(Kansas City, Mo.) — Wide Awake Films, an Emmy award-winning production company based in Kansas City, Missouri, is honored to be the recipient of a 2014 Silver Telly award in the Online/Historical Programs category for their production of a Gettysburg Animated Map for the Civil War Trust. Produced to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the epic battle between Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War, this Gettysburg Map features a high-tech blend of locally filmed live-action footage and movie-quality special effects.
"When 19th-century history meets 21st-century technology in innovative ways—like the creative, educational and entertaining Gettysburg Animated Map—the results can be spectacular," said Jim Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Trust. "Not only do viewers learn something about a turning point of American history, but they come to understand the battle's continuing relevance in our society. The Civil War Trust is proud of our longstanding partnership with Wide Awake Films and looks forward to many more collaborative efforts to bring the past alive for modern audiences and inspire future generations of preservationists."
The filming that went into the Gettysburg Animated Map production was no small effort. To create a highly-realistic depiction of the battle, Wide Awake Films' crew, along with dozens of historical reenactors, braved long days, hot weather, deep woods and, according to Seley, a "plague of ticks." But the producers, director and crew at Wide Awake Films are no strangers to unsympathetic filming locations. They are self-proclaimed "history buffs" and "detail fanatics" who want to capture nothing less than an accurate historical portrayal and will go to great lengths to get it right for the viewers.
"We see our work as a way to educate the youth about what happened during that period of American history and help them to understand the historical importance of the land," said Ed Leydecker, Partner and Development Manager at Wide Awake Films.
In addition to support from live actors, the map features green screen work and computer-generated imagery (CGI) to better illustrate how certain events might have transpired—such as the killing of Major General John F. Reynolds of the Union Army by a bullet shot from a Confederate rifle. Through CGI, viewers can travel with a Confederate bullet as it soars over the battleground and through a tree line before it ultimately finds its target.
The award-winning Gettysburg Animated Map is not only drawing honors from the industry, but numerous visitors to the Civil War Trust website as well. According to web analytics for the site, the twelve-minute-long Gettysburg Animated Map presentation has become one of the most-watched multimedia aspects of the site's content.
"We've done a number of historical documentary pieces, but it was a real honor to work with the Civil War Trust and produce a high-quality project that garnered an award like this," said Shane Seley, Founder and Director at Wide Awake Films. "It's always rewarding to receive recognition from the industry, but the best part of the experience was that we helped the Civil War Trust raise awareness about the Civil War, as well as the money they needed to save a piece of land with enormous historical value."
The Gettysburg Animated Map produced by Wide Awake Films for the Civil War Trust is just one part of an ongoing series of multimedia-driven documentary pieces being developed to drive interest in the Civil War—its triumphant and tragic events and the historical value of the lands upon which so many brave soldiers gave their lives.
This is the 21st Telly award for Wide Awake Films, which has also won three Emmy awards for historical documentary work.
About Wide Awake Films
Wide Awake Films is a creative media group focused on innovative, efficient execution of historical, commercial and corporate video and film production. The production company excels in producing compelling and powerful corporate messages, as well as Emmy award-winning historical content for museums, documentaries and television programming.