The Production Team
The National Memorial Day Concert is brought to the screen by hundreds of dedicated professionals working to ensure a meaningful and memorable experience for honorees, performers, audience members and viewers at home.
Michael Colbert is the Executive Producer of two of television’s longest-running and multi-award winning live programs that commemorate America’s freedom and independence at the U.S. Capitol. A Capitol Fourth, America’s national Independence Day party, celebrates its 38th annual broadcast in 2018. The National Memorial Day Concert, which marks its 29th anniversary this year, has become the nation’s premier tribute to our men and women in uniform, their families at home, and all those who have given their lives for our country. Capital Concerts was founded by Michael’s father, Jerry Colbert, who passed away in January, 2017. Michael Colbert, who managed the organization in partnership with his father for over 20 years, continues to direct Capital Concerts year-round. He is the primary liaison with the over twenty government and non-governmental Washington agencies and organizations that contribute to the shows, and oversees the hundreds of television professionals who participate annually. In addition to his annual work on these patriotic events, Colbert’s credits include major national television specials on CBS, Fox, PBS and Comedy Central in locations ranging from Washington, DC, New York and Los Angeles to Nashville. He has also produced a wide range of major corporate events.
Paul Miller is a veteran television director and producer whose credits include The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special on CBS, The Country Music Awards, The Tony Awards,Saturday Night Live, Star Spangled Spectacular: A Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of our National Anthem, In Living Color and many specials and series for all the major broadcast and cable television networks. He won a 2016 Emmy Award as Executive Producer of It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown. Paul has received an additional six Emmy nominations, and won for directing the Tony Awards and the ABC News coverage of the Inauguration of President Barrack Obama. He has also been nominated twice for the Directors Guild of America Award in the Musical/Variety category and won for directing the Tony Awards. Paul has directed the annual PBS broadcasts of A Capitol Fourth and the National Memorial Day Concert for the past twenty years. He is a partner in RickMill Productions, a Hollywood based entertainment company that has produced numerous series for Comedy Central as well as specials for HBO and Showtime.
Barr Weissman has produced and edited the documentary segments for the National Memorial Day Concert since 1998. Mr. Weissman edited and helped produce several independent documentaries; including the Academy Award winning film, The Stonecarvers and Mr. Justice Brennan. He has directed and edited biographical films for the Kennedy Center Honors for CBS (including films on The Who, Mel Brooks, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks). In addition, he has produced and edited documentaries for the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, NBC, PBS, and others. His work has been recognized by the Emmy’s, received awards at film festivals worldwide, and screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Weissman’s most recent film, The Secret To A Happy Ending has screened at film festivals and theaters world-wide and received 4 stars from Rolling Stone. In 2016, Mr. Weissman produced and edited 10 films for the Musical Crossroads gallery at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. A native Washingtonian, Mr. Weissman produced and independently distributed two critically acclaimed documentaries about the city - Home: The Langston Terrace Dwellings and A View From The Street: The Art Of Lily Spandorf.
Kirk Ellis won two Emmys, a WGA Award, a Peabody and the Humanitas Prize for his work as writer and co-executive producer on the HBO miniseries John Adams. The miniseries won a record breaking 13 Emmys in total, as well as four Golden Globe awards. Previously, Ellis received an Emmy nomination and won the WGA Award and Humanitas Prize for the ABC miniseries Anne Frank, which he wrote and co-produced. Miniseries on which he has served as writer and producer have garnered more than 50 Emmy nominations. With Bryan Cranston and ITV Studios, Ellis is executive producer and show runner for A Great Improvisation, based on the book by Stacy Schiff, which chronicles Benjamin Franklin’s efforts to negotiate a treaty with France at the height of the American Revolution. The project is one of two currently in development at History, along with a planned limited series about Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s years in Korea. Ellis is also developing a dramatic series set in the world of Chinese-American night clubs in World War II, based on the Lisa See novel China Dolls and produced in conjunction with actor/producer Daniel Dae Kim. Upcoming motion picture projects include Age of Reason, based on an incident in the life of Thomas Paine; the bilingual feature El Democrata, the story of Mexican Revolutionary hero Francisco Madero, and a biography of the Marquis de Lafayette for director Jean-Francois Richet (Mesrine) and Why Not Productions. Ellis is also co-author of The Order: 1886, a history-based videogame for Sony, which debuted to record sales in February 2015. With Santa Fe- based Atalaya Productions, he is developing the television series The Harvey Girls and Shadows of War, a drama set in wartime Tuscany and based on the experiences of Anglo-American writer Iris Origo. A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema and Television, Ellis began his professional career as a film critic for The Hollywood Reporter, and at age 24 served as the magazine's international editor. In 1992, he formed Shadow Catcher Productions, an independent production banner under which Ellis develops his own indie features and documentaries. Ellis made his feature film debut writing and co-producing The Grass Harp, based on the coming-of-age novel by Truman Capote. A former co-governor of the writers' branch of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Ellis served for four years as chairman of the Santa Fe, New Mexico Arts Commission and also sits on the board of the Center for Contemporary Art. The former president of Western Writers of America, he also serves on the advisory board of Richmond, Virginia-based James River Writers.
The National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth have become American traditions, consistently ranked among the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade. The extraordinary talents of the production teams have led these holiday specials to earning more than 70 awards, including the New York Film Festival Award, the Telly Award, the Golden Cine Award, the Videographer Award, the National Education Association Award, the Aurora Award, the Christopher Award, the Communicator’s Award, the AXIEM Award, the Omni Award and the Writers Guild of America Award.