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Taylor University Wins Six Crystal Pillars from Regional Emmy Organization

  • By: James R. Garringer
  • Published:
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Six Taylor productions won student production awards known as the Crystal Pillar by the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, Lower Great Lakes Chapter. The Crystal Pillar is the highest honor given by the regional Emmy organization to student productions. 

“My Brother’s Keeper,” a drama about a boxer taking care of his younger brother, was recognized as a winner in the College Long Form Fiction category. “My Brother’s Keeper” was directed by Taylor graduate Landry Long as the culminating project in Professor John Bruner’s Narrative Filmmaking class. Long was also recognized in the College Director craft category for his work on the music video “Lying to Myself.”

Nominated in the College Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs category, “Holy Fields” was created in Professor Kathy Bruner’s Documentary Filmmaking class. Producer/director Emma Horne said her production team valued the experience of learning about Muslims living in central Indiana. “Meeting Suha and Yaqoub (the documentary’s subjects) made it something much more than a class project.”

“20 Over,” a story about a legally blind track and field athlete, won a Crystal Pillar in the College Short Form Non-Fiction category. Its director, Chad Veal, was a senior in a Documentary Filmmaking class who partnered with senior Brendan Wallace to tell the inspirational story of sprinter Noah Malone. Veal said, “When I first saw Noah run I knew he was fast, but then I heard his story and couldn’t believe he was competing at a global level. I knew this story had to be shared.”

A second Taylor project won a Crystal Pillar in the same Short Form Non-Fiction category. “Counting the Cost” is a documentary about a family that makes the difficult decision to leave their Amish community. Director Maggie Cripe said she and her team are “honored to have received this award and grateful that the Hochstetler family’s story will be seen more widely.”

A Taylor student-produced TV commercial for Dashlane, created by Matthew Brown, won a Crystal Pillar in the Spot Production category. This is the first time Taylor has received recognition for a project created in the introductory Film & Video Production class taught by Professor Steve Bailey. 

“We are so incredibly excited to have received these external awards from such a noteworthy organization,” said Professor John Bruner. "It’s a testimony to the quality of work Taylor’s visual storytellers produce.”

Six other Taylor productions were nominated for Crystal Pillars: the fiction short film “Hardly Fashion” created in Taylor’s Directing & Cinematography class and the documentaries “Nurk: Professional Drone Racer” and “Tate.” Two students were nominated in craft categories for their Directing (Rebekah Hardwicke) and Editing (Chad Veal). 

These recognitions are six of the sixty-eight film festival acceptances and competition wins received by Taylor’s Film & Media Production Program in 2019-2020.