Upper Midwest Emmy Award Winner: Mason McGrew 



Isabel Haas, Arts & Life Editor

On Friday, Apr. 12, Mason McGrew, a digital media sophomore at Buena Vista University, received the 2019 Upper Midwest Emmy Crystal Pillar Award at the Crowne Plaza Suites in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was McGrew’s first time receiving an award at the event. 


According to The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, “The Upper Midwest Chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is a membership organization dedicated to excellence in television by honoring exceptional work, past and present; providing professional development and outreach; and nurturing the next generation of television professionals. 


McGrew submitted a short film entitled Have a Snow Ball and won the short form fiction category. The short film features long-time favorite Mr. Bluetie, a stop motion character who has been seen gracing Instagram @mr.bluetie. 


“I chose to submit this short film because it was the best work I had done, not just at that point, but that I had done that year, and to be honest, I didn’t think it would win anything,” McGrew explained.  


McGrew’s mom, dad, and brother were in attendance on Apr. 12 when the award was presented, and they supported McGrew as he gave a short speech thanking those who contributed to his success 


“I knew I had to start with a joke, so I walked up there, and I said, ‘I’d like to thank my family, I wouldn’t be here without them. Literally. They drove me here,” McGrew said.  


McGrew gives credit to professor Jerry Johnson, who encouraged McGrew to submit his work and has worked with him closely on many projects, as well as his family, who has supported him in all of his media producing endeavors.  


McGrew loved the opportunity to be present at the awards ceremony and appreciated the support he was given by his family. The day following the awards ceremony, McGrew and his family went to the Mall of America, where they got to spend even more time celebrating his success and enjoying time together.  


McGrew plans to submit his work again next year if he feels that it is worthy of another award.  


“Hard work pays off, and if you’re working hard on something and you don’t know if it’s good or not, I think more people should feel free to submit stuff and we should encourage that more,” McGrew stated.  


As McGrew continues to work on passion projects and advance his skills as a media producer, there is no doubt that there will be more awards future.