Indie Series Awards Voting

Every year, we use a time-tested, two-stage process to analyze, assess and rank the hundred-plus competing series. In a nutshell, we've adapted the same strategy and game plan in use at some of the world's most prestigious and meaningful creative competitions for nearly a century. It requires a large network of well-laureled volunteers and consumes literally thousands of hours of donated professional consideration, but we think it’s worth it. Here’s a short summary of how it all works.

First of all, who decides (who votes)? As it turns out, there are, essentially, only two different philosophical approaches in use—that is, almost every major prize or award competition in the arts ends up, when it comes down to it, using either a jury of peers, or a jury of experts. For example, the Primetime Emmys, Oscars and Grammys leverage the membership of their respective professional organizations (“academies”) to select years' best. Since members pay for the privilege of voting, we acknowledge the fiduciary logic here. Less snarkily, a jury of colleagues is certainly better equipped to assess craft and creative output than the hoi polloi. Yet questions of friends and coworkers voting for (or against) each other raise questions of adjudicatory independence. Moreover, where is the role of the professional critic or academic, grounding the process in concrete historical and artistic standards? Finally, can we entrust all of our core values, especially around issues of diversity, to a jury-of-peers construct?

As mentioned, there is another way. The Indie Series Awards relies on experts instead of peers for both the nomination and win dispositions. In so doing, we closely follow in the footsteps of the Peabody Awards, Nobel Prizes in Literature, and the Pulitzer Prizes in Letters, Drama and Music. We all follow these steps:

I. Organization staff check submissions for compliance. In our case, not every series submitted will compete. To be an Official Submission is to be certified as recent, independent, original creative work in the indie series genre.

II. A team of experienced, independent critics at the organization review all work on their own then collaborate to come up with the final nominees list. By now, each person on our nomination team has written assessments of over 500 series, imbuing an invaluable, intuitive understanding of where the best of this advancing genre is each year. Every competitor in every category gets a number score and rank. Yes, there are unwieldy spreadsheets involved!

III. The lists of nominees are then passed along to separate teams of industry experts for a final—ideally unanimous—decision on the ultimate winner. The Indies, for example, assemble dozens of teams of judges each year, as our categories span from acting to writing to make-up. Team members are unaffiliated with the Awards or any of the series they judge and comprise a prestigious gallery of experts hailing from all over, from academia to the media elite. To prevent lobbying, names are revealed in the program on the night of the ceremony (and never before voting has completed).
Powered by Blogger.