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Canadian cadre from 'Game of Thrones' seek Emmy hardware

September 08, 2015 - 4:20 PM

TORONTO - There are a mountain of "Game of Thrones" Emmy nominations this year, and among them, a cadre of Canadian contenders.

This weekend, two Canuck cinematographers and a sound editor from the HBO series are among those hoping to nab hardware at the Emmy creative arts gala, a side bash that celebrates behind-the-scenes artists in technical categories.

The race for outstanding cinematography for a single-camera series is particularly Maple-flavoured.

Along with the two Canadian "Game of Thrones" nominees — Montreal-born Gregory Middleton and Vancouver-bred Rob McLachlan — there's Dundas, Ont.-raised Jonathan Freeman, who also works on "Game of Thrones" but is nominated for "Boardwalk Empire."

"I think it's just happenstance," Freeman says of the preponderance of northerners on the sprawling fantasy series.

"But also part of it is when we were looking for other (directors of photography) I would definitely recommend some of my fellow DPs who happen to be friends of mine and also happen to be Canadian."

It's made for a friendly rivalry among the Canadian comrades, says Middleton, who was drafted into the show by Toronto-raised director Jeremy Podeswa, who is up for a best directing trophy at the big televised bash on Sept. 20.

"The whole thing's been a real privilege, just to be involved, from the very beginning," Middleton says in a recent interview from Belfast, where he and Freeman were each working on separate episodes of the sixth season.

Perhaps it's no surprise that Freeman's favourite storylines are those set in the icy North, a stark landscape dominated by snow-white vistas.

"I can't tell if it's just my Canadian blood that likes the cold or what it is," he quips. "Those do present their own challenges photographically so that's often very exciting to work on."

"Game of Thrones" garnered a leading 24 Emmy nominations this year — more than half in creative arts categories involving costumes, editing, hairstyling, makeup, stunt co-ordination and visual effects.

Nova Scotia's Paula Fairfield is up for best sound editing, for an episode that featured a massive fight scene with the supernatural White Walkers.

Podeswa notes the Emmys used to ignore genre fare, but that seems to be changing.

"There is always a bit of a hurdle to get over to get certain genres taken very seriously, but I think the people who have been sticking with the show and watching it have been so drawn in by incredible storytelling," says Podeswa.

"It's just past that point where people are kind of assessing it based on any kind of criteria of genre or whatever. I think they're really just looking at it as a great show. As they should."

Other Canuck nominees up for awards on Saturday include the team behind "Property Brothers" for best structured reality show; brothers Jeff and Mychael Danna, for best original theme music and best music composition for a series (original dramatic score) for FX's "Tyrant"; and the visual effects team for the History series "Vikings," up for best special visual effects.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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