Classroom productions lead to Emmy nominations

By Katy Nielsen

Approximately 90 Columbia students received Student Emmy nominations for their work last semester. Ten student productions received recognition in every student category with Columbia receiving more nominations than any other college or university in the country.

The announcement was made on Sept. 28 at the 2010 Chicago/Midwest Emmy nominations.

Alejandra Silva, senior journalism major, said she was surprised to be nominated. Silva was co-anchor for the student production newscast, created by the Practicum Television News: Metro Minutes class in the spring. In the class, students film, shoot and edit local news programs.

According to Silva, “Metro Minutes” taught her how to effectively collaborate with other students in a professional newsroom environment.

“You always wait for that letter grade at the end of the semester, but it’s really nice to be recognized outside of the classroom,” Silva said.

Lillian Williams, associate professor in the Journalism Department, co-teaches Practicum Television News: Metro Minutes with James Disch.

“I think it’s an honor to be nominated,” Williams said. “It shows the dedication and hard work of these students paid off. It’s really great for our school.”

Frequency Television, Columbia’s student-run TV network, was also recognized for Student Emmys.

Senior television major Christopher Smith produced, hosted and filmed for Emmy-nominated “Spring Broke” on

Frequency TV.

“We had to plan and produce for a trip,” Smith said of the show, which documents a four-day spring break vacation in Nashville, Tenn. from the perspective of college students who had little spending money.

“[At Columbia], we’re able to produce our own shows and see it from beginning to end with full student involvement,”

Smith said.

In the category of College Student Production Entertainment Program or Segment, Frequency TV’s “Debbie’s Got Class: Debbie’s Got Talent” was nominated.  Smith was also part of that production team.

“‘Debbie’s Got Class’ was definitely the largest production we had last semester,” Smith said.

The show was produced in front of a live studio audience with three separate stages at the Media Production Center, 1632 S. State St.

“We were able to get not only Frequency staff involved but volunteers and classes from across the [Television] Department,” Smith said.

Frequency TV staff acted as executive producers of the show, overseeing every aspect of its production from conception to post-production, Smith said.

Amalia Gonzalez, senior television major, was nominated for her five-part mini series titled “Chicago Latino Film Festival” with Mateo Palazuelos.

“We edited, produced and shot it, just the two of us,” Gonzalez said. “Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a lot of help from

other people.”

This is the first time Gonzalez has been nominated for an Emmy. When she found out, she said she was in the middle of class and yelled out loud because she couldn’t contain her excitement.

Gonzalez said students need to know they should follow their passion.

“Don’t be nervous, if you have an idea, go for it,” she said.

For a full list of the Chicago/Midwest Emmy nominations, visit the Chicago National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences website at The 52nd Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards will be held Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave.