2nd Streamy awards descend into farce
Well, it’s that time of the year again – Streamy time! The awards for media of new. But instead of being clearly a new force in entertainment award show like last year, this time the show resembled something run by people who had taken too many Smarties.
There were issues from the beginning, with a 30 minute gap for online viewers between the red carpet feed and the show beginning. But then the show started, and something became quickly apparently – the audio visual setup didn’t work properly. The audio issues continued during the entire awards, with microphones not working, sound levels being unmatched (you had to turn up the sound during clips, then quickly back down during speeches), clips not playing when needed, and mysterious voices on the feed almost the entire time. We’re not sure where the rogue audio came from – backstage crew perhaps – but how it escaped unnoticed the entire show I don’t know.
But here’s the thing – the audio/visual problems weren’t the real issue here.
The issue was the tone of the thing and the organisation. Last year it had Neil Patrick Harris and Joss Whedon present. You could tell it was a new award people would notice, and the people present were shaping entertainment medium in new and interesting ways. If you wanted funding for a series, it was something to show people and be proud of.
This year felt like something to hide.
From jokes about balls and gays, to streakers running around (as actress Felicia Day put it, are they sponsored by 4chan?), to people openly mocking the very thing they’re there to celebrate, it read as less of a celebration of art to more of a live implosion.
I asked for feedback on this article from readers before running it, as I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being too cranky. “I feel sorry for all the talented performers, writers, producers, etc., who had to sit through that — not to mention us!!” was the first. Then I noticed the hashtag #streamyfail on Twitter.
Different people tried to rescue proceedings as they went along – for example, Felicia Day used her speech to recognise the people trying to sort out the awards. But overall, it quickly became apparent that both viewers and the people in the room were aware things hadn’t quite gone to plan.
If the Streamys hopes to establish itself as an event people will want to turn up to and watch, they desperately need to watch a playback of the event online and consider what went wrong. Whilst clearly effort had been made this year to gloss the event up and make it look more professional, it completely backfired from both a technical perspective and the overall tone of the event. This isn’t high school – it’s time to grow up and give these creators the show they deserve.
Ceremony attendees and participants included: Chad Hurley (CEO, YouTube), Paul Scheer (Host), Chris Hardwick, Illeana Douglas, Tony Hale, David Faustino, Robert Englund, Tatyana Ali, Jaleel White, Jason & Randy Sklar, Julie Benz, David Henrie, Justine Bateman, Patrick Duffy, Kevin Pollak, Crystal Chappell, Danielle Harris, Daryl Sabara, Rob Huebel, Autumn Reeser, Jason Calacanis, and top Internet stars Ryan Higa, iJustine, Alex Albrecht, Felicia Day, Shane Dawson, Lisa Donavan, Zoe Bell and Nick Kroll.
Visionary Award: Chad Hurley (Co-founder & CEO, YouTube)
Audience Choice: Agents of Cracked
Best Comedy Web Series: Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis
Best Drama Web Series: The Bannen Way
Best Hosted Web Series: Diggnation
Best News or Political Series: Auto-Tune the News
Best Animated Web Series: How It Should Have Ended
Best Branded Entertainment Web Series: Back on Topps (Topps, Dick’s Sporting Goods)
Best Directing for a Comedy Web Series: The Guild (Sean Becker)
Best Directing for a Drama Web Series: The Bannen Way (Jesse Warren)
Best Writing for a Comedy Web Series: Wainy Days (David Wain)
Best Writing for a Drama Web Series: Compulsions (Bernie Su)
Best Male Actor in a Comedy Web Series: Zach Galifianakis (Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis)
Best Female Actor in a Comedy Web Series: Felicia Day (The Guild)
Best Male Actor in a Drama Web Series: Mark Gantt (The Bannen Way)
Best Female Actor in a Drama Web Series: Rachael Hip-Flores (Anyone But Me)
Best Ensemble Cast in a Web Series: Easy to Assemble (Illeana Douglas, Justine Bateman, Eric Lange, Michael Irpino, Cheri Oteri, Daryl Sabara, Michael Panes, Rob Mailhouse, Sean Durrie, Tom Arnold, Ed Begley Jr., Tim Meadows, Ricki Lake, Greg Proops, Kevin Pollak)
Best Guest Star in a Web Series: “Weird Al” Yankovic (Know Your Meme)
Best Web Series Host: Zadi Diaz (Epic Fu)
Best Vlogger: Shane Dawson (ShaneDawsonTV)