August 10, 2020
Daniel Stemen

Students, staff win big at NATAS Awards

The Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) held an award show Aug. 10 in Louisville, Kentucky, where Capital earned one professional award and three student production awards. 

Daniel Stemen, a media specialist at Capital, submitted a compilation of three projects. He won the professional award for his accomplishments in lighting.

Daniel Stemen
Stemen pictured with his award for his accomplishments in lighting.

“I really enjoyed the creative process … Even when I’m stressed, I enjoy it. I think that being able to work behind the camera is a blessing. I don’t know what I would do otherwise,” Daniel Stemen, award winner, said.

Seniors Makena Nowlin and Blake Sheely won two separate awards for their accomplishments in animation, graphics, and special effects. 

Michael Bernot, senior, won the third student production award for his accomplishments in audio and sound. 

Nowlin was recognized for her achievements in an animated short film called “Ready Set Snow.”

Seniors Makena Nowlin, left, Michael Bernot, middle and Blake Sheely, right.

Both Sheely and Bernot were recognized for their achievements in an animated short film titled “Eyes on the Pies.” 

All of the projects that were submitted required a lot of time and effort to complete. Most of them were collaborative projects as well, so they had to rely on each other to be successful.

“There were eight of us in a group, so then trying to come up with one idea that everyone agreed upon was kind of stressful,” Makena Nowlin, student award winner whose submitted project was a stop motion animation, said. “It’s so much work because every little movement is a picture, so you start wondering if you’re ever gonna finish.”

The award show itself was a black tie gala hosted by the Ohio Valley Chapter of NATAS.

According to student award winner, Blake Sheely, “I felt like I was in the fanciest place I’ve been in my entire life. The food they gave us was awesome … Overall, it was a very enriching experience.”

Senior Blake Sheely receiving his award.

The winners were expected to give a short, 20 second or so message to the audience when they won their award. They mostly just used their time to express how thankful they were.

“I just thanked everyone else that I worked with [on the project] and then my professor,” Nowlin said. 

Film and media production is a field of study where a lot can be learned from an experience such as this one. 

Sheely said the experience made him realize that “[the field of film and media production] is not just this tiny little niche.”

“A lot of the times the way we view our own work is very different from the way that other people view our work,” Stemen said. “It’s interesting to see that what we work in is a very subjective field.”

Several other students were nominated for their accomplishments in production, including Mary Clare Kunkel, Brandon Coello, Geoff Webb, and Sonata Wilson. 

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