Citizen by CNN is an annual live event featuring conversations between prominent political, governmental, and cultural voices with CNN journalists.

_The Process



Held in-person in 2018 and 2019, Covid-19 presented a unique challenge for 2020’s event; how to maintain the intimate nature of this dialogue, and keep the event flowing smoothly while juggling an unprecedented volume of simultaneous video conference lines. The result was an unique coordination between digital, operations, tv graphics, social, politics, and marketing teams.

With Anderson Cooper at the helm thread the conversations together, our special events studio acted as a physical interstitial. The dimensional visual interest and depth of the space gave us a contrast to the other flat green screen backgrounds, while also affording us a large canvas to extend the visual tone of the conference.  

While the conference logo itself already existed, we have to flesh out a deeply cross-platform graphics package to encompass all of the digital and broadcast content that was to be deployed both on and off platform. It required a tight collaboration with our linear production colleagues to integrate our graphics into VizRT templates, In-studio LEDs, VIP livestream tools, as well as promotional social and print media assets.

Time was short, and the speaker list was continually changing, so the entire team had to be on their toes. Everyone spoke up, was clear about their needs, and supported each other throughout the process. The result was a resounding success, and demonstrated the potential of remote collaboration as the majority of the team and talent involved never even stepped foot on-site at any point.


Creative Directors: Padraic Driscoll, Damian Prado
Animators: Padraic Driscoll, Quinn Qian
Graphic Designers: Alberto Mier, Leah Abucayan

Director: Daniel Figueroa
Technical Director: John Silva
Production Managers: Jason Holterhaus, Mike Tarson, Bill McLoughlin, Charles Parker, Jonathan Kemp, Lois Cioffi, Kristen Alden
Studio Operator: Frank Slan
LED Operator: Phil Hadrovic

Host: Anderson Cooper
Executive Producers: Lauren Mensch, Kate Lunger
Senior Producer: Sara Rudolph
Producer: Sarah Turnbull
Marketing: Allie Kleva, Thomas Trowell

Music: Run the Jewels - JU$T (feat. Pharrell Williams & Zack de la Rocha)

Made with ♥ in NYC