Alum Spotlight: Emmy Nominee Joey Contino ('14)

Alum Spotlight: Emmy Nominee Joey Contino ('14)

Jan 2 2024

By Alyssa Threadgill

Temple FMA Alum Joey Contino ('14) was recently nominated for an Emmy for his fascinating short video South Jersey's Unknown Ship Graveyard.

In a recent interview we sat down with Contino who talked about his career as an independent writer, the inspiration for his work and how Temple prepared him to succeed.

An independent writer, producer and talent Contino says that there are numerous benefits to working solo, especially in terms of creative freedom. “What inspired me to be an independent writer, producer, and talent consisted of a few factors such as creative freedom, autonomy, flexibility, and overall creative satisfaction”, he said. “It ultimately allowed me to work as long as I wanted on a project…until I felt it was done right without having someone put pressure on me to just get it done.”

Contino loves to incorporate local communities in his work. I asked him how the community inspires him and how important it is for him to amplify these stories. “The local community is the driving factor in all of my videos. My channel is called ‘The Wildwood Video Archive’ because the first few years I started doing history videos just off of my summertime home of the Wildwoods”, he said.  “From 2005 to now, the Wildwoods lost over 68 of these iconic motels. Those were places that generations of visitors used to vacation in and make beautiful memories at. This hurt the local community because they were losing much of their history.There wasn’t anyone at the time documenting the history that was once there and the history that would be gone soon. I wanted to be that person who could tell those memories or save them.”

Although Contino has found great success since he left Temple’s campus, he still has a great deal of gratitude toward his professors for teaching him production and storytelling. “My teachers at Temple University were very on top of us students to know everything about a certain topic before we started talking about it and informing the public”, he said. “These were teachers who were former broadcasters with firsthand knowledge of the essential elements of crafting a story, such as addressing who, what, where, when, and why. 

Contino also believes much of his creative process was inspired by his time at Temple.

“This drive to provide detailed answers to the five W questions [Who, What, When, Where and Why] were become deeply engraved in my mind, which is why I now approach all my projects with a strong emphasis on detail and heavy research,” he said.  “In my Emmy Nominated video, I dug up old dredging reports from prior decades to see if the ships had been mentioned at all. Some of these reports were 50+ pages and many of them had no information that I needed for my project but in the end, it was still worth it. Sometimes the correct information is hidden in the strangest of documents.“

All in all, Contino holds that graduates of Temple have the ability to set themselves apart from others in the media and film industry.

“Temple Owls were always taught that you need to work hard to get the job done. Since that was imprinted in our minds, it has led many graduates to high positions in the media industry,”  he said. “Since we all have been through the gauntlet together, we have learned to always have the backs of our fellow alumni. In a field where you need to know somebody who knows somebody to get a leg up, it’s this dedication to each other that helps us grow.”

We wish Joey the best of luck with his nomination and can’t wait to see his future projects!

 

 

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