Press Release: UCSD-TV’S “When Things Get Small” Nominated for Five Emmy Awards (5/2006)

UCSD-TV’S “When Things Get Small” Nominated for Five Emmy Awards

Also awarded top prize in international film and video festival

LA JOLLA, CA – It’s not every day that a wacky television program about nanoscience receives five Emmy nominations. Then again, UCSD-TV’s “When Things Get Small” is far from your typical science-for-television fare. Starring renowned UCSD physicist Ivan Schuller and produced by Schuller and UCSD-TV’s Rich Wargo, “When Things Get Small” was recognized last week by the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with five Emmy nominations in the categories of Health/Science Program–(Ivan Schuller, Rich Wargo), On-Camera Talent/Performer (Adam Smith), Animation/Graphic Design (Michael Shea, David Bouzan), Photography (Matt Alioto), and Lighting Direction (Peter Kreklow).

"When Things Get Small" was also awarded the top prize from the 39th Annual International Film and Video Festival (the First Place "Gold Camera Award") in the Sciences, Research, Exploration category. The competition received over 1,250 entries from 26 countries this year.

The Emmy winners will be announced June 3 at the 32nd Annual Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards held at the Omni Hotel San Diego. UCSD-TV will re-broadcast “When Things Get Small” May 31 at 9:00 p.m. The program is also available for viewing on the web, video podcast, and for sale at

“When Things Get Small” uses a variety of comic inventions and special effects to take viewers on a comically corny romp into the real-life quest to create the smallest magnet ever known. Host Adam Smith, an alumnus of the UCSD-La Jolla Playhouse Master of Fine Arts (Acting) program, travels alongside comic physicist Ivan Schuller, visiting locations ranging from Petco Park to a steaming hot tub to make sense of several important “nano” concepts. UC president Robert Dynes and Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres owner John Moores also drop by for cameo appearances.

The program was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, and produced by UCSD-TV in partnership with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and the UCSD Division of Physical Sciences.

“When Things Get Small” is the first in the ‘When Things Get…” series, produced by Not Too Serious Labs, the creative collaboration of UCSD-TV producer Rich Wargo and physicist Ivan Schuller. Not Too Serious Labs’ mission is to make science funny and entertaining so you end up learning while you’re laughing. The duo is planning its next production “When Things Get Big,” a comical exploration of the gigantic machines used to investigate matter.

The purpose of the Emmy Awards is to recognize outstanding achievements in television by conferring annual awards of merit in the Pacific Southwest region. The Pacific Southwest region includes San Diego County and the television markets of Bakersfield, Oxnard, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

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