Copy of Martin Box’s LIA Diary from Las Vegas #2

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Copy of Martin Box’s LIA Diary from Las Vegas #2

Martin Box, EP/head of production at AIRBAG is Australia’s representative on the LIA TV/Cinema/Online Film jury where judging is currently taking place in Las Vegas. Here Box reports exclusively for CB.


Day 2 & 3 – TV/Cinema/Online Film – 20 hrs in darkened room

Day 2 was much of the same. Lots of watching punctuated with the odd cigarette break (you can smoke pretty much anywhere here and most of us have taken it up again for some inexplicable reason). It turns out one of the judges is a serious poker player and by serious I mean nearly won a place in a professional comp, so when we’re not talking about work there’s a lot of discussion about the intricacies of Poker.

We finished the selection process late but on schedule so tomorrow it will get really interesting as we work out the finalists and decide on statutes.

Lead by the awesome Joji Jacob and Piyush Pandey a few of us went for a curry at a hole in the wall place outside the hotel. A super basic but amazing and authentic joint that was a welcome change from the hotel.

Day 3 was crunch time. 17% of the work had made it through to this stage and it was now down to working out if they merited statues and what colour. There were some robust but good humoured conversations and general consensus on which was the best work. One interesting and sometimes challenging element was judging work through a culturally sensitive lens. Some of it was utterly brilliant and unexpected. Aided by our fellow jurors who helped contextualize the work I really hope we did it justice.

Interestingly there were quite a few unanimous decisions on the final statues for a number of pieces. This goes to show the strength of the entry and also the thorough nature of our conversations prior.

We powered through the day, lead by the effervescent and sharp witted Fred Levron, and managed to complete everything which means a day off on Friday!

The whole experience has been one to savour and I feel privileged to have spent so much time with some of the best creative leaders on the planet. Their generosity and intellectual rigor is quite inspiring. There’s a lot of us lamenting the state of the industry right now but if these guys are leading it I think we’ll be ok!

And I can’t sign off without mentioning Barbara Levy, President of LIA Awards, and her team. One of the key things they’ve managed to create is an atmosphere of inclusivity and generosity of spirit. The camaraderie is on daily display and that atmosphere permeates into the judging rooms where egos and competition are left at the door. That’s no mean feat in this industry and allows some seriously diligent critical thinking to go on.

Amazing job Barbara, keep it up!

Copy of Martin Box’s LIA Diary from Las Vegas #2

Fred Levron & Kazoo Sato

Copy of Martin Box’s LIA Diary from Las Vegas #2

Cinema/TV/Online Jurors

Copy of Martin Box’s LIA Diary from Las Vegas #2

Fred Levron leading the charge

Copy of Martin Box’s LIA Diary from Las Vegas #2

Erika Roberts and myself