He did it.

This hometown boy has most definitely made good.

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On Saturday, Casper filmmaker Anthony Stengel took home an Emmy Award for his short documentary called 'Dying Light,' which he produced for Wyoming PBS. 

Stengel was nominated for the Emmy award back in June, as part of the Heartland Emmy Chapter's 2022 Nominees in their English Arts/Entertainment category.

Photo Courtesy of Anthony Stengel
Photo Courtesy of Anthony Stengel

Stengel had good company in that field, sharing the nominee ballot with some incredible talent. But it was he who took home the gold. Or bronze. Is it bronze?

'Dying Light' is a short film centered on the work of Connie Morgan, another Casper local who specializes in neon light art. She is the owner of GloW, a store in downtown Casper that offers various neon pieces.

Read More: Casper Filmmaker Nominated for Emmy Award

"In the film, we go into why she does it; the challenges and struggles she faces," Stengel stated. "It's called 'Dying Light' because neon is actually kind of this dying art form. It's actually kind of fascinating because, as a lot of different industries and technologies take over and make things easier and cheaper, sometimes you lost some of that, like analogue essence. And the really cool thing with what Connie does that I've learned from working with her, is that neon tube really is an art form that hasn't changed since it really came out."

Stengel explores the idea of neon vs LED lighting, as well as all of the other challenges that any artist faces in a world that is constantly evolving.

"We try to answer the question: Do people find value in this still or is it just gonna be a dying art form?" Stengel said. "And, spoiler alert, but the resounding answer is yes, people still appreciate the way it's done and Connie is still able to do this full-time."

Stengel is no stranger to telling the stories of Wyoming and her artists.

Previously, he made a documentary called 'Make Art Wyoming' that was shown in various festivals and it won multiple awards. He's partnered with Wyoming PBS on many occasions. His work can be seen in commercials, in movie theater ads, and more. Stengel, ever since he picked up a camera, has been devoted to showcasing just how much talent Wyoming has.

Photo Courtesy of Anthony Stengel
Photo Courtesy of Anthony Stengel

Which is what led him to the 36th Annual Emmy Awards Presentation, held at the Hilton Denver City Center on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

"The experience was crazy, super surreal," Stengel told K2 Radio News. "I wore a tux with sparkly shoes! I was there with my wife, stepdaughter, mom and dad."

And maybe, just maybe, that was the best part. For any artist, it's hard to tell your parents "I don't want to be a doctor or a lawyer; I want to create this thing out of nothing and turn it into something that people like." It's a hard conversation to have. So the fact that Stengel was able to bring his parents to this event, to this acknowledgment, to this affirmation that, indeed, Stengel is doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing and for them to see that and to say they're proud of him...that's worth more than any statue.

Similarly, it was important for Stengel's wife to be there as well. The spouse of an artist is an unsung hero and Stengel said she's put up with much from him and his need to create, but she's also been his biggest supporter.

"I have the best, most supportive wife in the whole world," Stengel beamed. "She's my number one fan. She cheers me on. And when it comes to any of my crazy ideas, or the ridiculous amount of money I've spent on getting to where I am with camera gear - she's never even blinked. She just says 'This is what you're passionate about, this is your dream. I support you.' I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing if I didn't have such a supportive spouse."

So to have his family there, to have his support system; it meant the world. And when it was announced that Stengel won the award, the genuine reactions on the faces of each of them was like something out of the movies.

"Honestly it’s an absolute honor and is so crazy I can’t really put it into words," Stengel said. "I guess I’m walking away with an immense sense of gratitude for every person who has believed in me, encouraged me, and trusted me to create. I am truly honored."

Back in November, K2 Radio News faded in on on a boy and his camera. We were proud to be able to highlight one of Casper's true artists and, more than that, we were honored to highlight somebody who strives to highlight other local artists via his work. We knew he was good. We knew he was very good. Now, 8 months later, he has shown the world just how good he is. And he's only going to get better. Not so bad for a man and his camera.

Fade Out

Read More: A Boy and His Camera: Anthony Stengel Tells Wyoming Stories Through His Lens

To see 'Dying Light' in full, as well as all of Stengel's other films, you can visit his website here.

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