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Making of the Film
About the Producer
About the Assistant Director
About the Art Director
About the Producer

Robert Gardner
Over a career that spans thirty years, documentary film producer, director and writer Robert Gardner has been nominated for an Academy Award, won three National Emmy Awards, four regional Emmys, a duPont Columbia award from Columbia University for excellence in broadcast journalism and a variety of special awards. His production company, Gardner Films has served both commercial and public television for fifteen years. He is a member of the Director's Guild and the Writer's Guild of America.

Gardner's best work celebrates the great variety emerging now in documentary storytelling — in science, history, adventure or human issues. He is never limited by form, but continues to experiment as the documentary continues to evolve.

"The exciting thing about documentary production is the challenge to be new," Gardner says. "Our most recent production Islam: Empire of Faith is a real effort to push beyond the conventional historical documentary, to borrow from the visual vocabulary of feature films and even music videos to create an authentic and truly evocative portal through which the audience can experience the deep past. It requires a very different story-telling mindset from the start, but when it works, something really quite new happens."

Gardner believes that production quality demands the appropriate tools. "What we learned was how important the moving camera is, how a Steadicam shot or 30-foot Jib movement creates an almost dream-like effect for the audience, a virtual movement through space. These moving camera platforms — together with extremely wide-angle lenses — pull the viewer into the location in an often startling three-dimensional fashion. This is one of the ways that we transcend time, by creating a shot which continually unfolds, continually reveals itself to the audience, so that the eye never rests too long on a costume or prop."