Sony works on a wide range of projects. They do live action special effects for feature films as well as completely animated films. This year, they decided to recognize some of the work done by its employees and held their first internal Imageworks Awards Show. The show presented awards in 15 categories, recognizing the best work from 2017.
One of the categories was outstanding lighting. A shot was picked from each of the 5 shows Sony worked on in 2017. (The Emoji Movie, Meg, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and the short film, Lucky 13) I was nominated for outstanding lighting for a shot I lit on The Emoji Movie. I have to admit, I was quite surprised. We all know the stir that the movie caused online. It was quite the internet sensation, wasn't it? But despite the terrible reviews, it still had a lot of very talented artists doing a lot of hard work and creating some really outstanding animation and imagery.
The shot I was nominated for (pictured above) was hardly the most difficult shot to light, the most dramatically lit shot, or even (in my opinion, anyway) the best looking shot. I'm really not quite sure why it was chosen. It was a shot lit and approved very early on in the production, and it was the first shot approved with the character High Five in it. It essentially set the look for High Five for the rest of the whole film. It was also, as it happens, one of the very first shots I lit once arriving at Sony. I barely knew my way around Katana, was trying to get used to a new lighting pipeline, trying to break a lot of bad habits from my previous job, and so I definitely struggled a bit with it. But, for whatever the reason was that my shot was selected, I was quite honored especially knowing how many talented lighters were there and how many cool shots and sequences there were to chose from.
Ultimately, I really had no chance of winning. The other stuff I was up against was way cooler. But, though it may be cliche, given the amazing work done at Sony on such a wide variety of projects, it truly was an honor just to be nominated in Sony's first Imageworks Awards show, on the first film I worked on there, and for the first shot I lit. Thank you, Sony.