WeHo Wins Emmy For 'Game Of Thrones'-Themed Drought PSA
Though we would expect nothing less from the city that brought us rainbow crosswalks and placed pedestrian safety ads on Grindr, West Hollywood's Game of Thrones-themed drought public service announcement video was next level awesome. The Television Academy seems to agree: they awarded the 60-second PSA an Emmy in the Public Service category during the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards presentation on Saturday.
The video, titled Winter is Here! But the Drought is Far From Over, aired on the city's WeHoTV YouTube channel, is a mock TV-series preview trailer set in a terrifying, fictionalized vision of what West Hollywood might look like if the drought continues. The apocalyptic West Hollywood of the PSA just happened to have a few similarities with Westeros, the world inhabited by the show Game of Thrones.
The PSA was developed and produced in-house by the City of West Hollywood’s Communications Department and was released in partnership with water sustainability campaign Change the Course. Josh Morgerman, a West Hollywood resident, volunteered his services to direct the video.
Winter Is Here! was released in October and immediately hailed by WeHo residents and GoT fans alike, with Wired declaring it to be "the best drought PSA ever," among other write-ups.
West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister, Director of Communications Lisa Marie Belsanti, Public Information Officer Joshua Schare and Assistant to the City Manager Janet Jimenez were all on hand Saturday night to accept the award, according to a press release from the city.
Left to Right: Joshua Schare, Public Information Officer; Janet Jimenez, Assistant to the City Manager; Lauren Meister, Mayor; and Lisa Marie Belsanti, Director of Communications with their Emmy at Saturday's ceremony. (Photo courtesy of the City of West Hollywood)
Schare and Belsanti told LAist that they made the PSA during the tail end of the fifth season of Game of Thrones.
"A few of us here are big Game of Thrones super fans and I know that whenever Game of Thrones goes off the air, fans call it 'a drought,' so I thought if we could leverage the popularity of Game of Thrones and use that for our PSA, we could reach a lot of people," Schare told LAist, adding that their team chose to design the PSA as a mock teaser to draw people in. "We wanted to fool the Game of Thrones fans into thinking they were seeing some new content," he said.
The video begins with the sun rising over a bleak desert landscape, followed by a Tyrion Lannister-like character telling the viewer that "No one knows how much longer it will last." A character made to resemble The Hound then removes his armor in the heat, surveying the West Hollywood skyline and telling the viewer he was sworn to protect the realms of men, before asking "who will protect us when the water runs out?"
Palm trees burn, the water feature in front of the Pacific Design Center dries up and lawns brown, before the viewer is urged to conserve water and text WEHO to 77177 to take a free pledge to shrink their water footprint:
We are especially impressed with this little segment, where both the West Hollywood logo and the recycling symbol are added to the GoT swords:
This is the City of West Hollywood's first Emmy.
"We're going to try for a Tony next time," Belsanti told LAist over the phone, before Schare quickly added, "If we can't get an Oscar."
"We are going to go for a full EGOT," Belsanti said.