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Ken Burns Teaches Documentary Filmmaking

When it comes to making documentaries, the name Ken Burns, stands out from all the rest. With 40+ years as a documentarian, he has won ‘International’ recognition for his work. These include; 15 Emmy’s, 2 Grammy’s, 2 Oscar nominations, and a Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Many readers of this introduction will recognize some if not all, of his work. Jazz, The Civil War, Jackie Robinson, The Statue of Liberty, The Roosevelts, Defying the Nazis, and his docu-serial work, The Vietnam War, that premiered on PBS. With 35 producer credits, 31 directorial credits, when this man speaks, budding documentary filmmakers and seasoned professionals alike, listen.

Burns explains the importance of the ‘Drama of Truth’ and discovering true events that make the story. He tells us that the laws of good storytelling are the same for documentary film production and feature films. Above all, Burns wants to make films that challenges the mind of the audience. Using rough cuts from his odyssey ‘The Vietnam War’ Burns explains how the story gets refined in the editing process. Ken Burns’ ‘Teaches Documentary Making’ is a MasterClass tour de force learning experience for filmmakers who seek to follow in his footsteps.

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