NKU Students' Miniseries Wins Cincy Cable Blue Chip Award
For two years, a group of Northern Kentucky University students has been writing, producing and filming an award-winning 18-episode online and cable access mini-series based around a private detective named Dingo Suede.
“It was one of those things where I didn’t really know what I was getting into at the very beginning, but it turned out to be an awesome, awesome experience,” said Chandler Taylor, a senior bachelor of fine arts performance major and the lead actor of the series.
Chandler Taylor (Photo from NKU)
The hard work of the students has paid off with a 2014 Cincinnati Cable Access Blue Chip Award for Best Entertainment Program.
“Us being recognized by the Cincinnati community gave more validation than I already had that the show was good quality and the show was something worth pursuing,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t just a bunch of people with camcorders, we were very professional in the way we approached things.”
Holland Raines, a recent graduate, came up with the idea and contacted Norse Media producer/director and Department of Communication lecturer Bavand Karim. From there Karim, along with assistance from the Norse Film Society, became the driving force behind the project.
The series began with full-length 17 to 18-minute episodes in fall 2012, but the episodes were taking a full semester to finish and they were cut to mini-episodes. Due to the smaller form, Raines and Karim were able to get extra help from friends in the Department of Theatre and Dance to play supporting roles.
Taylor jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the project. For him it was an opportunity to do something outside of the theater department and do on-camera work.
“That was so appealing to me,” Taylor said. “And the people I got to work with I became really good friends with.”
The nights could be long running into the hours of 2 and 3 a.m. For Taylor, those late nights were hard work, but were worth it all. He also felt that the production being nearly all student-run, with essentially no budget made it something “really special.” Many of the mini-episodes were filmed on campus as well as in the local area.
“We were able to offer experience to the community, not just NKU; we got to go beyond that,” Taylor said.
In one episode, Karim even contacted a professional actor he knows.
“I only had a few lines in that one (with the professional actor) and it was kind of intimidating and caught me so off guard,” Taylor said. “Usually I was working with actors on my skill level, so it was a lot different, but it was a lot of fun and probably one of our better episodes.”
Taylor was a part of another award-winning project that earned a Cincinnati Cable Access Blue Chip Award, which he says was something that wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t done Dingo Suede.
“The fact I was able to work in the professional environment and that professional capacity and still have the chance to branch out in college and make more friends was a big deal to me,” Taylor said.
Though it’s uncertain that there could be more Dingo Suede in the future, due to many of the students involved graduating, Taylor is always up for more if the situation came about. Even if there is no more Dingo Suede, Taylor hopes to see more projects like it.
Go to YouTube here to see episodes of the series.
Nancy Curtis is an intern in the Northern Kentucky University marketing and communications department