WGC Showrunner of the Year. Introduction and speech.

Transcript:

Host: Here to present from Coroner and Wynonna Earp, writer, Noelle Carbone.

[Applause]

Noelle: Hi everybody. So Wynonna Earp is a weird show. It features a borderline alcoholic chosen-one with a magic gun, a bisexual half angel, revenants, vampires, nerds, Doc Holliday – yes that Doc Holliday, a lesbian sheriff, many formidable mustaches, and sometimes even Megan Follows. Clearly it’s a genre show, which makes some people turn their nose up at it, but as someone who has mostly written network procedurals I can tell you it’s a lot harder to write good genre.
Wynonna Earp is an adaptation of a once pretty obscure graphic novel. Season 1 aired on CHCH Hamilton Channel 11, which apparently is a thing.

[Laughter]

Noelle: And the series shoots in the blistering cold of Albertan winters for approximately 7 Canadian dollars.

[Laughter]

Noelle: I’d like you to imagine what it takes a show like that to succeed. Especially today when there are a million shows and a million networks. Imagine what it takes for this red-headed syfy step-child of Canadian TV to a few years later win a People’s Choice Award, be featured in The New York Times, make countless “Best of” lists, win an Audience Choice Award at the CSAs, and inspire a series of home-grown Wynonna Earp Cons across the globe.

Audience Member: Yeah!

[Applause]

Noelle: I mean, I’ll tell you what it takes, it takes Emily Andras.

[Applause]

Noelle: Without a doubt Emily is one of the most talented Showrunners in the world. She’s brilliant and gracious and hilarious and kind and her storyroom feels like family because she hires good writers who are good people and she empowers and nurtures them and that fosters an incredible team dynamic. There is no undercutting or in-fighting, we’re all pulling together to help Emily achieve her vision.
When my son was born during Season 3, which was my first time on the show, my first time writing genre, I asked to take a month off to be with my family – keep in mind we are a room of six writers so losing a writer for a month is a huge deal – but my request was met with congratulations and celebration from Emily. In fact I think she was more thrilled about the baby than Bonnie and I were.

[Laughter]

Noelle: She desperately wants her writers to have balance in their lives even when she can’t – especially when she can’t. She is generous with her praise, always sharing credit for the success of the show, even though she does 99% of the work. Last summer at a Wynonna Earp Conference in Toronto Emily insisted that the writers be on a panel – much to our horror – because she wanted the fans to see our faces and get to know us. That’s the kind of thing that matters to her, her writers matter to her, her cast and her crew matter to her, her producing and network partners matter to her, and her fans matter to her. Because the one thing that has kept this show going is its fandom. And those fans…ho boy, those fans. I can say without a doubt that we have the best fans in the world.

Shelley: It’s true.

Noelle: These “Wynonna Earp People” have kept the show alive against all odds. They fight every day for this show. In part because under Emily’s leadership the fandom has become a safe haven for LGBTQ fans. At a time when queer female TV characters were being killed off en mass, Emily put a queer relationship front and center on her show and told that couple’s story with compassion and optimism. Emily goes out of her way every single day to ensure that our most marginalized and vulnerable fans feel seen and heard and yes, even loved. Because she isn’t just running a TV show, she’s spearheading a movement, whether she meant to or not. Her show has become synonymous with a movement towards positive representations and inclusivity, a movement toward meaningful fan engagement and accountability. The weight of that responsibility would scare a lot of showrunners, but Emily is undeterred. She knows it’s what has to happen if we as storytellers are going to evolve and engage with audiences in a more meaningful way. If we are going to make a real difference in people’s lives. Yes. It is just TV, but yes, TV does change hearts and minds. I will be forever grateful that Emily has given me the chance to be part of something so special, a literal life-line to so many people, especially those in my own community.
For her vision, passion, tenacity, and heart, Emily Andras is this year’s WGC Showrunner of the Year.

[Applause and Cheers]

Shelley: Here she coooomes. Look out for the sequins everyone (I think, haha).

Shelley [I think]: Emily! Whooo!

Emily: God damnit, Noelle. [tear?] I’m gonna keep it brief, but I just quickly want to talk about all my theories about what’s going to happen on Game of Thrones next. Super fast.

[Laughter]

Emily: Wow, this is amazing. I just think about all the other writers who stoop up here who are like ‘real people’, I don’t know what I’m doing here. I think about that stocky shy girl in her bedroom in Calgary, listening to Depeche Mode and uh…she’d definitely think I’ve sold out.

[Laughter]

Emily: This is a pretty unusual year for me to win this, number 1 it’s amazing to have won this, but the other truth is our show is not currently in production. We have been ordered for two more seasons, seasons 4 and 5 –

[Applause and Cheers]

Emily: Yes! Terrifying! But like, terrifying that I have to do it. – by our wonderful network, Syfy and Space. But due to something called “money” we’re struggling to kind of get going, but I know we will in part because of everyone who contributes to making Wynonna Earp. This show is so special to me it is a dream come true. It’s ridiculous and it’s silly and yet people seem to have glomed onto what’s coming out of our brains and for that I am eternally grateful. I truly feel that I could not make this show any where else in the world, but Canada and for that I am just thrilled. I’m so happy that Canadian genre is on the map and being celebrated world wide.

[Applause and Cheers]

Emily: Thank you. The reason I know that this is only a temporary setback is again because of the people I work with every day. I have incredible champions at Seven24, Tom and Jordy, and Brain Dennis. Everyone on my Alberta crew, my cast, my Agent Jeff and Dustin [Alpern?], I know you’re like “I can’t believe you’re getting paid to make this show”, but that’s fine, it’s very strange. And most of all, my writers. I’ve had the privilege of working with so many incredible writers in Canada. I have worked for such a variety of showrunners, and they all taught me something, even when they weren’t great at their jobs or they were failing or they were mean, they taught me what I did not want to strive to be when I moved from writing to management, which is basically what showrunning is. I really do think we can choose to be kind and to be human and I think when we act like that it shows up in our writing. And I’m so proud of the writers I work with every day and who have nominated me for this award; Shelley Scarrow, Noelle Carbone, Matt Doyle, and Caitlin Fryers. Thank you so much for coming ever day and seeing me at my best and my worst – and when I say “worst” the writing room is in my house and I’m often the last one there.

[Laughter]

Emily: It’s such a pleasure to work with people who are so talented and so fierce and work so hard, it truly feels like a family. There’s one other person I want to thank who is also a writer on the team, he is my husband, his name be Brendon Yorke, he’s definitely top 5 of the writers I work with.

[Laughter]

Emily: He is a wonderful person, he has been a showrunner onto himself, but his support with my family and my job is why I was able to do this. He is without a doubt, not only a wonderful writer, but the best person I’ve ever known.
Thank you so much for letting us make our lives here in Canada it means the world to me and I would encourage you, now more than ever, to keep trying to get your shows made in Canada. If Wynonna Earp, where a girl gets possessed by tentacle goo and then gets really [aggressive?] with her girlfriend gets nominated for a People’s Choice Award, you too can succeed.

[Laughter]

Emily: But only here.

[Applause and Cheers]

Emily: Thank you so much for putting up with me on social media, feel free to mute me. I did steal this (note card) from the writers’ room, but I promise to put it back once we get going. Sorry, I’m good for it. Thank you so much for this award, I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to me. Thank you and thank you to the WGC for having these awards and celebrating all of these incredible people.

[Applause]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s