Casper Filmmaker Nominated for Emmy Award
This is yet another case of Hometown Boy Makes Good.
Anthony Stengel, of Stengel Media, is a local filmmaker that produces films about other local artists in Wyoming. His work has been featured across a wide-variety of outlets but, most recently, Stengel has been producing short films for Wyoming PBS.
And one of those films, 'Dying Light,' has been nominated for an Emmy.
Recently, the Heartland Emmy Chapter announced their 2022 Nominees in their English Arts/Entertainment category and 'Dying Light,' as part of Wyoming PBS' 'Our Wyoming' series, is one of them.
"I've been doing some documentary type branded content work for Wyoming PBS," Stengel told K2 Radio News. "Those projects...it was a commission piece, so I was paid for it but I really wanted to make it bigger than it was because I knew a lot of people were going to see it. I ended up putting way more work into it than was budgeted. I was basically working on large portions of it and just donating my time to make it awesome."
Which is an attitude that most artists share - that of doing whatever it takes to make a piece completely perfect. Such was the case with the subject of 'Dying Light,' Connie Morgan.
Morgan is a Casper local herself, who specializes in neon light art. She is the owner of GloW, a store in downtown Casper that offers various neon pieces.
"In the film, we go into why she does it; the challenges and struggles she faces," Stengel stated. "It's called 'Dying Light' because neon is actually kind of this dying art form. It's actually kind of fascinating because, as a lot of different industries and technologies take over and make things easier and cheaper, sometimes you lost some of that, like analogue essence. And the really cool thing with what Connie does that I've learned from working with her, is that neon tube really is an art form that hasn't changed since it really came out."
Stengel explores the idea of neon vs LED lighting, as well as all of the other challenges that any artist faces in a world that is constantly evolving.
"We try to answer the question: Do people find value in this still or is it just gonna be a dying art form?" Stengel said. "And, spoiler alert, but the resounding answer is yes, people still appreciate the way it's done and Connie is still able to do this full-time."
Stengel is no stranger to telling the stories of Wyoming and her artists.
Previously, he made a documentary called 'Make Art Wyoming' that was shown in various festivals and it won multiple awards. He's partnered with Wyoming PBS on many occasions. His work can be seen in commercials, in movie theater ads, and more. Stengel, ever since he picked up a camera, has been devoted to showcasing just how much talent Wyoming has.
Read More: A Boy and His Camera: Anthony Stengel Tells Wyoming Stories Through His Lens
So the Emmy nom shouldn't have come as a surprise. But it was.
MAKE ART WYOMING - A Documentary on Small Town Artists from Anthony Stengel on Vimeo.
"So without being too much of an expert, I'm kind of learning about this as well - basically you have Emmy chapters," Stengel said. "I'm in the Heartland Chapter, which I'm pretty sure is Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. You can get Emmy's for lots and lots of things, like it can be for a news broadcast, a live broadcast, documentary work, narrative work, reporting...there's just a ton of categories. I'm in the Arts and Entertainment category, so I think I'm going up against four or five other pieces in that category."
Whether Stengel actually wins or not is another matter, but even the pool to simply be nominated was enormous. So the fact that his film was chosen over countless others speaks to both his talent and to the subject.
According to the official Emmy Awards website, the Heartland Emmys are "a membership based organization dedicated to advancing and awarding excellence in all areas of media and television, through our Emmy Awards competition, scholarships, and programs."
There will be an awards ceremony, a 'gala,' on July 16 and Stengel intends to be there, with his family in tow. He may win. He may not. But Stengel considers the nomination to be validation enough for the work that he has put into telling the stories of Wyoming artists.
"It's kind of surreal and weird I guess," Stengel laughed. "The other day, my kids asked me 'Dad, what if you don't win?" And I said, 'That just means I don't win right now.' I'm just happy to be nominated and I'm excited to have the opportunity. I'm honored. When you get things like this, it's kind of like affirmation that I'm doing the right thing."
Stengel's film, 'Dying Light' can be seen in its entirety below:
Dying Light - A Neon Tube Bender from Anthony Stengel on Vimeo.