV series courtesy of Turner Entertainment.

Image of Carl Sagan for his Emmy-winning Cosmos TV series courtesy of Turner Entertainment.

The first Emmy Awards were 74 years ago in 1949. The word Emmy was inspired from Immy, a nickname for Image Orthocon, a camera used in television. Cognizant of scientific know-how, the Academy gave out its very first tech award that year to Charles Mesak of Don Lee Television for the introduction of TV camera technology Phasefader. In 1955 the TV Academy handed out an Award for Best Engineering Effects for Robert Shelby’s Four Quadrant Screen.

Beginning with the Award Ceremony of 1998, the category has been divided into Special Visual Effects for a Series (The Book of Boba Fett in 2022) and Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or Special (Squid Game in 2022).

Along the way, the Academy had various names for these types of technical umbrella awards, including Outstanding Engineering Effects, Outstanding Special Electronic Effects, Outstanding Special Mechanical Effects and Outstanding Special Photographic Effects.

Among some of the more notable winners for the effects categories over the years have been Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel, Cosmos, Battlestar Galactica, Dinosaur!, Star Trek: Voyager, Babylon 5, The X-Files and Lost. Rick and Morty collected two Emmys for Outstanding Animated Program. The most awarded show in Emmy history is Saturday Night Live with 87 Primetime Emmy Awards.



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