How organisers pulled off the Emmy Awards

An alpaca, hazmat suits, pre-recorded winners, an opening monologue with an edited audience, a mini-Friends reunion and a fire that nearly didn’t go out….

If you saw yesterday’s Emmy Awards and wondered how producers managed to pull it all off, Variety has an interview with Jimmy Kimmel Live co-head writer Molly McNearney.

Of the opening monologue she said producers spent the last month pulling clips for the best audience reaction shots, and then figuring out how to pull the best audio to really make it seem like the crowd was reacting to Kimmel’s jokes in real time.

“Jimmy had the idea that he should be a cutaway at the end, and he’s in the audience himself,” she said.

“They’ve been working on that for weeks now. And pulling all those clips and making sure it sounded right. Even Jimmy was like, ‘wait, typically when I deliver a joke, it takes one second. And then people laugh.’ So he paid such close attention to the detail of the timing on the applause. He was like, people don’t clap immediately, you can feel the roll of a joke over a crowd. And so thankfully, we had some great editors that helped make that sound realistic.”

Some presenters, including David Letterman and frontline workers, were pre-recorded — but they were filmed reading each of the nominees as winners, so that production could air the correct winner once it was revealed.

“Letterman was such an incredible addition to the show,” she said. “As you know, Jimmy loves David Letterman and for him to not only be part of the show but to present the same category that Jimmy was nominated in, I think that that would be enough for Jimmy forever. That was pre taped in New York but then he we had him shoot every winner.”

You can read more here.

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