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Documentary Nominated for L.A. Emmy

Published: July 18, 2016

“Sky Blue Sea,” a one-hour documentary produced by the Advanced Media Production Department (AMP) at CSULB, has been nominated for a local Emmy Award.

The documentary, which is about Long Beach’s naval and aviation history, was nominated for the Los Angeles Area Emmy in the independent programming category. It covers the discovery of oil in 1921 and the decision by President Woodrow Wilson to base the Pacific Battle Fleet in the San Pedro Bay in 1919, which branded Long Beach with a national reputation as an “oil town” and a “navy town” for years to come. The documentary also tracks the gestation and phenomenal growth of aviation in Long Beach, where from 1910 until WWII, the city featured many of the most famous fliers the world would ever know.

“We qualify for the nomination because we have our own independent cable TV broadcast facility (Beach TV) operated out of CSULB,” said Dave Kelly, director of AMP who served as producer, writer and narrator of the documentary. AMP is a division of the College of Continuing and Professional Education at CSULB.

Since its premiere on Nov. 13, the documentary has gained a ton of recognition; specifically from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

“We have worked with PBS before, so I contacted them and asked if they would consider this film for nationwide PBS affiliate distribution,” said Kelly.

Since being distributed to PBS stations on April 6, “Sky Blue Sea” has aired multiple times in the local area, including twice for KLCS, several times for PBS SoCal Plus and once for KVCR.

Kelly is trying not to get his hopes up too much for winning the Emmy statuette especially considering the competition he is going against. Three of the other four films nominated are from PBS SoCal.

“I am looking forward to participating in this special event and know that it is just a great honor to even be nominated,” said Kelly.

The Emmys have become a standard of excellence in the television industry and Kelly recognizes that to be in the same conversation with the Emmys is flattering for the AMP staff.

Sky Blue Sea cover image

“Everyone in this field of work wonders if their work is valuable or important enough to ever be recognized and this nomination is validation for all that hard work for my team,” he said.

Kelly was assisted in this 18-month project by other members of AMP—Craig Walker and David Ohl. Walker was responsible for field audio recording and Ohl for videography and post-production.

“These projects are always a collaborative effort,” said Kelly.

Project funding was provided by a grant from the Long Beach Navy Memorial Heritage Association. The Long Beach Navy Memorial Heritage Association was awarded a large endowment in 1998 from the Port of Long Beach to mitigate the demolition of the Long Beach Navy Base. The revolving grant fund is used to fund projects that benefit and foster preservation of Long Beach historical sites, buildings, resources and archives.

The 68th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards will take place in North Hollywood at the Television Academy’s Wolf Theatre on July 23.