Judge Spotlight

Nigel Lopez-McBean, Engagement Director, Donut (Duplass Productions)

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Nigel Lopez Mc-Bean

Engagement Director, Donut (Duplass Productions)

Donut is The Duplass Brothers creative shop, creating entertainment-led content for brands bringing an indie sensibility to new audiences. Donut has been named by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies of 2017 and is Snap Inc/NBC Universal’s first ever partner for scripted content. Nigel is a graduate of Middlesex University, University of London and started his career at the BBC. He spends his time annoyed at being regularly schooled at card games by his 4 year old son, James.


What video/television piece inspired you recently?

HBO’s Insecure & Amazon’s Transparent. They’re fantastic examples of work portraying LA communities giving viewers access into issues of race, culture and gender in a smart, entertaining way without losing its bite. Both shows are beautifully shot and cleverly written, whilst being intensely personal stories delivered by show runners who clearly really care. There’s a lot to be learned from both.

I’ll also call out Mark and Jay’s ‘Room 104’ for HBO which bizarrely made me realize how much I enjoy modern dance and I’ve been down a late-night YouTube rabbit hole ever since.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

I’m enjoying how valued creators have become and how many different avenues now exist to tell a story. The mash-up of entertainment, platforms and advertising is a fun place to be and crucially, nobody really knows where we’re going to end up or who the winners will be. Right now, creators & audiences are both winning which is kind of cool.

I’ve also got a deep interest in issues around diversity and it’s exciting there’s finally genuine acknowledgement things simply have to improve and quickly. So much talent is being wasted.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I’m obsessed with Motorcycling. It’s addictive and meditative. The danger/adrenalin element just makes it all the more fun.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I’m currently living the project I’m most proud of – Donut.

Judge Spotlight

Juliette Geraghty, Group Creative Director, VaynerMedia

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Juliette Geraghty

Group Creative Director, VaynerMedia

As a key leader at VaynerMediaJuliette Geraghty helped grow the office from 25 employees to 65+ in just under a year. She currently leads a creative team of 20 talented hustlers across CPG, auto, and entertainment brands such as Mattel, Noosa Yoghurt, Toyota, and Turner, to name a few.

Juliette’s expertise is creating breakthrough content and experiences rooted in human truth and cultural relevance, as well as creative strategy and partnerships with emerging platforms such as Amazon Alexa. In 2017, Business Insider honored her as one of “30 Most Creative Women in Advertising.” Juliette is inspired daily by her loving, talented husband Dave and their fierce four-year-old daughter Clover Mimi.

 


 

What video/television piece inspired you recently?

American Gods has really intrigued me. I’ve never seen anything like it. The overarching message of dying gods needing humans to believe in them in order to survive is such a compelling comment on the world we live in today. The character development is paced perfectly. Visually, I’m floored by this series—again, it’s not like anything I’ve ever seen. I’d love to spend time in the minds of the show’s creators to see what they see! The Handmaid’s Tale is another show I can’t stop watching. Its timing with what’s going on in our country with women’s rights is eerily too close to home—it’s actually quite terrifying.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

I’m really pumped about voice (connected home devices) and its integration across multiple platforms. I’ve been working with the Amazon Alexa team on a few projects, and smart speakers are opening doors to a completely new way for consumers to experience content, entertainment, and just life in general. I’ve also had a longstanding love for augmented reality over the last 10 years. Snapchat obviously has made great strides in this area, but we are definitely just scratching the surface. There is so much utility that brands can bring to their consumers with AR. I’m really hoping to be a part of that push to the next level.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

The one thing the Telly Awards community should know about me is that I have a 21-year-old cat by the name of Lucky Lou. Anyone who knows me knows him, so I guess the Telly community should, too! Lucky has flown in first class, drove across the country three times, and has even camped on a beach. Everyone probably refers to me as the crazy cat lady, but I will proudly shout from the rooftops that Lucky rules.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I have so many projects that I’m insanely proud about. Mainly because of all of the wonderful people behind these projects. I really, really love the people I work with—so I am officially most proud of them.

As far as something we made together, I would have to go with Sadie the Eagle. We were working with 20th Century Fox at the time to help promote their new film, Eddie the Eagle, based on the 1988 Olympic British skier. We wanted to create a video that helped make his story relevant with today’s audience in the U.S. After testing some content themes in social, we decided to go with a documentary that tells a real life underdog story—and that’s how we found Sadie.

Our documentary tells the story of this young, fierce snowboarder that continuously overcomes tough financial circumstances to chase her dream of being an Olympian. Not only did we pay for Sadie to compete in the Nationals, we also introduced her to her lifelong hero Bud Keene. With the enormous exposure from our video, and all of these amazing doors we opened for Sadie, that is definitely one project where we changed an incredible girl’s path in life.

Judge Spotlight

Sarah Dale, Founder, Harrington&Co.

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Sarah Dale

Founder, Harrington&Co.

Sarah Dale has spent most of her career on the sales side of B2B publishing with ten years at The Wall Street Journal. There she was the VP of Digital and Content running WSJ Custom Studios, as well as strategy for all digital and content revenue. She’s credited with transforming WSJ’s Studio from a legacy print operation to a formidable competitor in the digital native space. In her tenure, the studio’s revenue quadrupled, renewals shot to the best in the industry and the team won many awards including a Cannes Lion, D&AD Pencils and many Tellys.

Last year, she left the WSJ to begin her own consulting business, Harrington & Co (named after her dad) to help other publishers grow their native revenue. She lives in northern Westchester “just where NY gets a little bit country” with her husband and two “very sassy” daughters and dreams of owning a Border Collie just as soon as she’s not so busy.

 


 

What video / television piece inspired you recently?

Amazon recently did a number of pieces for Echo that are brilliant. They tell a compelling story in 10 seconds that make you want to watch the next one — while getting across the product perfectly. They’re simple and incredibly creative.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

I think that brands are starting to really understand they have to be authentic in order to be heard and seen. That’s going to produce much more interesting brand creative moving forward.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

 I actively try to convince others that excessive swearing and overuse of analogies are signs of a higher intelligence.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

Cocainenomics for Netflix for many reasons, but most of all because it catapulted the team I ran at WSJ to a world-class studio. In its longer version, it’s really a story of an underdog team banding together with their unique talents to make a miracle happen. It also kicked off a two-year period of over 70 awards and almost 400% growth in revenue because of how that team operated from that moment on. So, I say I’m proud of the work – but I’m really proud of the team.

Judge Spotlight

Ian Weiss, Director of Digital Strategy, American Theatre Wing

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Ian Weiss

Director of Digital Strategy, American Theatre Wing

Ian Weiss has developed digital strategy and content for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Live Entertainment over the last eight years at the American Theatre Wing, Serino Coyne, and Art Meets Commerce. He has won two Webby Awards for his social strategy on the 2015 Tony Awards and was a 2014 Webby Honoree for his work on the Tony Awards Second Screen companion site. In addition, he was nominated for a 2017 Daytime Emmy Award and 2016 Webby Award, and he won several Telly Awards for producing the long running documentary series, Working in the Theatre.

Currently in his eighth year developing and running digital strategy for the Tony Awards, he has helped to launch live streaming, near live, and sharable content on social media platforms, websites, and in venue.

Weiss produced the documentary Up Heartbreak Hill which premiered on PBS’s Point-of-View series in 2011. He has also worked as a Producer and Casting Director for hundreds of television and radio spots.

Weiss is a graduate of New York University.

 


 

What video/television piece inspired you recently?

I’m obsessed with what Aziz Ansari and Alan Young have done with the second season of Master of None. The nuance and specificity of each episode has really extended what television can do in terms of storytelling, diversity, and art.

What is most exciting you at the moment within your industry?

The constant influence that users and digital marketers have on the platforms. Whenever I work directly with a platform, they really listen to constructive criticism and new ideas. I think that’s often motivated by the fact that they are also users of social media and want the same improvements and experience that goes with the changing world.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I’m a “best idea wins” person, so I love meeting digital folks who are super passionate about their careers, creating content, and activating partnerships. It’s especially amazing to see the juxtaposition of people who have been involved in professionally creating content from the start of the platform movement, and those who have done it since they were really young and are now getting started professionally. Those worlds colliding often has a great impact on brands and storytelling.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

We are mostly known for our Working in the Theatre documentary series which, in addition to several Telly Awards, was just nominated for a Daytime Emmy. Our episode on Sign Language Theatre from last year has taught me so much about the incredible work that the deaf community has created in theatre. It is also a reminder of the constant struggle that those who are deaf or living with one of many disabilities face in receiving the same treatment for employment and creating new work. I think video content has such great power to educate and entertain simultaneously.

Judge Spotlight

Reuben Lee, Creative Director

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Reuben Lee

Creative Director

Reuben Lee is a creative director who builds impactful brands. He was executive creative director at NBCUniversal/E! where he led an award-winning design team who created genre-defying show open and network packages. A graduate of ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, he spends his time between family, robot sculptures, reading, and dark chocolate. Usually in that order.

 


 

What video/television piece inspired you recently?

The open for BBC’s TV series The Night Manager used the age-old method of visual juxtaposition very effectively. Contrasting items of luxury with warfare, this piece was executed beautifully and simply to evoke a sense of conflict.

What is most exciting you at the moment within your industry?

The advancement of technology is opening up a tremendous gateway for creativity. For example, increasing internet bandwidth empowers social media and enables more motion work. VR and AR are getting more accessible, creating more options for marketing and storytelling. There is renewed focus on content creation that will elevate
the standard of our art.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I will work for chocolate. On a serious note, I believe that regardless of what I’ve accomplished so far, as a creative person, my journey is one of continued learning and discovery. This is what excites me and propels me to explore new things and think outside the box.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

Till this day, I still love the graphics package I creative directed for the (now canceled) Daily 10 show on E!. My design team and I took huge risks in creating a package that cut through E!’s air, overcoming irrational color allergies of executives in the process. The energy of the graphics were spot-on for the show, and its typography still holds up well.

Judge Spotlight

Caroline Smith, Chief Content Officer, Seeker at Group Nine Media

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Caroline Smith

Chief Content Officer, Seeker at Group Nine Media

Caroline Smith is the Chief Content Officer at Seeker, the digital leader in science and innovation and an award-winning Group Nine Media brand. Seeker explains the world through a lens of science, bringing to light how science impacts our lives and shapes our future. In her role, Caroline oversees all content development, production and audience growth spanning field documentaries, 360/VR and short-form news content. Prior to Group Nine, Caroline ran the branded entertainment department for Discovery Communications’ digital native brands, building an award-winning production unit from scratch.


What video/ television piece inspired you recently?

The Defiant Ones really stuck with me, specifically the first episode where a young Jimmy Iovine unexpectedly finds himself in studio with John Lennon. Jimmy was early in his career and could have easily been overwhelmed and out of his depth, but he owned the opportunity and it catapulted his career. It was a reminder that you never know when great opportunities will present themselves, and you need to be brave enough to take advantage in the moment.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

There’s so much content available for consumption and the barrier to entry is low. It’s encouraging to see individual creators find their stride and voice on non-traditional platforms. That said, there’s also a benefit to content curation. The democratization of media platforms and ready access to production and publishing has surely crowded the field. I’d like to think that people who have a gift for connecting with others along compelling storylines will stand out — no matter how crowded the field. It’s exciting to see that play out in real time, as platforms, technologies and consumer appetites evolve.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you? 

I spent my formative years outside the U.S., so even though I’m heavily embedded in media today, many 80’s and 90’s American pop culture references go right over my head. I STILL have a lot of catching up to do!

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

It’s hard to pick just one! I’m in constant awe of my team, their work and the stories they uncover. At Seeker, we’ve been heads down focused on highlighting the new faces of science, and that’s coming to life in all kinds of ways: new series, new tentpole events, and new formats. One piece I’m particularly proud of is a collaboration we did last year with The ONE Campaign to spotlight medical innovations in HIV treatment in Ghana.  The story centers on an HIV-positive woman, who due to treatment made possible by the Global Fund, was able to conceive two healthy, HIV-negative children, and has become a coach for other patients in her community. Humanizing how science impacts our world is at the core of Seeker’s work, and I’m particularly proud of how this piece embodies that mission.

Judge Spotlight

Sarah Singer, ‎Executive Producer, Mic

Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Sarah Singer

Executive Producer, Mic

Sarah Singer is Mic’s Executive Producer of video projects where she manages a team focused on building new video formats and expanding Mic’s video offerings. Previously, she was Mic’s Director of Innovation as well as Managing Editor. 


 

 

What video / television piece inspired you recently?

The style of first-person documentary storytelling from the NYT. I loved this piece: Here’s what happened when I, Casey Neistat, tried to recover $13,000 worth of stuff I left in a New York City taxi.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

The energy surrounding building high quality visual journalism.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I’m running my third NYC marathon in November!

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I’m proud to have launched Mic’s opinion video unit. The team showcased voices/perspectives of people not often in front of the camera. Two examples are: Without good medical care, I wouldn’t be alive and These Muslim kids are standing up to islamophobia.