Cronk wins Emmy Award

December 11, 2022

Harold Cronk

Cronk wins Emmy Award

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

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LOS ANGELES — On Saturday, Harold David Cronk of Scottville became the second person from Mason County to win an Emmy Award when he received the award for Outstanding Directing for a Multiple Camera Program during the inaugural Children’s & Family Emmy Awards. 

Cronk received the award for his work as director of the Disney-Plus series “The Quest,” a fantasy-based reality television series for children. He directed the majority of the scripted scenes in the series while director Jack Cannon directed the “reality” live action scenes. Directors Elise Doganieri and her husband, Bertram van Munster, also contributed to the directing. 

“It was kind of a surreal moment,” Cronk said this morning. “We were up against four other shows and I just never dreamed that we would win. The directing awards were the last to be presented. Earlier in the evening ‘The Quest’ won Outstanding Special Effects Costumes, Hair and Makeup and I was just thrilled for them. That team worked so hard. But, never in my dreams did I think I would win.” 

Cronk, a 1993 graduate of Mason County Central High School, said when he was in fourth grade at Baldwin Community School he attended a program at West Shore Community College called Super Saturdays. There, he took an art class. On the last day the instructor asked the kids to draw themselves where they thought they would be working when they were adults. “I drew myself sitting at an animator desk at Disney Studios,” Cronk said. “I can’t believe that several years later I was hired by Disney to direct a series. Who could imagine this kid who grew up in Baldwin and Scottville winning this. I want kids to know that no matter where they are from they can follow their dreams and accomplish anything.” 

Cronk is the second person from Mason County to receive an Emmy Award. Kaitlin Urka, a graduate of Ludington High School, has received four Emmy Awards for her work with NBC Sports.

“The Quest” features a group of teenagers who participate in an immersive scripted adventure in a high fantasy setting, the kingdom of Everealm. The adventure is structured around various challenges tied to the fantasy storyline. While the ongoing storyline is scripted and the contestants are interacting with actors throughout the competition, the actual challenges are genuine, with competitive outcomes determined by the contestants’ abilities and decisions.

Cronk is also a graduate of West Shore Community College and of Central Michigan University. He and his family live in Amber Township. 

He is best known for directing “God’s Not Dead,” the highest grossing faith film in history. He also directed “God’s Not Dead II” and “Unbroken: Path to Redemption.” His studio, 10 West Studios, has produced more films in the state of Michigan than any other film production company. In 2012 he wrote, produced and directed “The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure,” featuring Christopher Lloyd and filmed mostly in Manistee and Ludington. He also wrote, produced and directed its sequel, “Pirate’s Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson” in 2014, also created locally. His portfolio includes several other film projects.

In 2020, Cronk co-wrote and produced “Deer Camp ’86”, which was filmed mostly in Mason and Oceana counties. The film, which has not yet been distributed, won Best Special Effects at Screamfest 2022, the world’s largest horror film festival, where it made its international debut. It was recently shown at The Vogue Theatre in Manistee.

In 2021, he released a children’s book, “The Beard Ballad” which is on sale locally at The Book Mark in Ludington.

Cronk said he was thankful for the support of his family, especially his wife, Amy, and his children Evelyn and Harry.

“I think my kids were most excited that they got to Facetime with JoJo Siwa as I was walking down the red carpet,” Cronk said, laughing. Siwa hosted the show. “I am so thankful for the support of my family and the people in our community. Mason County is just a great place to grow up and to live.”

The Children’s & Family Emmy Awards continue tonight, Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. The awards are presented by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Children’s & Family awards are the first standalone expansion of the Emmy Award competition since 1979, and mark the successful culmination of the first full year of the realignment between NATAS and the Television Academy.

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