Arts & Culture

“Our State” Television Show Wins Three Emmy® Awards

Meet the crew behind the award-winning "Our State" television program.

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“Our State” the UNC-TV series inspired by Our State magazine, received three Emmy® awards from the Midsouth Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science at a ceremony in Nashville on January 26, 2013.

The “Our State” television series has received 10 Emmy awards since its inception in 2004. The show often receives ratings similar to national PBS shows such as MasterPiece Theatre.

Award categories include:

Magazine Program
“Our State: Soldier’s Stories/Trail of Trust”
Watch “Soldier’s Stories”
Watch “Trail of Trust”

Magazine Series
“Our State”

Photographer/Program
“Our State: Keys to the Past”
Mike Burke

Q&A with the crew

Brian Faulkner
Writer

What’s your favorite part about working on “Our State?”
Faulkner: The challenge of weaving the various parts of the story together for video in keeping with Our State magazine’s style.

What kind of reaction do you get from viewers?
Faulkner: Practically everyone I mention the program to has seen it. Typical reaction is, “Oh, I love “Our State” – the magazine and the television show!”

Would you take us ‘behind the scenes,’ and provide a detail about production that the viewer would never know otherwise?
Faulkner: Putting an “Our State” TV segment together on paper (the scriptwriter’s job) is a lot like baking a pie. You need to have everything in place before you begin: the compelling “thread” of a story, the interviews (we end up using only the best parts), and Mike Burke’s fabulous video footage. But there’s no recipe or format. You start with a blank piece of paper (or computer screen). A big plus for me is that because I also narrate many of these segments, I am able to create a “voice” for the program that can be readily identified as “Our State.”

Mike Burke
Director of Photography

What’s your favorite part about working on “Our State?”
Burke: Traveling around the state and meeting the people. Also being able to use different cameras. For example, I used a 100-year old film view camera, and the photos taken with that camera appeared in one show.

What kind of reaction do you get from viewers?
Burke: Every time I tell folks who I am and what show I work on I get “OH! I watch that show and it’s really beautiful!”

Would you take us ‘behind the scenes,’ and provide a detail about production that the viewer would never know otherwise?
Burke: The days are usually 12+ hours working time, and it’s very physically demanding. I could end up two miles down in Bat Cave on my stomach, or hanging off the bow of the Elizabeth II while it’s under sail. We have hiked Bald Knob, near Marion, which took 8 hours – with camera equipment – to do an interview. We spend a lot of time lighting each shot, until it’s perfect. We have carried equipment into the Great Dismal Swamp to do a story. We do what it takes to make “Our State” the best show we do.

David Hardy
Producer


What’s your favorite part about working on “Our State?”
Hardy: The best part about working on “Our State” is getting to dive deeper into the history, culture and people that make North Carolina so special.

What kind of reaction do you get from viewers?
Hardy: I love it when a viewer tells me they learned something they didn’t know before.

Would you take us ‘behind the scenes,’ and provide a detail about production that the viewer would never know otherwise?
Hardy: Many people may not realize that a typical 8 minute Our State story takes several months to shoot; at least ten hours of raw footage, and several weeks of editing and mixing. This past season Morgan and I have made an effort to capture stories at “ground” level rather than from above; and have a more first-person tone.

Jay Cartwright


What’s your favorite part about working on “Our State?”
Cartwright: I have lived in North Carolina my whole life and have no plans to leave. I feel a lot of state pride, and having the opportunity to contribute to a television program that shares that feeling with viewers is a true gift.

What kind of reaction do you get from viewers?
Cartwright: Feedback is often simply appreciation that we have brought the state’s hidden treasures due recognition.

Would you take us ‘behind the scenes,’ and provide a detail about production that the viewer would never know otherwise?
Cartwright: When we begin production on a new segment, we often have no idea how we will eventually structure our narrative or even what details about a subject we will include. The material itself must shape the story. We listen before we speak.

Morgan Potts
Producer/Director/Editor


What’s your favorite part about working on “Our State?”
Potts: When I pull up to meet an “Our State” subject I have preconceived notions of who that person is and how the story may be told. The surprise of being wrong and finding more depth to a person and the story is a delight and a challenge.

What kind of reaction do you get from viewers?
Potts: A road trip would not be complete without interactions with “Our State” fans/viewers. They are always curious about what we are doing and when the segment will air. They give us the scoop on nearby restaurants and even propose segment ideas. The kind words they share about the show and the magazine invigorates us and becomes a creative fuel.

Would you take us ‘behind the scenes,’ and provide a detail about production that the viewer would never know otherwise?
Potts: Go back and watch “Camden County Jail”. All the flashback sequences were performed by the “Our State” crew. Grant Dennis was voted mvp for that particular segment. Audio guru by trade, Grant doubled as our cotton field running convict.

•••

Amy Wood Pasquini
Our State Magazine
Marketing Development Director


About the Series
“We are so proud to be working with UNC-TV on this extraordinary series,” says Amy Wood Pasquini, Our State marketing development director. “The folks there are so talented and share our same love of the people and places of North Carolina.”

Inspired by the pages of Our State magazine, UNC-TV’s half-hour monthly series takes you down home in North Carolina for an in-depth look at the intriguing people and memorable places of the Old North State. “Our State” helps preserve the past, anticipates the future and celebrates the present through unforgettable stories and videography. It is produced by UNC-TV in partnership with Our State magazine and generously supported by BB&T.

“Our State,” the television program, airs Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. Series 7 will begin in July 2013.

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2 Responses to “Our State” Television Show Wins Three Emmy® Awards

  1. Mary Burke says:

    Congradulations to all on winning the Emmy, in particular the photographer.

  2. BetteLou Campbell says:

    Congratulations to ‘Our State’, television show, on winning three Emmy awards! This show draws you in…like a good friend sharing a story…bringing you closer and deeper into the rich history and culture of North Carolina. This enlightenment about its rich history, artisans, diverse landscapes, agriculture, people of the regions and the diversity of the state serve to keep North Carolina’s appeal as a great place to live and play! Thank you, Our State!!

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