We just reported on the Creative Arts Emmys over the weekend, but apparently we missed out on the presentation of an important historic award that was given out at an even less-mainstream spinoff of the Emmys. We’re talking, of course, about the juried awards, a subset of the Emmys with wildly different rules and hard-to-explain categories. Thankfully, the Emmy website explains how the juried awards work, which is great because they’re weird: Instead of a faceless cabal selecting a winner from a group of nominees, the entries in each category are screened for a “panel of professionals in the peer group.” If the panel decides that something deserves the award, it gets it. That means a category can have one winner, multiple winners, or no winners, so basically this whole thing is a madhouse.
Some of the juried awards were given out during the Creative Arts Emmys (For example, Drunk History and Katy Perry’s Super Bowl Halftime Show both won for costumes, so yeah, Left Shark has an Emmy now), but the aforementioned one that is historic and important is such a big deal that it can’t be contained by a traditional “real world” award show. It was for “User Experience And Visual Design,” and it went to the Sleepy Hollow Virtual Reality Experience, a short film (or whatever you call it) that operated on Oculus Rift headsets, and it happens to be the first virtual reality thing to win an Emmy. It’s the first virtual reality Emmy! Presumably the Sleepy Hollow people still get an actual statue, but we’d hope the Emmy people would make it a hologram or something at least.
You can read about more of the juried award winners at this link, and you can learn more about the Sleepy Hollow thing with the video below.