Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and web commercials, videos and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators and corporate video departments in the world. The international competition receives over 11,000 entries annually from all 50 states and many foreign countries. Telly judges rate each entry on a 10-point scale. Generally, entries with a score of 9.0 or higher are awarded a Silver Telly statuette, the top prize. Entries with an average score of 7.0 to 8.9 from our judges are awarded a Bronze Telly statuette for outstanding achievement.
In 2004, Hartwell won a Silver Telly, the competition's highest honor, for his 30 sec. Tallberg “Respect” ad, created in collaboration with advertising agent Mike Harrington for the car dealership now known as Dave Kring. Using friends and family as acting talent along with Tallberg staff, the ad was shot with a used pro-sumer camcorder purchased from Hartwell’s first mentor Ric Pierpont, a $100 plastic tripod and yellow contractor lights purchased from a local hardware store... are far cry from the professional gear used by Hartwell today, valued at nearly $75,000. The commercial was Hartwell’s second production as an independent producer after leaving his post as production manager of Charter Media, and recognition from the award gave Hartwell a much needed boost to get his business off the ground.
In 2009, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Telly Awards, the competition extended its standard entry qualification period beyond work produced within 1 year of the competition, allowing entrants to submit any their finest pieces produced over the last 30 years. A limited edition Gold Telly was awarded to winners in this one-time offering by the Telly Awards Council, with significantly higher expectations, competition and stakes.
Hartwell's 17 minute promotional video titled “Emmet County – Live, Work & Play Here” won the coveted Gold Telly that year in the Non-broadcast Long Format Video Category. The video combined interviews from local luminaries in the fields of business, education and health care with scenic beauty shots of the county’s many natural and recreational assets, promoting Emmet County as a great place to start a business and raise a family while enjoying the resort lifestyle. Hartwell worked closely with Emmet County employees Kelley Atkins, Fred Gray and Lyn Johnson across a half-year span in 2008 to complete the mammoth project and share in the Telly honors.
Vidomaker Magazine, the world's most popular monthly consumer video production publication with a subscriber base of over 50,000, holds an annual competition honoring the best work of its subscribers in multiple short video categories, with prizes awarded to winners from the event’s sponsors, along with publication of the results online and in the magazine.
Banking on their success from the Telly Awards, Richard Hartwell and Mike Harrington won “Best Commercial” honors again in 2005 with the Tallberg “Respect” ad in the Videomaker Short Video Contest. With concept and script provided by the Harrington Group Agency as part of a larger marketing campaign created specifically for the auto dealership’s owner Dave Kring, audio produced by Bill Vogel, a Charlevoix sound artist with national credentials, Hartwell infused video footage, graphics and AfterEffects animations to present the dealership as a respected institution.