WCC student filmmakers bring home three Emmys

Eileen Meier, after winning her Emmy and the Michigan Chapter National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Awards of Excellence. (KRISTA KOEHLER COURTESY PHOTO)

By ALLIE TOMASON Managing Editor

Washtenaw Community College digital media students came away with three Michigan Emmys from the 35th Annual Emmy Gala.

Emmy winners were: George Pariseau, Kevin Jackson, and Eileen Meier for their documentary film in the Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs category; “The Flow,” Brad Tennant, in the Director category, for “I’d Live for You;” and Barb Morrissey, in the Photography category, for “Belle Isle Zoo.”

The June 15 event brought satisfaction and surprise to the winners.

“I felt ecstatic when George called me up and told me we won,” Jackson said.

“The Flow” is a film showcasing raw talent in the areas of fire, juggling and acrobatic performance. Ann Arbor’s Flowjo is a place where Meier, who also stars in the clip, has spent time entertaining with fire.

“I used to go there every Tuesday night to perform,” she said. “It was so cool and such a big part of my life that I wanted to do a video about it.”

The assignment took about a month to complete, and about 40 hours to edit.

“I was involved in all aspects of the project, but my main focus was editing,” Pariseau said. “The win was a surprise to all of us, or at least to me, anyway.”

Tennant’s creation, “I’d Live for You,” filmed on University of Michigan’s campus, depicts what it would be like if the Grim Reaper got tired of death and fell in love with one of his casualties.

He said from concept to completion the movie took 3-4 months to produce. Editing as he went, he also wrote the guitar and drum line. The win was a total shock.

“It was kind of weird. I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “When they called my name I went up and said something. I don’t even remember what I said.”

Morrissey’s cinematography for “Belle Isle Zoo,” portrays the zoo as it is now, a decrepit profile of what it once was—a family-friendly place to occupy an afternoon.

“I’ve always liked old and abandoned places,” she said. “It’s sad that it used to be a happy place and now it’s broken and empty.”

Like the others, Morrissey was stunned when she heard her name.

“I wasn’t actually expecting it. I wanted to hear my name,” she said. “I was taking a picture of the stage and they called my name. I was like what?”

Morrissey said she hopes that the time and effort she spent showed in her work and obviously it did. She does have a piece of advice to give.

“I wouldn’t recommend people go to abandoned places where they don’t know the area—for safety reasons.” Digital Media Arts instructor Matt Zacharias said he is proud of all the students for their hard work and perseverance. He said that he knows when dealing with film it’s not the first draft—it’s the fifth, sixth and seventh.

“You know when you’ve nailed it,” he said. “Because those projects are the ones that lead to success.”

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