By Diane Ako
The Small Talk stories of a Honolulu bladesmith, Christopher Greywolf, won a first place award and a finalist award on Friday night from the Society of Professional Journalists' Hawaii chapter. My partner, Mr. Tracy Arakaki, and I filed the stories on this blog:
We won first place in the category of Television Videography - competing against video stories, mostly filed by TV news stations. The judges said, "Excellent editing and storytelling about fascinating people who have come together into a fascinating community."
We also placed as a finalist in feature photography in the All Media category, which looks at pictures from all types of media, including still photography from magazines and newspapers.
This is a peer-judged contest, which makes it more meaningful to us that our colleagues vetted this against journalistic and technical standards. The winner in this category was from Maui News, the other finalist was from Hawaii Business magazine.
All categories of media from across the state were honored at the awards banquet - television, radio, print, internet, social media. It was delightful, once again, to encounter old industry friends and meet new ones.
These awards are really for Tracy - while we collaborate equally to find, vet, discuss, storyboard, research, script, and guide the story, it's Tracy's hands that operate the camera and edit the video. Hats off to a great partner for pulling this off a third year in a row for us, through his excellent aesthetic eye and fine understanding of technical principles. I'm lucky to have him as a friend and partner.
What makes the awards special to Tracy and me is that we do it for love. It's purely an act of passion. It's what we did while working at KHNL, and what we like to do.
We cover stories that are interesting to us and we enjoy the journey. We don't have a vested interest in the stories. The stories aren't to promote someone or something, they're not done as a favor to anyone, they're not an obligatory part of me writing this blog, and we certainly don't make money off it. We lose money, actually. We aren't paid for it and we personally pay for fees incurred while making it.
We think it's fun, and it's simply icing on the cake to get a formal nod of appreciation from our peers.
During the process of shooting the Wolf series, which was spread out over a period of months, we learned about entirely new crafts and communities, and we made a friend along the way. That's invaluable!