WSU’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts CFPCA ‘Be Inspired’ recruitment video receives an EMMY® Award

Wayne State University (WSU)’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts (CFPCA) in collaboration with WSU’s University Television (UTV), received a Michigan National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) EMMY® Award for the College’s Be Inspired recruitment video at the 39th EMMY® Awards ceremony on Saturday, June 10. The event was held at MotorCity Sound Board Theatre.

“I’m so proud of the College and alumni who worked to create this wonderful video. They clearly demonstrated the creativity that defines our College,” said CFPCA Dean Matthew Seeger.

The Michigan EMMY® represents the most experienced and talented television professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from all of Michigan’s 11 television markets. The Michigan Chapter was charted by the National Academy in 1978 as the Detroit chapter, which expanded to include the entire state of Michigan in 1989.

The award signifies the result of outstanding collaboration between WSU’s University Television and CFPCA.

“The marketing team at Wayne State does a great job of telling stories about the university in an honest and compelling way – every time. So, it’s very gratifying to be recognized by our peers for taking that honest approach,” said WSU Marketing and Communications Director for Media Content Art Lionas.

Be Inspired was nominated in the category Promotion - Program- Single Spot, and was up against Michigan State University’s Your Tomorrow promotional video.

Detroit is our classroom

The idea behind the video was to showcase CFPCA’s creative programs and the cool Detroit connection that CFPCA students are afforded in this city. The production crew consisted of six individuals, mainly comprised of current CFPCA graduate students and alumni.

Even the charismatic voices you hear setting the tone of the video are CFPCA students. No out sourcing, no auditions, no stand-ins -- just pure ‘creative’ warrior pride.

A small team with big dreams!

This was a collaborative process because of its team utilizing all students and former students to implement the production. Special effects capturing key moments included a drone to capture aerial footage, Porta-jib slider for panning shots and DJI Osmos for steady walking shots. Lionas and CFPCA Associate Director of Student Services Lezlie Hart wrote the script. Dean Seeger served as script doctor, while CFPCA Academic Officer III Kelly Driscoll served as the coordinator for the project.

“We needed a new professional video to showcase our extremely talented and hardworking college, so we turned to Wayne State’s own University Television, said Driscoll. “This piece was truly a labor of love. On our first day of shooting, the crew said ‘We’re all CFPCA students and alumni; we want to make this special.’ From the director down to the student voices, everything is CFPCA.”

To a degree, every team member was involved using the various cameras, lights, running audio and/or participating in meetings to discuss refinements of scripts and location ideas.

“We wanted this piece to exude creativity while promoting the idea that inspiration can come from anywhere. In this case, our location here in midtown Detroit,” said UTV Associate Director Darryl Shreve. “It was important for me to film this piece in 4K resolution because I wanted to create something that was of the highest quality representing a College that pushes for the same from its students. Our EMMY® nomination shows what can occur when egos are checked at the door and true collaboration happens between creatives, administrators and our students.”

“WSU gave me the shot to follow my dreams”

Jeffrey Keene, a UTV videographer/editor, began his journey to CFPCA as a spoken word poetry writer. He came to the University because of his love for the city and what it has to offer. He had no idea that, six years, a Master of Arts and a full-time job later that he would be an Emmy-nominated videographer and editor.

“As an alumnus of CFPCA's MA program, this project was definitely special for me,” said Keene. “What made me the most proud was the quality of our footage shot by our own team. From the script to the producing to the shooting this had the UTV-CFPCA stamp of approval from beginning to end.”

“WSU gave me my shot to follow my dreams. I came here not knowing what was next and now I am an Emmy®-nominated videographer/editor! I owe that to WSU and experience and opportunities with CFPCA.”

For more information about NATAS Michigan EMMY® Chapter, visit

Take a tour, attend a show or visit a gallery! For more information about WSU’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @WayneStateCFPCA.

Da'Stanza Murphy,
CFPCA Information Officer