The cinema and television arts alum earned a top-prize award in the Broadcast Education Association’s 2023 Festival of Media Arts, an international digital media and broadcast competition for faculty and students that received more than 1,650 entries this year.
School of Communications students earned a total of four awards in the Broadcast Education Association’s 2023 Festival of Media Arts, with Charlie Breckenridge ’22 making school history, earning ElonComm’s first-ever individual Best of Festival honors*.
The Elon alumnus, who majored in cinema and television arts, won the festival’s top prize in the Student Film and Video Competition for his music video entry, “Right Now, It’s Like This.”
Breckenridge directed and co-produced the video for Elon classmate Eliza Spear ’22, who released her debut album in late 2022. The video also earned first place in the festival’s Music Video category. Because Breckenridge won the aforementioned category, his first-place finish made the project eligible for Best of Festival consideration.
To celebrate and collect their accolades, Breckenridge and co-producer Marie Granger ’22 attended BEA’s national conference in mid-April in Las Vegas. Breckenridge also earned a third-place award in the Live-to-Tape Multi-Camera Studio or Remote Production category for his “Elon Elite: Benefit Concert for Ukraine” entry.
The alumnus said that he cherishes the recognition he and his classmates received as it validates their efforts and creative visions.
“We set out to create something that wouldn’t look like it was produced at college, and more so something that can compete with Hollywood-level music videos,” Breckenridge said. “It’s great to see our hard work recognized in the festival. I always strive to give my all to any project, and seeing my efforts – along with the rest of the crew’s – pay off was very rewarding.”
Breckenridge said he was drawn to the “Right Now, It’s Like This” project because of his interest in pairing music with video. “I think the combination of the two can be extremely powerful,” he said.
The BEA Festival of Arts contest is known as the preeminent international media competition focused on student and faculty creative endeavors in categories such as audio, documentary, film & video, interactive media & emerging technologies, news, scriptwriting and sports. This year, there were more than 1,650 festival entries submitted by students and faculty.
Breckenridge received a $1,000 cash prize made possible thanks to the longtime sponsorship of The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation, and continued support of the Diana King Memorial Endowment.
Elon’s fourth award-winning entry earned an Award of Excellence in the Graduate Student Interactive Multimedia and Emerging Technologies Competition. The entry featured student work completed by seven members of the Interactive Media graduate program’s 2022 cohort. Led by faculty advisers Philip Motley and Brandon Booker, the student group produced video, visual and written content to support the Niños de Nueva Esperanza (NNE), a nonprofit organization in Puerto Rico that serves the children of the Sabana Seca community. The students’ finished work is available at www.nnepr.org.
Participating students included Christy Marchand G’23, Ana Martinez G’23, Sophia Theriault G’23), Ivana Spurlock G’23, Diamond Carroll G’23, Doo Lee G’23 and Zachary Fertig G’23.
Since his graduation, Breckenridge has freelanced extensively, working as a producer, director, director of photography and lighting designer. He started his own company, Bourne Creative, that hosts EDM raves at venues in Los Angeles and New York.
His advice for current cinema and television arts majors is to take advantage of the resources available to them on campus, as well as to connect with individuals who inspire them.
“I would emphasize creating the best portfolio you can during your time at Elon, since you have access to free gear,” he said. “Study how others in Hollywood create their projects and use the gear we have Elon to reproduce something of a similar caliber. Make sure to create a clean and high-quality website before you graduate.”
Lastly, Breckenridge said never hesitate to network.
“You’d be surprised at how far an Instagram DM or email will go,” he said. “I spoke with a ton of people in the industry who guided me through my projects at Elon.”
“I’m extremely proud of Charlie and for our student groups for their outstanding work,” said Vic Costello, associate professor of cinema and television arts, and former BEA president. “Elon produces some of the best student work in the country, and our continued success in the BEA Festival of Media Arts is a testament to that.”
In fact, the School of Communications continued its success this spring in BEA’s annual rankings of schools based on student achievements in the Festival of Media Arts, earning a second consecutive top-10 finish.
*According to Vic Costello, the School of Communications has had several faculty members and student groups win Best of Festival awards in the BEA Festival of Media Arts, but Breckenridge’s individual student win was a first. “It’s a big deal and honor to be recognized with a Best of Festival award, and Charlie should be incredibly honored,” said the associate professor of cinema and television arts.