The Peabody Awards: Behind the Scenes

Associate Producer, Shannon Sullivan’s inside look at this year’s awards

The winners for The 70th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards came together on May 23rd in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in NYC to celebrate the best of the best in electronic media. It was my first time at this annual event, produced by ImageArts since 1999, and there was a lot to see! Here’s my behind the scenes look at the 70th Peabody Awards Luncheon!

Having spent the past month compiling video clips and materials from each of the winning programs, I was excited to finally be able to match names and faces. Guests included Yoko Ono, the casts from “The Good Wife” and “Men of a Certain Age”, Patrick Stewart from “Macbeth”, Spike Lee, and many more. The stars themselves didn’t intimidate… but the geek in me flipped once I saw the Executive Producer for NPR’s “Radiolab“, Ellen Horne!

It was fitting that for the 70th Annual Presentation, the video Tribute to Winners was created in stunning HD for the first time. A much larger screen as well as HD cameras, switcher, playback and projection really enhanced the experience for the audience. Enthusiastic applause greeted the conclusion of the video, crowned by an animation featuring 70 years worth of amazing Peabody winners. It was fascinating to see the clips from all of these diverse winners edited together into a seamless whole. Although I had seen it over and over in the edit suite, watching it on the big screen was like seeing it for the first time!

As someone new to the event, I also noticed all the details that other Peabody veterans may not even notice. Just look at the 70th Peabody medallions that were on the chocolate cake!

You may have seen the press release announcing Larry King as the Master of Ceremonies for the Peabody Luncheon this year. He was a terrific host, adding his own personal sense of humor and flair to the event! Here is Jody working with him on stage with his blue notecards that he requested instead of a traditional script.

I’m so happy to have been apart of this year’s Peabody Awards. It really is an exciting day for all of the winners as well as a wonderful reward for the many months of production here for the Atlanta ImageArts’ Creative Team! Congratulations to all the winners and all the Peabody staff for a successful event!