When you hear a letter written by Thomas Jefferson being read by actor Sam Waterston or see a photograph showing the intensity in the eyes of a Civil War soldier, you know you’re watching a Ken Burns documentary.
In this episode of My First Big Break, the iconic filmmaker tells the MediabistroTV crew how he channeled his feelings of humiliation into his first masterpiece on the Brooklyn Bridge and reveals how his mother’s death sparked his need to bring the dead back to life, shaping the style we know today as the “Ken Burns Effect.”
Watching a Ken Burns film is like watching the past come alive through the expert use of narration and still photographs. So how did he develop his signature style? The iconic filmmaker sits down with MediabistroTV in, “Ken Burns: My First Big Break.”
>UPDATE: Watch “Ken Burns: My First Big Break” in three weeks on MediabistroTV, Thursday, December 6.
And if superstorms on the East Coast and unseasonably warm weather on the West Coast wasn’t enough to satisfy your craving for major weather events, PBS presents an Extreme Weather Night of TV this Sunday (11/18), beginning at 7pm ET.
NOVA gets the party started with the premiere of Inside the Megastorm an original one-hour documentary taking viewers moment by moment through Hurricane Sandy. Then Burns gives us reason to give thanks when he presents The Dust Bowl. Burns tells the story of the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history in a two-part, four hour documentary detailing how the convergence of a terrible drought and the scramble for the American Dream nearly changed the southern plains forever.
In a release sent out today, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is speaking out in support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in the face of proposed Congressional budget cuts.
“The proposed elimination of funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will deny the American people access to news and information and, just as importantly, deny our children access to the best educational and science programs at a time when studies suggest such knowledge is at its lowest.”
Burns’ great documentaries regularly appear on PBS.
He deemed Brokaw one of the best speakers to have graced the event, right up there with Colin Powell, Ken Burns, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He also noted that Brokaw, during a dinner held immediately beforehand, suggested that Ronald Reagan‘s terms as California Governor dealing with Jessie Unruh and the Legislature prepared him better than most for the challenges of the U.S. Congress. Writes Lesher:
It is interesting to me that in their visits to “Newsmakers,” Brokaw, Bob Schieffer, Lesley Stahl and Powell all had anecdotes about Reagan that were central to their talks. One can recall when it was downright hip to criticize the Gipper as being unintelligent, superficial and the like.
New York University adjunct associate professor Reed Martin wanted to clarify the aim and the scope of his new book, “The Reel Truth,” which FBLA wrote about last week. To be honest, we gave an honest interpretation. As marketing books are extremely difficult to market and having contributed to several marketing texts in the past, we simply told him Good Luck. That wasn’t enough.
To wit, we’ll let Mr. Martin have it his way:
“NYU adjunct associate professor Reed Martin has written a new book he hopes will help first- and second-time indie filmmakers navigate the current economic downturn. ‘The Reel Truth,’ (Faber & Faber, Jan. 2009) draws from more than 100 interviews with leading names in the independent film world, which has seen its share of hard times of late. This past year alone saw the closings of New Line Cinema, Picturehouse, Paramount Vantage, and Warner Independent Pictures, as older audiences stayed home with Netflix rentals and TiVo while younger moviegoers found it hard to pull away from Facebook updates and Xbox LIVE.”