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."