When Producer Jesse Kreitzer attended the Boston/New England Emmy Award nomination party last month, he didn't think the station would be walking out as a nominee.
Well, NewTV didn't leave with one nomination. It left with two.
"It was a surprise," Kreitzer says. "It's an honor for NewTV -- it raises awareness about what we're able to do here."
NewTV's original show "The Folklorist" was nominated twice in the Outstanding Promotion Program - Single Spot category. Kreitzer shares the nomination credit alongside Production Manager Andrew Eldridge and the show's host John Horrigan.
The nominated material includes a promo for "The Folklorist" titled "The Christmas Truce," which previews a story about World War I troops who put their fighting on hold for Christmas Day.
The other promo is a simple teaser that entices the audience to tune in to the new show, Kreitzer says.
NewTV Marketing Manager Shelly Kamanitz explains that nominees' material is judged by media officials in other regions of the country. Then, once the nominees are chosen the academy reviews the material and hands out the awards at a ceremony in downtown Boston.
According to Kreitzer, this is the first time NewTV has been up for a regional Emmy. In fact, it was the first time the station entered any material into the Emmy contest.
In addition, this is one of few instances where a community access television station like NewTV was nominated for an award, he says, as many of the regular nominees include local network affiliates.
The NewTV promos are up against material from Comcast SportsNet, Element Productions and WCVB-TV -- stations that have more manpower and higher budgets, Kreitzer says.
Despite their minimal budget, Kreitzer says his work on "The Folklorist" has allowed him to develop his own creative abilities and produce content that appeals to Newton, New England and beyond.
"It's an unprecedented opportunity to produce in-house content that the community would be receptive to and that we could pedal beyond New England and make NewTV a more prominent name in broadcasting," Kreitzer says.
"The Folklorist" got its start when Kreitzer joined up with host John Horrigan, a local sports announcer who has a passion for sharing historic tales. Meanwhile, NewTV had started pushing the idea of creating original content and Kreitzer was interested in doing a show that tied in folklore and storytelling.
The pilot episode, which premiered in March, features stories of the Boston Molasses Flood, The Boston Massacre and Babe Ruth.
"['The Folklorist'] comes down to recreating and offering an imaginative spin on some of these iconic and rarely known, obscure tales," Kreitzer says.
Both professional and non-professional actors came in to work on the show's historic reenactments and a number of models and materials were donated from vendors across the country, including 60 pounds of molasses needed to recreate the 1919 flood.
The show also involves students in the Newton Public Schools, an aspect Kreitzer had in mind from the beginning. As a result, "The Folklorist" features a "campfire" section of the show where students tell their own historic tales they have learned in school or that have been passed down to them from older generations.
Before any talk of Emmy nominations, Kreitzer said the basis behind "The Folklorist" was to produce something both entertaining and educational. Now, he sees the show expanding outside the Newton community and possibly having "more national aspirations."
For now, though, Kreitzer and "The Folklorist" crew will continue to work on more episodes and wait for the June 2 awards ceremony to hear whether it has put Newton on the regional Emmy map.
"It's a great honor," Kreitzer said. "We're just focused on continuing to produce the program and keep building with it -- we don't want to rest."
The Boston/New England Emmy award ceremony will be held Sat., June 2 at the Marriott Boston Copley Place. To view "The Folklorist" clips or the pilot, check out the show's website.
Disclaimer: Newton Patch Local Editor Melanie Graham teaches occasional social media classes at NewTV.