Carlos Dulcamara, a senior mass communications major from Mascoutah, Illinois, earned an honorable mention in the Mid-America Emmys. His video, “Honey Bunches of Oats Commercial,” was entered in the Craft Editor category.
The Mid-America Emmys is a regional chapter of the Emmys award show that covers specific areas of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. Dulcamara’s entry was under the section for College Production Awards.
Dulcamara produced the video for Mass Communications 330: Advanced Broadcast Writing, which was taught by Mark Poepsel, associate professor of mass communications.
“He asked us to create a script for a commercial, but the thing is, he wanted us to produce the actual video as well,” Dulcamara said. “I don’t know where I thought of this, but I thought, ‘You know what? It would be cool to do a cereal commercial, like the ones you see on TV with all the cool effects on it.’ So I went ahead and recreated it my own way.”
Poepsel said that as a student, Dulcamara is a joy to have in class.
“He was always attentive during in person classes and willing to contribute in Zoom classes. He’s the kind of student who helps other students get better because he has a passion for mass communication and the art of producing mass media,” Poepsel said.
The video is 30 seconds long and narrated by Dulcamara’s sister. It was filmed and edited at his home in Mascoutah.
“I ended up recording all of that in my house. So I have a backdrop, and I have my camera and all the cereal and the bowls and the props and stuff like that — I did all of that,” Dulcamara said.
Cory Byers, an instructor in the mass communications department, was the one who encouraged Dulcamara to submit his project to the Mid-America Emmys.
“I thought it was really well done. It was part of his demo reel or something else, but I thought it was pretty high quality. I had judged the Emmys before; I judged them every year, and it looked like it was up to that level that he could compete. So that’s why I suggested that he should submit to it,” Byers said.
At first, the honorable mention took Dulcamara by surprise.
“When I first saw the video of all the awards and I saw my name for a second, I thought I actually won so I freaked out,” Dulcamara said. “But then I saw ‘honorable mention’ and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s just an honorable mention,’ but that’s still pretty good.”
Dulcamara has been involved in editing videos since 2017, and credits his time at SIUE with understanding production at a professional level.
“I’ve transferred with many colleges, and so the SIUE program helped me realize the more professional side of video production. It gives me more hands-on production and understanding of how scripting works, or how it will be in the professional world. I feel like that the sense of professionalism kind of influenced me to proceed in my love for video production,” Dulcamara said.
Poepsel said he wasn’t surprised Dulcamara had been acknowledged at the Mid-America Emmys.
“Carlos makes us all look good. I do think that there’s some element of our mass communication education — our standards that we have are pretty high. It makes me really glad that I started adding a production element to a class that used to be much more focused on writing,” Poepsel said. “But professors always want to take credit for students’ work, and so we really shouldn’t do that. He just did an awesome job and the awesome work got recognized because it’s great work.”