“We’re going to the Emmy’s,” announced my television-broadcast director over the phone,
“You’ve won two honorable mentions!” What? Where? How? Snapshots of a dazzling red carpet, celebrities in regalia, and California sunshine swarm my brain, as I wrap my head around…. “Well, it’s not the real Emmy’s,” he assures me. Dashed again.
The event I actually attended in early August 2014 wasn’t quite as revered as the Emmy’s known nationally on primetime television, though it did still claim the esteemed title of an ‘Emmy’ celebration. The Ohio Valley Chapter of the Emmy’s hosted it’s 50th anniversary in downtown Columbus, Ohio - a mere twenty minutes drive down a stretch of highway from my hometown in Gahanna - and four students from Gahanna Lincoln High School’s WGLH-TV Broadcast Production team were invited to accept awards in the Student Recognition Awards portion of the evening, a select group of which I took part. We were the only students to win awards in the student portion throughout the entire state of Ohio.
Before that phone call from my director Tom Gregory in early June, I had honestly no idea that my video production work would have the potential, let alone the talent, to win an honor as I did. We students as a WGLH-TV team work tirelessly all year producing thirty-minute shows that air each week on our local television station. Individual members are responsible for a handful of stories each semester to appear on these weekly broadcasts, typically covering various Gahanna Lincoln High School activities or community events. Team members are also expected to film, produce, and anchor in the show’s segment. Gregory is essentially our overseer, our TV guru, our master of ceremonies. He instructs, coaches, and molds us into outstanding video production pupils - and then unwittingly submits our work to virtually any video production contest that accepts student entries (I would find this out only after I graduated in the spring).
When it came time for the night of the Ohio Valley Emmy’s, I would receive two honorable mentions in the Student Recognition Awards category for my work as a broadcast anchor, along with my co-anchor Josh Gregory, as well as for a story I completed on a fellow classmate’s Eagle Scout service project. Being a part of that celebration, surrounded by filmmakers and producers from across the Midwest region (West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania), I couldn’t help but imagine myself in their shoes ten years down the road. How did these men and women arrive here in this ballroom, eagerly anticipating recognition for their video productions of which they all worked so passionately? Could I come back to these awards one day to perhaps win an ‘Emmy’ myself?
The opportunity provided to me by the Ohio Chapter of the Emmy’s was one I’ll never forget. To be seated amongst the region’s finest and creative video minds was an awe-worthy experience I’ll be able to carry with me through my journalism work in college at Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism. Perhaps their success will propel me to indulge in documentary work that could eventually lead me to further journalistic recognition. What I’ve learned from this opportunity is this: try anything, submit your work to the most improbable of places; you never know - you might end up with an ‘Emmy’ yourself.
Ben Foley's Eagle Scout Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za6yYWZfQiQ&list=UUwBAEu5venIaDhrPziTaHhQ
Bethany Bella is currently a student at Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism, her hope is to one day report for the National Geographic Society, either conducting research or delivering stories firsthand from the field. Watch for more from Bethany in future issues of School Video News.