What a catch

Hit Discovery Channel show reels in coveted TV trophy
By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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It’s a dream come true for brothers Doug and Todd Stanley. Both are key members of an Emmy Award-winning cinematography crew for their work on this past season’s “No Mercy” episode of “Deadliest Catch”. The “Deadliest Catch” cinematography team won the Emmy on Saturday in Hollywood at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards presentations. The show will be telecast at 8 p.m. Saturday on the E! television channel. It was a first for both Todd, a Lotus resident, and Doug, a Roseville resident who formerly lived in Ophir. The two grew up in Rocklin. The brothers had both been nominated for Emmy Awards the previous two years and both said they were anxious to win this time around. When the announcement came that “Deadliest Catch” had won the cinematography for non-fiction programming Emmy, Doug Stanley said the walk to the front of the room and giving the acceptance speech on behalf of the team was “like being in a dream world.” Doug was able to share the award with a team that included his wife, Rhea, and Zac McFarlane and Ben Zupol. In the audience was Todd’s wife, Janice. After two years of watching others accept awards, Doug Stanley had plenty to say, noting that it had been a 10-year journey since “Catch” creator-producer Thom Beers “went to sea with two hand-held cameras.” That first foray has developed into the reality program “Deadliest Catch,” shown in 150 countries. “Now we take 70 cameras to the Bering Sea and bring only half back alive,” Stanley said, noting Monday that the teleprompter was ticking down the time and how he didn’t remember seeing anything in the theater in front of him. He went overtime to tell his story and say his thank-yous. “It was like looking through a semi-opaque shower curtain – like a soft-flowing blur,” Doug Stanley said. Flanked by a brother, his wife, friends crab fishing boat captain Larry Hendricks and co-workers, Doug Stanley thanked the “Catch” filmmakers as well as Discovery Channel and singled out the families who wait long weeks and months for the crews’ return from their quest to “film the lives of people who live in amazing obscurity on the edge of the world.” For Todd Stanley, the announcement of the win was “overwhelming” – an experience he said Monday from Lotus that he had yet to clear from his thoughts. “It’s a lifetime achievement award, really – it’s a great honor,” Todd said. “When the announcement was made, I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest.” Todd Stanley said he was still walking around in a daze Monday. When he returned to Lotus, parents Mel and Carole Stanley of Roseville had draped a huge congratulatory banner in his yard. Todd said that the win was particularly gratifying for someone who hadn’t had the best of luck in high school. “I always got the feeling at Roseville High School that my teachers thought I wouldn’t amount to anything,” Stanley said. “I was just the guy at the back of the class.” Todd said he dropped out of high school, although he eventually did return to school to take college courses. But he has often thought that his teachers deserved to see what he had accomplished since high school. “It feels good to be an Emmy Award-winning high school drop-out,” he said. For Todd Stanley, the award won’t change the way he lives his life but he’s hoping it will assist with projects like the “Experience El Dorado” TV production. The program provides a glimpse into the sometimes little-known corners of the county for tourists and locals. “I hope it will help take the project to the next level,” he said. The brothers will soon be traveling north again for another season of the hit TV series. The new hardware will stay behind and won’t make a difference when the cameras start filming in sometimes-treacherous conditions. “Alaska doesn’t care who you are or where you came from,” Stanley said. “The Bering Sea and Mother Nature don’t care if you have won an Emmy or not.” The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at or post a comment.