Porterville Recorder – Porterville High Grad Wins Two Emmys
Graduate high school, check. Win an Emmy, check.
Erik Candiani, a 1989 graduate of Porterville High School, recently won two Emmys.
“It’s a bucket list item,” said Candiani, who added that he wanted to make work that received notice.
“I have very high expectations for myself and it’s nice to see that people agree with me,” said Candiani.
The vice president for FOX and CW in Denver, Colo., he wrote and produced a News Promotion Campaign for KDVR/KWGN in Denver and won for his work as a creative director in the Graphic Arts-News category.
The News Promo, for KWGN, was all about Colorado.
“They were distinctly Colorado, a pride of living, and being a Coloradian. I wanted to tap into the native feel of what it’s like to be a Coloradian,” said Candiani, who also created a FOX package for KDVR.
As a creative director, he is responsible for the advertising, graphics, commercials and music for the station.
In his role as VP, he is in charge of promoting the station. The award reinforces his work.
His mother, Natalie Lawbaugh, is very proud of her son.
“I was thrilled, and proud, and humbled. It’s a totally awesome experience,” said Lawbaugh.
She explained that at first she and his father, Luigi, weren’t as supportive as they could have been. They wanted him to take a more secure position.
“He was drawn to the field early on and I’m glad there’s a payoff,” said Lawbaugh.
Candiani credits his mentors including Shirley Hughes at Pioneer Middle School and Bob Mills at Porterville High School for helping him to grow.
Hughes helped to convince his parents that the world of entertainment was a worthwhile endeavour. After she talked with them, he was able to start working more in his chosen field.
Mills helped to further reinforce his dream.
“He [ Mills] was very supportive of my odd sense of style and films. He really pushed me and was a great influence,” said Candiani.
Known at Porterville High School as “Mr. Hollywood,” he knew from a young age that he wanted to work in the movie industry.
In 1982 he saw the movie “The Thing” and “I was absolutely amazed by it. I walked out of the film and knew exactly what I wanted to do,” said Candiani. “It was quite influential for me, with the magic of movie making and the effects.”
In high school he dived into his dream.
“I did all the art work for the 1989 yearbook. I was all about being in movies and film and being creative. I was a weird kid but I like what I liked,” said Candiani who added that he worked with his friends, including Dave Smith, on stop motion animation and other films.
After some college, he joined the Marine Corps where he worked as a Motion Picture Specialist in the Combat Photo Department and learned to film, edit, and produce documentaries. One of his projects was to edit a video on Desert Storm, which was then sent to all military bases.
After attending a film school in Denver, he took a took a detour and went into the Information Technology field.
Though he made a good living, he concedes that he wasn’t doing what he wanted. After his son was born he went back into the film field and from 2007-2009 and taught courses at the Art Institute of California which is located in Sacramento.
Some of his past positions in the field include working at George Lucas at Industrial Light + Magic where he used his IT background as a network engineer. His duty was to make sure that the artists were able to process the graphics and images.
His advice for future entertainment workers boils down to two things.
“You have to have passion and you have to have a unique voice,” said Candiani.