Canadians fly high at International Digital Emmys

Four Canadian projects are nominated across three categories, including Secret Location's Endgame Interactive: Facebook Episode and the NFB and Arte France's Bar Code.

Canada will be well represented at the upcoming  International Digital Emmy Awards competition, which celebrate the best in digital entertainment across the globe.

Canadians garnered four nominations in the 2012 International Emmys event, contending in two of the three competitive categories announced Thursday by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

In the fictional digital programming category, three of the four nominees are Canadian.

These include Secret Location’s, Endgame Interactive: Facebook Episode (pictured) and Smokebomb Entertainment’s Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs.

The other Canadian nominee is Temps Mort, from Productions Babel.

Endgame Interactive is a transmedia episode that was created to extend the Showcase drama Endgame online. The narrative is created using information from the user’s Facebook account, with the user dictating the sequence of events, including searching for clues and questioning suspects.

Secret Location exec producer James Milward tells Playback Daily that the key to creating a successful product in a constantly evolving space to weigh innovation and design in equal measure.

“We try to always evaluate whether we’re doing something because it’s trendy or because it’s the right execution for the job, and I think that the latter will always stand true as being relevant and important,” he says. “You don’t [want to] come to it in a year and cringe, even at stuff like the interface or the buttons or the wardrobe.”

He adds that Secret Location built on the positive feedback it received with earlier projects, like Humans vs. Vampires, Storming Juno and D-Day to Victory – which target different audiences and demographics.

“I think the answer is keeping things simple and not getting seduced by novelty,” he says. “It all comes down to being strategic, and not getting enamoured by a creative opportunity.”

The Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs project for Citytv and Shaftesbury Films was created exclusively for online use, not least to give the TV series a greater online presence, Smokebomb partner and exec producer Daniel Dales earlier told Playback.

The Temps Mort (Time Out) web series is set after a catastrophic event in 2013, follows Joel, a young adult who leaves Montreal to return home to his family in Rouyn-Noranda. When he stops to seek shelter, it begins to snow, and as the series progresses, months go by but the snow continues, leaving Joel seemingly suspended in time.

In the non-fiction digital program category, National Film Board of Canada and Arte France are nominated for Bar Code. The online doc project features 100 films by 30 filmmakers that decipher the secret world of everyday, inanimate objects. Users can watch the short films on their computers or through an iPhone app, triggering a particular film upon scanning a barcode.

“The technological strides we see every year in digital content delivery are constantly providing production tools to enhance the viewer’s experience. We congratulate our nominees for their creative and technological achievements in this flourishing sector of our industry,” said Bruce L. Paisner, president and CEO of The International Academy, in a statement.

The awards ceremony will take place on MIPTV’s opening night on Sunday, Apr. 1 in Cannes at the Martinez Hotel.