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Early Light Media Video Production Awards News

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ELM Takes Home 2018 Special Judges Award

We’re so pleased to announce that two of our projects won three awards at this year’s Baltimore Addy Awards. We are so humbled and grateful to work with unbelievably talented people and clients who do incredible work for the world. Thank you!

Two Addy awards went to a short documentary project with the Annie E. Casey Foundation for De’Jon’s Story, a Special Judges Award and a Gold. Congrats to AECF and David Larson, who directed the film for ELM.

After being arrested at the age of 17 for shooting a man, De’Jon found himself faced with the possibility of being tried as an adult for his crime. Seeing potential in the young man his sentence was reduced to 3 years in the juvenile system where during that time he met several key people who believed in him. That support system led De’Jon to change his life. This is his story.

A silver Addy went to The Yield, a collaboration with Microsoft documenting an innovative app developed to help farmers have higher yields.

The Yield is an Australian Ag Tech business that has developed an app that helps farmers better utilize their land to combat climate change. They use Microsoft technology to store data and apply artificial intelligence to that data for more accurately predicting the weather.

ELM Wins Gold at the AAF Baltimore’s 2014 ADDYs



If you had asked us when we started this business if we thought we would win an industry award within the first two years, we would have thought you were crazy. So it obviously came as a huge shock when ELM took home the gold at the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore’s 2014 ADDY awards in the category of Branded Content for our video Rowing For All which we produced for Community Rowing, Inc..

CRI is dedicated to the belief that the sport of rowing provides unique abilities to promote personal and community growth through teamwork, discipline, and physical fitness. “Rowing for All” showcases CRI’s mission and shares some of the inspirational stories behind the participants at the rowing club.

In 2014, the AAF of Baltimore received 242 entries from 34 different companies in the Baltimore area. To ensure fair judging, four creative advertising professionals from outside of the Baltimore market reviewed each entry.

ELM was in good company at the 2014 ADDYs, which was attended by a talent from across the advertising industry. We felt that Planit’s Sarah Quackenbush hit the nail on the head when she said that whether you are a freelancer, a small shop or a large ad agency, the ADDYs are about celebrating great work in Baltimore. We all win when companies choose to do business here and we were delighted to be counted among the talented group of honorees. We look forward to doing more great work in the year ahead. Special thanks to CRI for letting us capture a small part of the great work they are doing in Boston.

Early Light Media Wins Chesapeake Emmy Awards for Video Production


ELM Director David Larson has taken home four regional Emmy Awards at the 56th Annual Natas DC Awards, hosted by the National Chesapeake Bay Chapter of NATAS. Larson won an Emmy in every category he was nominated in this year.

Larson was honored for his work in news during his time at WBFF Fox45 News in Baltimore. He was awarded Emmys in the category of Feature News for “Teresa’s Journey,” and Spot News for the Navy Yard Shooting, along with reporter Kathleen Cairns. He also won two Emmys with anchor Jennifer Gilbert in the categories of Light Feature News Report for their “One Word” piece and the Serious Feature News Report category for their “Hope for Hayden” piece.

Working in journalism has done so much for informing how we run our video production business from how we tell stories with sensitivity, to making social change. We’re proud of these awards because of the people we met while filming these stories and the important light it sheds on societal issues.

The Emmy Awards honor excellence in television production in various sectors of the television industry including entertainment programming, news and documentary shows, sports programming and craft categories. The ceremony was held on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at The Fillmore Silver Spring.


Here are

See the full list of winners.

ELM to Coach at 2015 Story Arc Workshop


This week and next, keep an eye on our blog for storytelling tips and more from Portlandia! I’m headed to the Pacific Northwest to arguably the most hipster city in these United States to participate as a coach at the 2015 Story Arc, a cinematic journalism workshop.

Portland is a place where food trucks are on every corner, Pabst Blue Ribbon is served in movie theaters and barbershops, and you’re made cooler just by being there. Well … you’re cooler if you have enormous plug earrings and sleeve tattoos (them). Otherwise you’re just a tourist (us). Storytelling opportunities abound, which is why having a cinematic workshop in this setting is exciting.

Launched in 2013, Wes Pope and Sung Park developed The Story Arc Workshop (formerly the Portland Workshop) at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication’s (SOJC) Turnbull Center in downtown Portland. Each year, six top professional multimedia producers from around the country work with 18 of the top SOJC graduate and undergraduate students to create short documentary films over the course of five days. Students receive a unique professional networking opportunity, as well as a chance to produce portfolio-caliber work. They have recently been looking into possible partnerships (with the NPPA and others) in order to open up their multimedia workshop to outside professionals (they will have a couple this year for the first time).

Another exciting update is that Canon and Atomos are sponsors providing equipment this year and they’re hoping for 100% ProRes capture using primarily c100 and c300 cameras.

…how does great work happen in the real world? By working on something larger than yourself.

Wes Pope, Co-founder of The Story Arc Workshop

Here’s more from the workshop’s co-founder and storytelling maven, Wes Pope:

The vision for the workshop is to create a “beyond bootcamp” experience. Where do you go after the one-man-band? Some workshops are fantastic at throwing students into the deep end and bringing them up to speed. However, the thing I learned in film school is that filmmaking is the most collaborative art form. Your work gets exponentially better when you work as a part of a team. That is the experience we are trying to create in our workshop: how does great work happen in the real world? By working on something larger than yourself.

Additionally, it is our goal to apply the tools of cinema to journalism. Not only through gear (and we do have a lot of cool gear!), but specifically through storytelling. We believe in the story component -show don’t tell- so much that we renamed the workshop Story Arc. Make the viewer care. Take them on a journey.

I’m excited to be in good company this year, as some of the awesome coaches include producers from Blue Chalk Media, filmmaker Vanessa Patchett, Filmmaker Amy Marquis, L.A. director/writer Arkasha Stevenson and Bruce Ely, a visual journalist with The Oregonian. We hope to bring you highlights of their expertise throughout the week, so be sure to follow along for updates.

5 Runners Directed by Darren Durlach Nominated For Emmy

It’s an honor to learn the news that the documentary I co-directed with Geoff Edgers, 5 Runners has been nominated for an Emmy award by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, New England chapter. View all nominees. It’s hard to believe that just a few, short weeks ago was the two year mark of one of the most shocking and tragic events to watch unfold in Boston history. I had been covering the race all day for The Boston Globe on one of the most beautiful spring days.

At the precise moment when the first bomb exploded, 5 strangers were taking their final steps to the finish line. Now, one year later, they plan to return to Boston to race again, where 3 people were killed and 264 injured – because they can’t imagine not being there

I had just left the finish line when I heard on the news that something major had happened. I, along with everyone else, was incredulous to the report that it may have been done purposefully and that so many were injured. All I could think is that it was a prank and a scare and all will be back to normal soon. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Geoff Edgers and I then embarked on an emotional journey documenting the story of 5 runners who were crossing the finish line as the bombs were exploding. The story takes the viewer all over the country from Charleston, SC to Chicago, Ill, on a journey through the lives of five people who will forever be linked by one horrific moment in time. Whenever I have the honor of telling someone’s story and they allow me access into their lives, my single greatest anxiety is whether or not I’ve achieved balance. Balance of doing right by our subject, by the viewer, and by myself. We worked really hard on that balance for this project, especially due to the sensitive nature of the content, and while an award isn’t the absolute measure of success, it’s an honor to be nominated.

Throw & Vulnerability is Sexy Take Home Baltimore Addy Awards

We are thrilled to share that Early Light Media was honored with a Special Judges Award in “Best Storytelling” for the short documentary Throw, last night at the 43rd Annual Baltimore American Advertising Awards Show (the ADDYs). The ELM team also took home a gold ADDY in the category of Cinematography for Throw and a silver ADDY in the category of Branded Content over :60 for Vulnerability is Sexy, a short film that was produced in partnership with Round Table Companies.

Throw, which unfurls the story of Coffin Nachtmahr, a self-proclaimed “outsider” from East Baltimore with a supernatural talent for yo-yoing, has been honored with a number of awards in the past year, including the Festival Director’s Awards at Mountainfilm in Telluride and a Vimeo Staff Pick. The branded documentary, presented by YoYo Expert, was completed in April 2016.

Vulnerability is Sexy, a branded documentary which was produced in partnership with Round Table Companies (RTC), explores the vision of RTC’s founder Corey Blake and his mission to forge deeper connections through vulnerability. The film, which is not yet available online, will premiere later this year as part of the company’s “Vulnerability is Sexy” campaign.

The American Advertising Awards show was hosted by the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore (AAFB) at the American Visionary Art Museum. More than 370 entries were submitted this year and judged by a panel of three out-of-market judges. For more information about the night’s winners visit www.baltimoreadvertising.com.

2015 Hermes Awards

We always look forward to working on projects that allow us to make a personal connection to the people and communities we are highlighting. Organizations like The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation make that possible with every story they produce, and the results are a testament to their drive to capture the authenticity of each story.

This year the Weinberg Foundation won 12 Hermes awards. Two of their winning submissions were videos produced in conjunction with The Weinberg foundation and Early Light Media.

We met a wonderful lady named Zoe who told us how important books are to her. Zoe’s imagination grows with every book she reads, and now that the Weinberg Foundation has helped to outfit her school, Henderson-Hopkins with a new library, the sky isn’t even a limit.

Zoe’s story won the Platinum Hermes Award.

The Weinberg Foundation opened the doors to four new libraries in Baltimore City. Early Light Media was there to capture the reactions of the students when they walked through the doors for the first time.

The 2014 Library Project won the Gold Hermes Award.

It is exciting to see the work we care so much about be appreciated by so many. Thank you to The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation for letting us be a part of your inspirational projects, and congratulations on your successes.

What a way to kick off the new year! We’re thrilled to announce that all five video productions ELM entered into the 2016 AVA Digital Awards brought home honors.

Our work gives us amazing opportunities to bring creative ideas to life, and we’re so lucky to work with incredible partners who make it possible. We won two platinum awards, two gold awards and an honorable mention for work with DC United, Loyola University, Emerging Technology Centers, First Fruits Farm, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Thank you to the AVA Awards, our partners, and of course our moms. Check out the work below!

United We Live“, for DC United won a Platinum award in Editing.

Strong Truths, Well Lived” for Loyola University won a Platinum award in Education / College / University / Trade.

Sculpting with Fire” for Emerging Technology Centers won a Gold award in Company Overview.

“Soul Food” for First Fruits Farm won a Gold award for Cinematography.

“Families of East Point” for Annie E. Casey Foundation was given an honorable mention in Nonprofit.

AVA Digital Awards is an international competition that recognizes excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication. Work ranges from digital engagement campaigns – to audio and video production – to website development – to social media interaction – to mobile marketing. For more information and a full list of winners, visit avaawards.com.

Darren Durlach

About Darren Durlach

Darren is a film director and co-founder of Early Light Media, a video production agency based in Baltimore. He enjoys writing about storytelling, filmmaking, and video marketing to help organizations communicate more effectively with their audiences.

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