Visual artist Arlinka Viljoen’s terrifying 3-D animation for the second episode of Arizona-produced supernatural anthology series Strange Places – the tortured teen revenge story “An Improper Use of Shading” – won a Rocky Mountain Emmy Award for Best Graphics at the regional Emmy chapter’s annual prize ceremony on October 1st, 2022 in Phoenix.

The episode, which also earned series creator/narrator Andy Rodriguez McCradic a nomination for his directorial efforts, features Viljoen’s chilling manifestations of everything from a burning light bulb to a prowling monster as they spring from the dark mind of an adolescent artist (Cassandra, played by Nakai Neiffer) who helps a bullied high school student (Marie, portrayed by Nakos Neiffer) turn the tables on her wicked rival (Madison, played by Sophie Schneider), leading to untold danger and pain for all three youngsters.

“Receiving an Emmy is truly mind-blowing to me,” says Viljoen of being honored for her output on Strange Places‘ sophomore story, which like its filming was completed at an amazingly rapid pace. “I felt so honored. It showed me that not only are there people who recognize my work, but also truly acknowledge it. Having all my hard work being recognized means the world to me. This Emmy will motivate me to continue working hard in this industry and to never give up no matter the obstacles I encounter.”

McCradic praises the work achieved by Viljoen and his series’ superb cast and crew, and anticipates that its best success may already lie ahead. “The Emmy win is great confirmation (that) some quality work is being done here,” he adds. “There has been some financial interest in the show, both in Phoenix and in South Africa. Let’s hope it translates into something tangible.”

Post-Emmys, McCradic and his team now set their sights on continuing Strange Places’ ongoing exploration of how the most unexplained twists of fate can bring out either the best or the worst of humanity. “As for me, I am dedicating the next several months on general pre-production for the next three stories. Hopefully we can resume production before year’s end.”