Three students from the Delaware Area Career Center took home Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards over the summer.
The students, Hayden Reed, a class of 2021 graduate, and JJ Zink and Benji Wachtman, seniors at the DACC, were named the winners of the student division of the Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards at a virtual ceremony in July. The trio all studied Digital Design at the Delaware Area Career Center.
Reed, who won in the fictional short film category for his film “Snowman Massacre,” said he was caught off guard by the award.
“When I won, I honestly felt surprised at it,” Reed said. “I wasn’t expecting my film, ‘Snowman Massacre,’ to win, especially when at its core, it’s just a simple story of myself pretending to be Godzilla destroying little snowmen. It was a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one!”
Reed added he’s been encouraged to put himself out there more ever since winning the award.
“Initially, the award didn’t change my outlook on making videos and films,” he said. “But as time progressed, it gave me more motivation and thought to peruse not only making more films, but to get myself out there. To not just have my films be viewed a couple dozen times on YouTube, but to really expand and put myself out there as a legitimate filmmaker in the making in a way.”
Reed said he wants to continue making films, and he’s currently working on a short horror film for Halloween.
“I’m excited for people to see it, as I’m trying a couple things I have not tried before in doing these projects,” he said.
Zink, who won an award in the animation/graphics/special effects category for his stop-motion film “The Office Mandalorian,” said the award felt validating.
“Hearing the news that I won an Emmy in this category was humbling and exciting,” Zink said. “It felt great to be rewarded for the hard work that I put into this project. Winning the award has spurred my desire to remain creative and original.”
Zink said he plans to pursue film and television at a film school when he graduates next year.
Wachtman, won an award in the animation/graphics/special effects category for his stop motion film “Fast Car” about a toy car driving around on a desk.
“I was thrilled when I found out I won,” he said. “I didn’t really know what to expect, so it was very exciting to hear I won. The award served as a bit of validation that I could make it in the career path I’ve chosen. It made me hopeful that I have the skills to produce films that will succeed.”
Wachtman said he hopes to direct films after he graduates next year.
“I have plans to enter more short films into film festivals in order to get a wider viewership and get connected with people who can help me achieve my goals,” Wachtman said.
The Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is a professional service organization that covers all students in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia. The student’s Digital Design Instructor Josh Gallagan said that the students will be entered into the national division of the Emmy competition after winning the awards at the regional level.