Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Agony of Defeat...

I attended the 2007 Upper Midwest Emmy Awards last month for our nomination of Echoes of Cry of the Marsh for best documentary in the topical category. However, the majority of categories were focused on news gathering with the big network news organizations - WCCO, FOX News, KARE, KSTP, and KMSP. Pictured at the banquet is, left, writer Chris Butler, Bob Hartkopf (the focus of our documentary), his wife Anne, and myself. Unfortunately, we didn't bring home the award. The award went to a short documentary from Fox Sports North (they do documentaries?) for a 22-minute piece they did on Anthony Bonsante, a boxer from the reality TV show The Contender, on FSN 's program Str8up.

Going into the awards show, Chris and I identified two programs we felt would be uncomfortable to lose to - and you guessed it, two Fox Sports Net pieces - the Bonsante piece and another Fox Sports Net spotlight on Joe Mauer. The other nominees were pretty solid projects - an hour documentary on the Minnesota Supreme Court from Twin Cities Public Television and a piece by Jason Davis for his On The Road series. But when it was said and done, we ended up losing to a reality show contestant. We're were pretty deflated. The award would have been a great testament of Bob Hartkopf's work and dedication for wetland restoration reform. Now it's off to several film festivals in the coming year.

In addition to three documentary categories (we were nominated in the 'Topical' category) they did have two student categories and several new online categories. We were fortunate to share the table with two student nominees from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. They were great kids.

However, the event was more of a news club. Unlike watching these professional communicators on television, this event you could differentiate the ones who carried themselves in a professional and classy manner, while others were more sophomoric in their character. The classy ones, such as Paul Douglas and Bill Hudson display great character off-screen. While Bob McNaney of KTSP 5 News was really classless when he was a presenter and managed to make the place uncomfortable all the while he was at the podium. Alan Constantini from KARE 11 made some off-color remarks that surprised me. But perhaps it was their way of putting their guard down and having fun. Just surprising to me is all.

Overall, it was a great experience being nominated and attending the gala event at the Graves 601 Hotel. Hopefully Chris and I will be able to partner up on a new documentary project and be back in a few years.


Sam's House said...

Hey Mike,

Pleased to read your recap here. That was a fun night indeed, in spite of the non-victory.

We must find another project. This regular teaching just isn't going to cut it.


Sam's House said...

By the way, for those of you who might have wandered to this blog through Mike's portfolio... he is wicked talented, and awesome to work with.


Mike Cihak said...

Chris, you are too kind. But like I've said before - now carved in stone with the blog - great projects are founded with great writing and research. Such in life, good looks can only go so far (meaning, the pretty pictures, not me by any means :-]) You bring great substance these projects. Looking forward to the next one, whatever that may be. MikeC.