Anna Braswell wins student Emmy for sitcom she created, wrote, and produced
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Anna Braswell, a 2017 graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design with a Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing, won a regional student Emmy award for her original sitcom Nailed It! that she created, wrote, and produced while at SCAD.
Nailed It! is a behind-the-scenes workplace comedy about a home renovation show, led by the knowledgeable, but bland, Jamie Mills. In an effort to boost ratings and to keep from being canceled, her producer brings in minor internet celebrity Stewart Bradshaw, the Hashtag Glass Guy. Stewart throws a wrench into Jamie’s plans, but she has to figure out how to work with him in order to keep her show.
Nearing the start of Ms. Braswell’s final quarter at SCAD, the Performing Arts Department, Dramatic Writing Department, and the Film and Television Department held a pitch session that allowed students to present their ideas for original TV pilots that could be workshopped during the upcoming school year. SCAD already had one award-winning student-produced sitcom, The Buzz, and hoped to find another.
After she pitched the idea for Nailed It! to the team of professors, all of whom are industry professionals, they tossed some ideas around with her, and contacted her the next day to tell her that they wanted to not only move forward with her show, but produce it in full before she graduated at the end of the next quarter, putting The Buzz on hold to work on the pilot episode of Nailed It!.
As the show’s creator, Ms. Braswell served as head writer, a title known as showrunner, and also as producer. She hired writers, selecting two from the Dramatic Writing department, Amy Kole and Daniel Hentschel. The three attended rehearsals, where they interacted with the student actors, giving notes and answering questions regarding the script, often rewriting jokes, lines, or scenes in a matter of minutes due to the fast nature of television production. Ms. Braswell also had a hand in casting decisions, gave input and approval over set design, and worked with the student directors and crew regarding the technical aspects of filming a TV show, all under the direction and advisement of faculty mentors from several programs at SCAD. All in all, over a hundred students worked together to make the full-length sitcom possible.
Nailed It! was filmed in front of a live studio audience at the end of May 2017, a scant three months after the idea was pitched. It was so well-received that SCAD decided to continue with Nailed It!, even after Ms. Braswell graduated and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a writing career. She served as co-writer with Ms. Kole and Mr. Hentschel on the second episode and advised from across the country while they led the writing team for the second episode and wrote the third.
SCAD entered the pilot episode into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Southeastern chapter’s Student Production Awards, more commonly known as the regional Student Emmy Awards. Nailed It! was nominated for Best Writing and Best Editing, along with shows from colleges in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Ashville, NC. Nailed It! walked away with the award for Best Writing on June 9th, 2018, at a ceremony in Atlanta.
“While I wasn’t able to attend the ceremony in person, it’s extremely gratifying to receive recognition not only for all the hard work from everyone who had a hand in making Nailed It! possible, but also for the gift that God has given me in being able to make people laugh,” said Ms. Braswell.
SCAD plans to submit an episode of Nailed It! to the national student Emmy awards that take place in Los Angeles, where it would be in competition with student productions from across the country.
Ms. Braswell moved to LA three days after graduating from SCAD in June 2017 to start an internship with Metro Goldwyn Meyer in the Television Development Department, and currently works as an assistant to Dan Fellman, former head of domestic distribution at Warner Bros., who currently runs Fellman Consulting Corporation, a small consulting firm that advises on marketing and distribution for studios and companies across the film industry.
Ms. Braswell is a 2010 graduate of South Georgia State College and the daughter of Randy and Claire Braswell of Douglas.