FDU Professor David Landau wins two Telly Awards for film work

David Landau (right, in black shirt) works with his crew of FDU students on the set of "Stray," an independent short film. Landau recently received two Telly Awards for his work on "Stray."

By Jenny F. Connell

The Telly Awards have named Fairleigh Dickinson University Professor David Landau as a double bronze winner for digital cinematography and digital cinema lighting for his work on the independent short film, “Stray,” which was filmed last summer.

“It was written by a friend of mine, Nena Eskridge, she’s a producer,” said David Landau. “It’s a script that has won several awards, and almost got made a couple of times. So she got frustrated and decided to film just the first 12 minutes, and use it to raise money for a full feature.”

“So Nena approached me and she wanted me to shoot it,” said Landau. “She was originally talking about shooting it 16 mm, but I had been to talking with Sony about bringing in their brand new camera.” Landau shot the dramatic short film using two Sony PMW F3 Super 35mm digital cinema cameras, provided by Sony Electronics and NJ camera retailer ZGC.

“So there were two $25,000 cameras loaned to us for a week with the lenses and everything, but with the agreement that we make a documentary showing how the cameras worked,” said Landau.
Along with his students, Landau decided to produce “Stray” as a faculty/student research project through the Fairleigh Dickinson University film program in Madison, N.J.

Film major, Kaitlyn Pickerelli, explained her experience on the set by saying, “It was a whole week. I was a freshman at the time, and I’ve never been on a professional set. Even though we were all students and we were working with our professor, he felt more like a coworker rather than a professor. The chemistry between us all was pretty cool, and we were all able to just work cohesively and get the job done.”

While balancing both short films the crew also shot their own ‘behind the scenes’ footage of “Stray.” The short documentary about the camera was then submitted and later shown at the University Film & Video Association Conference and it has been posted online by Sony and ZGC who sells the camera.

“Stray” has also gotten attention through these two Telly Awards for Landau’s cinematography. These are Landau’s fourth and fifth Telly Awards. He won three awards in 2008 for his work on “Video Psychic” in the non-broadcast entertainment, videography and lighting categories.

Landau said, “I submitted it to the Telly Awards after getting Nena’s permission. She said ‘yes’ as long as it’s not shown in a festival.” The Telly Awards are unique in that it is a contest, and not a festival. Only people in the industry can watch and judge.

“The Telly awards are sort of like the Emmy awards for non-television. It’s for things that aren’t made for the public. They include training videos, public relations videos, corporate videos, and direct-consumer videos. This qualified because this is not a finished film,” said Landau.

“I was very happy,” exclaimed Landau when asked how it felt to be honored. “The Telly Awards get thousands of submissions from all over the world, so getting one for cinematography was a real honor. As a cameraman, it's a recognition of the quality of work I do which is respected by others.”

When asked what’s next for “Stray?” Landau answered, “Well, she had a television director who was very interested and was going to take the whole project, but she wanted to re-cast it and re-shoot it was going to be a $5 million budget and Nena was hesitant and back and forth, and then she finally came to me and said she turned the girl down.”

“So for her, she feels like she’s back at square one,” said Landau. “Right now Nena is putting together a business plans, and trying to raise the money to have the project done the way she wants it.”

Landau’s next project, “Dark Tarot,” is a supernatural thriller that is planned to start this summer.

The clip of "Stray" that Landau filmed is available on Vimeo. This clip contains some sexual and violent content.

Feature Story from the FDU Newsroom

FDU Office of Public Relations

   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Dickinson Hall, Room 3365, H-DH3-1, Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper,
Director of Public Relations
Fax: 201-692-7019

Kenna Caprio,
Communications Writer
Fax: 201-692-7019

Helen Grill,
Senior General Clerk
Fax: 201-692-7019

FDU Office of Public Relations

   (College at Florham Office)
East Cottage, Second Floor, M-EC2-01, Madison, NJ 08450

Scott Giglio,
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Fax: 973-443-8671

Daniel Landau,
Public Relations Assistant
Fax: 973-443-8671