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The Big Bang Theory ?helmer Mark Cendrowski received his first-ever Emmy nomination in the most unusual way: Seven hours after the nominations were announced, the TV Academy revealed he’d been left off the list because a new rule requiring that at least one multicamera director be included in the comedy category was overlooked. “It wasn’t my plan to do it that way!” Cendrowski jokes.
How did you find out about your nom?
I was in the editing bay working on CBS’ Happy Together and got a call from the Academy’s [president and COO] Maury McIntyre, who said, “I have to apologize, but I think you’ll be OK with it when you hear why.” He said I’d been nominated for best director for comedy and because of the rules, it just slipped through the cracks and it wasn’t announced [that] morning.
Were you disappointed to not learn of your nomination with everyone else that morning?
It’s been better because I got my own headline that day and that’s what a lot of people saw to congratulate me on. ?It was everywhere!
You’ve directed more than 200 episodes ?of Big Bang Theory. Why did it take this long for the recognition?
It’s the times. With the big advent of single-camera comedies ?and the way networks ?and studios have gone that way in the past decade, they’re the cool and hip shows. People often think multicams are old-fashioned, even though funny is funny.
Do you think directing for multicamera comedy should get its own Emmy category?
Maybe one day. [The Academy] has done separate categories for editors and cinematographers. It’s a different set of muscles that a multicamera director has to have and use than a single-camera director has to have and use. If you’re lighting a single-camera show, you have days or hours to light a scene and then you’re on to the next thing. Here, a cinematographer or a director has to do it all. We’re doing a play and we have to have it ready to go for that audience. Multicamera is doing that live in ?front of 300 people. It’s not an easy task.
This story first appeared in the Aug. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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