About Us - Robert Swope - Biography
Robert Swope is a director/producer/editor/performer who, since a very early age, has been exposed to an extensive array of entertainment production. Born in Pittsburgh and grounded in music, from trumpet to banjo, he started his career as a performer in the early seventies. Performance naturally led to producing live event entertainment during the eighties. The NFL, several corporate clients, and music videos introduced him to directing Live Television Broadcast in the late eighties. This led to the founding of Sunrise Entertainment in 1993. Since founding Sunrise Entertainment, Swope has garnered an EMMY Award (Best Live Broadcast), 8 STELLAR Awards, and has been nominated for a total of 7 EMMYS, 3 GRAMMYS, and over a dozen STELLARS.
A classical and jazz trained trumpet player, he has performed with such elite groups as The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and The Buddy Rich Orchestra. He has had the honor to play banjo with such greats as Roy Acuff and the Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe. Performance on stage led quickly to producing the acts he performed with. By the early Eighties, he was performing in and producing The World Famous Budweiser Band, a 21 piece ensemble that traveled the country performing at special events for Anheuser-Busch. During this time, he co-produced live events for Coca-Cola, IBM, Georgia Pacific and AT&T while maintaining his performance career. After 20 years performing, he continues to write and compose music to this day.
In 1988, he received his Bachelors Degree in Management, with minors in Computer Science and Philosophy from The Georgia Institute of Technology. While at Georgia Tech, he co-produced the jazz and marching bands, while playing lead in both. Between the years of 1984 and 1989, he co-produced the pre-game and half-time programs for numerous NCAA Bowl Games including The USF&G Sugar Bowl, The Kick Off Classic and The Gator Bowl. From 1989 to 1992, he had the distinct honor to be named Entertainment Director for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. His responsibilities included all entertainment for pre-game and half-time during the games, as well as production consultant to the designers and construction team of The Georgia Dome, which opened in 1992. Additional duties included television and radio coordination, and it was here that he discovered his true love, directing Live Television Broadcast.
A move to Nashville in 1992 prompted the founding of Sunrise Entertainment, Inc, a full service production company specializing in multicamera Live Television Production and High Definition TV. Sunrise currently maintains offices in Nashville and Portland, Oregon. As Chief Executive Officer and President of Sunrise, he has produced, directed and edited hundreds of programs ranging from commercials to music videos, and live broadcasts to pre-taped event specials in music, circus and awards presentations. He was one of the editors to beta test the original AVID editing system and personally edits the majority of Sunrise programming. He has directed and produced numerous Live broadcasts including One Symphony Place and GERSHWIN! for PBS, The 1997 Miss South Carolina Pageant for ABC, and The 1996 CCMA Awards for The Family Channel. Programming directed/produced/edited by him has aired worldwide for Networks including the BBC, ABC, MTV, RAI, ZDF, NBC, PBS, Canal +, Channel 10 (Australia), The CBC, Globo, Telemundo, NHK and Paxnet.
In 1997, he directed, produced and edited a 4 hour docu-entertainment series entitled Living Legends of Gospel. This live performance series brought the greatest Black Gospel Quartets in history together for the first time to perform and remember the 100 year history of Gospel Quartets. He has directed, produced and edited three record breaking High Definition concert specials: The Moffatts: Wild at Heart - the first multicamera Hi-Def shoot in all of Canada; Living Legends of Rock & Roll: Live From Itchycoo Park – a five day High Definition event that was the first use of HD in Image Magnification; and The Fabulous Thunderbirds: Invitation Only - the first widescreen Hi-Def live streaming Webcast in History, also distributed via TV and DVD.
Swope has directed the live telecast of 98 Degrees for Wal-Mart Television in 2000, a 2 hour International Television special on Barnum & Baileys Kaleidoscape and a 1 hour special on the best of The 2001 San Remo International Music Festival from San Remo, Italy with artists including Ricky Martin, Enya, Russell Crowe and Eminem. He has produced and directed the PBS Pledge Special entitled Bill Monroe: The Legend Lives On which includes a double CD/VHS/DVD package for worldwide release. Swope also directed the ABC series pilot The Real Rosanne, The ROOTS Presents, Smokie Norfull’s Nothing Without You, The Mighty Clouds of Joy LIVE, and LOOK UP SING OUT.
Swope filmed, Directed, Produced and Co-Executive Produced the opening of the state of the art classical music venue, The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, for The Nashville Symphony. The 18 camera LIVE HD special became the highest rated music special in Public Television history and won him his first EMMY Award for Best Live Broadcast.
Swope has recently Directed and Produced the STELLAR winning Smokie Norful: LIVE project, and another live telecast for the Nashville Symphony, this one entitled GERSHWIN: at One Symphony Place, which earned him another three EMMY nominations. His seventh EMMY nod came from the live telecast of An All Beethoven Evening featuring Yo-Yo Ma.
Robert contributes to the city of Nashville through many means including producing the Annual Music City Corporate Band Challenge and the Annual Bowtie Awards with the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville. He is a founding member and current Board of Directors of FilmNashville, a long time member of NARAS and NATAS, and is a Board Member and past president of the Nashville Association of Talent Directors. He is an avid Harley Davidson rider, and builds and races Corvettes in his spare time.