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Teens' documentary wins Emmy

Young Burbank filmmakers' 'Laying Down the Law' earns the award.

August 04, 2010|By Gretchen Meier, gretchen.meier@latimes.com

Not many college applicants can list an Emmy on their resumes, but 18 Burbank teens can.

The city of Burbank's Teens in Action program was honored over the weekend with an Emmy Award, the second in the organization's history.

Teens in Action, founded in 2003, attracts public and private school students age 13 to 19 to produce a documentary based on a topic of interest for teens.

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The documentary "Laying Down the Law" beat out three other shows in the "Public, Municipal and Operator Produced Cable" category.

"Laying Down the Law" focused on consequences of laws and rights that relate to teens, such as texting, "sexting" — sending sexually suggestive cellular text messages — drunk driving and jaywalking, said the show's co-producer Colleen Duffy Felix, who also works as program coordinator for the city's public information office.

"The biggest compliment I've heard about the show is that it's about teens talking to teens, not an adult voice put into teen terminology," Felix said.

Elizabeth Brennan, who worked both in front of and behind the camera for "Laying Down the Law," attributed being a part of Teens in Action to her decision major in film production at Cal State Northridge this fall.

"Teens in Action has helped me grow and mature. We had to meet deadlines and get things done; there was time to goof off, but we had to know when to work," the 17-year-old said.

She also attended the Emmy ceremony on July 31, and was part of the 15 students who went onstage when Felix and co-producer Jonathan McGinley accepted the award, calling it "the most exciting thing ever."

The Teens in Action team will debut a news-style pilot and website in the fall. The group has already started producing the first episode focusing on healthy eating and exercise.

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