Log In

Reset Password

Former Resident Nate Hapke Grabs Emmy For 'General Hospital' Gig



Text Size

PASADENA, CALIF. - Former Newtown resident, filmmaker, and daytime drama production associate Nate Hapke was thrilled to be among members of General Hospital's production staff who captured a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team on April 30.The Newtown BeeGeneral Hospital received from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and was balancing the demands of that full-time job with amassing the necessary financing for his latest independent film, entitled , Mr Hapke said he was elated about the accolades that Slate.One More.Brunch and the production team behind another one of his shorts titled Thom & Gerry,.At the same time, Mr Hapke is poised to jet off to the French Rivera, where he will be screening the Cannes Film Festival debut of another of his shorts, called Ashes.The Bee, Mr Hapke was calm, cool, collected, and seemed to be taking all the excitement in stride.A Surreal SequenceGH team was going into the broadcast awards having been shut out of all but one technical Emmy during separate ceremonies a few days earlier.Emmy EpisodesGeneral Hospital, Mr Hapke is being groomed for an associate director post, which he hopes bodes well for future directing opportunities.Making MoviesGeneral Hospital's production schedule has helped him become much more efficient in his own independent projects.Thom & Gerry, is now a one-day shoot," he said. "It's about efficiency, communication, knowing exactly what I need for the edit, not overshooting, not wasting the crew's and actors' time, and that's something I learned from working on General Hospital."GHOne More, which he said is his best work. Emmy, he completed SlateSlate ends on May 28; visit , a story about an inspiring actress preparing for an audition. The Kickstarter campaign for kickstarter.com/projects/1634820429/slate.Facebook or Twitter.

The directing Emmy was one of four statues the program took home following ceremonies that evening at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

The venerable daytime drama was also recognized with the Emmy for Outstanding Drama, for its Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Craig, and its Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series: Lexi Ainsworth.

In a call to

The young filmmaker is in the final few days of a Kickstarter campaign to finance the project, while at the same time promoting the March release of yet another short called

No stranger to Cannes, his first debut at the festival came two years ago with Mr Hapke's first film,

You might think he would be frazzled with everything going on, but as in previous visits with

"It is very surreal," he acknowledged, adding that on the day of the Emmys he was flying back from Seattle and a birthday visit with his mom.

"So I was on the plane that morning, and the lady next to me spilled her orange juice all over me. I mean it was running down into my shoe. And she's apologizing profusely, but I'm not reacting because I expected something horrible to happen that day," he said.

"So I figured if that was the worst thing that could happen, and something bad happened that morning meant something special would happen that night.

"Plus it was the 44th Daytime Emmy Awards. Forty-four is a significant number at my alma mater Syracuse University, and our mascot was the Orange - so everything was going my way that day," he added laughing.

Mr Hapke said that the

"It was kind of ominous going in there Sunday night, because we were thinking we might be shut out of all those major categories," he said. "But we won two of the 'big three' with directing team and best drama series."

General Hospital have been seeing the series and its stories moving more and more outside the "hospital set," as Mr Hapke describes it.

Longtime fans of

"That hospital set is always up, but I think we used to utilize the hospital a lot more than we do now," he said.

The two-episode arc that won the directing honors, he said, involved what might be described as a classic daytime drama scenario involving a gun runner-mob boss taking an entire wedding party hostage at the church, two of the characters getting shot, and a reveal that a previously paralyzed regular on the show, Sonny Corinthos, actually can walk.

"A lot happened in those two episodes and we directed them beautifully," he said. "Those two episodes were directed by Phideaux Xavier and Larry Carpenter, and they did a phenomenal job."

As production associate, Mr Hapke said he plays an integral role with the directors in that he filters all the director's scripts for each production day, figures out all the actors' blocking schedules, works directly with the actors and directors on set, and takes notes. He also delivers messages from the directors to department heads, producers, and actors as well.

"I remember being on set working those episodes and thinking then they were pretty special," Mr Hapke recalled.

As he is becoming more of an asset to

Turning to his filmmaking career, Mr Hapke said his independent work has helped him in his television career.

"My television work has helped keep me focused; it's reminding me that I still have a lot to learn; and it's keeping me humble as I've been working with directors who have been doing this for 20 or 30 years," he said. "I want to use every opportunity given to me to its fullest extent - that means becoming the best asset that I can in whatever capacity I can. Working with the crew and actors is providing me with experience I can apply to diverse situations."

He also said the fast-paced nature of

"Stuff that used to be a three-day shoot for me, like

Brunch, Mr Hapke cannot help but revisit how that project has already won 11 sets of laurels, 10 official selections, and three awards at regional film festivals. Just weeks before the

As he readies for Cannes with his film

"It's an incredibly personal story for me because it's about a young man who wants just one more hug from his mother before she drops him off at school," Mr Hapke described. "It's a dual narrative that focuses on both the single mother and her only child who is going off to college for the first time. It's very much like what happened between me and my mother. They say write what you know, and I think I did it well - but it's a very universal message: the importance of that human interaction between a child and his mother."

Newtown acquaintances and others who may be inspired by his work are invited to support Mr Hapke's latest project

Or keep in touch with Mr Hapke through

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply