On June 14th, my partner in video crime Mike Kepka and I walked a red carpet and wore fancy clothes. We drank champagne with his lovely wife Sara and dazzled at all the fancy T.V. girls and their sparkly dresses. We over annualized what being seated at table 46 meant and then got nervous when we saw it was a table all the way on the right-hand side of the room. As our nerves got the best of us, we ate melon wrapped in prosciutto and drank white wine.
After about 45 minutes and 20 pages in, it was our first nomination. A video we made last year about an all boys school in Oakland was up for an Emmy in the News Feature Category. Mike being the rockstar that he is, pretended like he wasn't nervous but I could see it on his face. I myself wasn't hiding my nerves very well either. The presenters took the stage. Our name flashed up with the other nominees spotlighting amazing work. That made me even more uncertain. Then, it happened, "The Emmy goes to Mike Kepka and Luanne Dietz of the San Francisco Chronicle." Mike and I jumped up from our seats, and simultaneously cheered and hugged each other. We took the stage and I was shaking. I mumbled a few words of an acceptance speech that people later told me made sense and we got off the stage.
After some more squealing and a selfie, I took a minute to soak it all in. Mike and I were so excited for this Emmy win particularly because it meant that the top of our industry recognized the importance of the story we told and how we told it. A big high five goes out to Lacy Atkins who paved the way for this story with her stills, we couldn't have done it without her.
That being said, we literally had time to give our behind the scenes red carpet interviews and get back to our seats before they called our name a second time. Wait what... I get to take two shinny ladies home with me, this is unreal.
The second Emmy was to honor our Batkid video of Miles Scott. I still to this day get chills thinking about recording from the top of the Macy's building and seeing San Francisco rally together to support him and turn the city into Gotham City. This award for Mike and I was the epitome of teamwork. It was an award that shed honor on our strengths and weaknesses complimenting each others. It was the award that said our hard work and storytelling skills made our video stand out amongst all the others from that day. Not to mention it added validity to our make shift studio set up in the hotel lobby.
There was a moment at the end of the night as Mike and Sara and I were walking back that I felt the true weight of these awards, sure in real life they are actually heavy and my feet were hurting so I might have complained about it, but the weight I felt was the responsibility to continue telling stories at this level. To keep finding a way to use our art to make a difference.
I couldn't be more humbled to have this moment, and to share it with Mike who inspires me daily, was just an added bonus.