On March 28, 2009 at the Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles, new media changed. At the first annual Streamy Awards, over 1300 people came out looking their best and took part in an event that moved online video -- or at least a part of it -- into the realm of Hollywood-style entertainment.
There was a red carpet, lots of press coverage, and a ceremony that looked very much like something you might see for the Emmy Awards. There were celebrities, new content creators, and familiar faces from our travels that looked energized, surprised, and in some cases, not entirely sure what to make of the whole thing. In fact, it's taken me a couple of days just to process everything and get a perspective on the evening.
Somewhere in the course of the evening, EPIC FU won one of the awards for which we were nominated, Best Hosted Series. I can sincerely say that we did not expect to win, given the quality and popularity of the shows nominated in our category (all of them friends). I can remember the moment when the presenters of our category, Jace Hall and Bob Kushell, announced EPIC FU as the winner. Zadi and I just looked at each other and said, "Holy shit!" Then we took a breath and realized we needed to get up and get on stage.
We're tremendously proud to be recognized by our peers in The International Academy of Web Television, and we share the honor with the people who worked with us on the show in 2008, namely Rick Rey, Sarah Atwood, Annie Tsai, Mike Ambs, and Daniel Merlot. We also have to thank Barrett Garese, our agent at UTA. In 2008 we also worked with two of the major digital studios, Next New Networks and Revision3, good people all, so we want to be sure they are acknowledged for their help in producing EPIC FU, particularly Tim Shey and Fred Seibert at NNN, who have been more than just business partners, they have been mentors and friends.
Above all, we have to thank our amazing audience, fans, and community members, who have stuck with us through the years, through a name change, through a sometimes erratic schedule, and still contributed piles of huge awesomeness to everything we do. You guys are the BEST.
Zadi was also honored to present an award, Best Writing in a Dramatic Series, which went to the writers of the Battlestar Galactica: Face of the Enemy mini-series. She looked fantastic up there, especially considering she was wearing four-inch heels. If you know Zadi, you know that's not the norm. :)
After the awards we went over to the Palomar Hotel for the after-party, which was packed to the gills and full of schmoozing of epic proportions. I emptied out a pocket full of business cards when I got home, and I thought about how enthused everyone seems in the world of online video right now. You would have never thought we were in the worst economic climate since the Great Depression of the 1930's. I think that means the second half of 2009 will be better than the first for everyone.
I've always looked at awards shows from both sides of the coin: they can be of great value in building an entertainment property, but no one is ever happy with the way everything is put together. While I think that the Streamys had some problems -- not quirky enough, missing categories to separate studio productions from indies, missing categories for videobloggers -- all in all it was an epic success that will do wonders to raise awareness of online video creators in the larger entertainment world. My hat is off to Drew Baldwin, Brady Brim-DeForest, Joshua Cohen, Marc Hustvedt, and Jamison Tilsner for everything they put into making this thing work. It did, and you guys should be proud of it. Nothing will be the same from here on out.