Congrats to Emmy winners

Published 10:23 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Considering that Emmys are essentially the small-screen version of the Oscars — in other words, the most prestigious award one can earn in one’s career, when one’s career has to do with the movies or television — it can be surprising to learn that there are so many Emmy Award winners among us.

We recently wrote about two of these intriguing honorees, and we thought we would take this space to congratulate them. Both earned their awards from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Danny Epperson added another Emmy — yes, he already had others — to his collection for his work on “Guardians of Jamestown 1619.” The scripted web series consisted of seven short videos to educate viewers about important Jamestown events that happened in 1619, including the arrival of English women, the first English Thanksgiving and the first General Assembly meeting in Virginia.

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Epperson, who works for WHRO, was producer on the program, which was produced as an educational series for schools across Virginia. The subject matter connects to Virginia Standards of Learning.

Epperson spent nine months working on the programs, including many Virginians and shooting scenes in Historic Jamestown and the Jamestown Settlement.

Epperson’s motivation was all about the kids, he said.

“I’ve always enjoyed being around kids and seeing how their minds work,” he said.

Also awarded was A. Troy Thomas, a Suffolk native and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy graduate who spent four years making his documentary, “Liberty and Slavery: The Paradox of America’s Founding Fathers.”

He set out to make a documentary about what many people have so often wondered — how did America’s founding fathers, who found liberty so worthy a cause as to declare it, fight for it and pay dear consequences, justify owning slaves?

Thomas didn’t initially think the project would take four years, but, as these things have a way of doing, the number of people he interviewed mushroomed over the long weeks and months. He and his crew criss-crossed a dozen different states and the District of Columbia, interviewing 43 experts on 18th-century culture, the Transatlantic slave trade and the early American economy.

When it was all said and done, Thomas and his team had produced a film that provides a fuller picture of the founding fathers than the glowing reviews many of us received in our elementary school history books. Thomas admits he reverence he once had for them faded as he looked closer at their flaws, but he gained a different kind of respect for the burden of leadership they bore.

We congratulate Epperson and Thomas for their excellent work on these historical productions, and we look forward to more good news about them in the future.