Mon, 10/03/2011

Prohibition? The Civil War? The Brooklyn Bridge? Filmmaker Ken Burns on How He Chooses his Projects


a new three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary series by Ken Burns (The Civil War, Jazz, Baseball, Huey Long, National Parks: America's Best Idea; Brooklyn Bridge, and many more) and Lynn Novick, airs October 2, 3 and 4, 2011, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET on PBS. Set in the era of bathtub gin, bootleggers and speakeasies, the series tells the true story of the rise, rule and fall of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was called the Noble Experiment, but it was in fact one of America’s most notorious civic failures, an object lesson in the challenge of legislating human behavior.

The Archive of American Television interviewed Ken Burns about his life, career, and documentary process in 2007, here's a clip where he passionately discusses his documentary style and how he chooses his projects:

Also, check out Jim Benson's TV Time Machine interview with Ken Burns about the project.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick introduce the series in this promo video:

Watch the full episode. See more Ken Burns.

Watch the Archive's full interview with Ken Burns here.

Photo courtesy of: John Binder Collection