"Dakota Spotlight: The House on Sweet and Seventh," an hour-long documentary examining an unthinkable 1998 crime in North Dakota, has been nominated for a 2021 Upper Midwest Emmy.
The film documents the chilling and heartbreaking murder of Barbara and Gordon Erickstad, who were brutally killed in their home by their son, 18-year-old Brian Erickstad, and his friend, 27-year-old Robert Lawrence in September 1998. The documentary was produced by Click Content Studios, which is part of Forum Communications.
The documentary is something of a companion to season 3 of FCC's "Dakota Spotlight" podcast, which was created by and is hosted by James Wolner.
"The nomination came as a total surprise," said Wolner, writer, co-producer and narrator of the documentary. "It's very satisfying to know that some of the storytelling Dakota Spotlight produces is appreciated by others."
Click Content Studios Managing Director Jim Manney says Wolner's storytelling is compelling but also respectful of the family and the tragedy of the narrative he's telling.
"He cares about the people. He cares about the story." Manney said. "He cares about the listener."
Manney also had high praise for Derek Fletcher, the videographer on the project.
"Nobody outworks him. He will not stop until the story's told. Manney said. "It is always one more shot, one more interview, one more round of editing until it's perfect."
The documentary was nominated in the Outstanding Specialty Content category, "Crime - Long Form Content." The awards ceremony for the 2021 Upper Midwest Emmy is October 9 in Bloomington, Minn.
Credits for the project include:
- Derek Fletcher, Photographer/Producer/Editor
- James Wolner, Writer/Producer/Narrator
- Cody Rogness, Producer
- Jim Manney, Executive Producer
- Mary Jo Hotzler, Executive Producer