WVPB Programs Nominated for Regional Emmy Awards
An animated short and a historical music documentary produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting have each been nominated for a Regional Emmy Award by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In Tune: A Community of Musicians is the product of Russ Barbour, director; Suzanne Higgins, producer; Larry Dowling, director of photography; and Aaron Shackelford, sound engineer. Additional production support for the film also was provided by Chuck Frostick, John Hale, Chuck Kleine, Janet Kunicki and Daniel Walker. Larry Groce, host of Mountain Stage, narrated the film, which is nominated in the Historical Documentary category.
Don't Judge a Sock by Its Color, written, illustrated and voiced by elementary school student Elliot Jackson, and animated and produced by television producer/director Patrick Sergent, is nominated in the Short Format Program, Entertainment category.
WVPB Executive Director Chuck Roberts said he’s proud of the production team for its continual commitment to quality. “Both of these productions are outstanding and the teams that worked on them deserve these nominations,” Roberts said. “In Tune was Russ Barbour’s swan song production for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. It was a stellar addition to a lifetime of work by Russ. It’s perfect that it has earned a Regional Emmy nod as he’s basking in his retirement after more than 40 years with us.
“Pat Sergent saw the potential in bringing a talented child’s story to life,” Roberts said. “He stepped inside the imagination of a child and gave the story to us all. That’s extraordinary. It all started with an incredible tale by the very talented Elliot Jackson, who we hope transcends from nominee to award winner. We’re all extremely proud of this gifted team.”
In Tune: A Community of Musicians is a celebration of old-time music and its history in the Mountain State. Designed as a companion piece to the PBS epic series, Country Music: A Film By Ken Burns, the film explores West Virginia’s old-time music traditions, incorporating archival film shot by WVPB in Clay County during the 1970s for a program that was never finished. Barbour said it was one of his most efficiently and economically produced documentaries of his career, as well as the most enjoyable.
“The fact that West Virginia Public Broadcasting's In Tune: A Community of Musicians has been nominated to receive an Emmy Award from the organization's Ohio Valley Chapter says the creative and professional people behind the success of this hour-long, historical documentary have reached a particularly high level of quality in their work. I am grateful to stand among them,” Barbour said.
The unlikely duo of a fourth-grade student with a deep affection for socks — especially the unmatched ones — and a seasoned television producer created the video, Don't Judge a Sock by Its Color. Elliot Jackson penned and illustrated the story for entry into the PBS Kids Writers Contest where it won first place in the fourth-grade division. Pat Sergent heard Elliot voice his story and saw a unique opportunity. He said Elliot's illustrations were ideal for a simple animation that matched the story perfectly and said: “We have such talented kids in our community!”
“When I heard Elliot's story, I laughed a lot and I cried a little, but I immediately thought it would make a great illustrated story,” Sergent said. “I was not assigned this project. I heard Elliot read his story on our station as our PBS Kids Writers Contest winner and told my boss that I thought it would make a great illustrated video and that I wanted to give it a try. He said sure and gave me the resources to do it. This is one of the great things about working at West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
When the production was entered into the Regional Emmy competition, WVPB paid the fees to make young Elliot a bona fide member — the same as Pat Sergent — which means if Don’t Judge A Sock By Its Color wins, Elliot, could be the state’s youngest person to be awarded an Emmy, and certainly WVPB’s youngest.
“I've always loved socks,” Elliot said. “I have a sock collection, and I sometimes have socks that don't match. I wanted to write a story about accepting other people, kind of like ‘don't just a book by its cover,’ but with a twist. I was fascinated with the animated version of my story, and the sound effects, like the laughing and the crying that gave the listener much more of a feel of what was going on.
“I feel very proud and anxious to see if I'm going to win,” Elliot added. “I hope that I win, but I'm not sure because I know that there are lots of good entries.”