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Filmmaker Chats

Join us for online chats with the Director/Producer, Producer/Writer and Editor of The National Parks: America's Best Idea!

Ken Burns

Ken Burns, Director/Producer

Tuesday, July 28th – 2 p.m. EDT
Read the archived chat here

Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of his films, "More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source." A December 2002 poll conducted by Real Screen Magazine listed The Civil War as second only to Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North as the "most influential documentary of all time," and named Ken Burns and Robert Flaherty as the "most influential documentary makers" of all time. Ken's films have won ten Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations, and in September of 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dayton Duncan

Dayton Duncan, Producer/Writer

Monday, August 10 – 2 p.m. EDT
Read the archived chat here

Dayton Duncan is an award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker. He is the author of nine books. Out West: A Journey through Lewis & Clark's America chronicles his retracing of the Lewis and Clark trail; it was a Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection and finalist for the Western Writers of America's Spur Award. Grass Roots: One Year in the Life of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary is a unique look at presidential politics through the experiences of grassroots volunteers. Miles from Nowhere: In Search of the American Frontier examines the current conditions, history, and people of the most sparsely settled counties in the United States. Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, published in November 1997; Mark Twain, published in November 2001; and Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip, 2003, are companion books to documentary films he wrote and produced. His most recent work is Scenes of Visionary Enchantment: Reflections on Lewis & Clark, a collection of essays released in conjunction with the Lewis and Clark bicentennial.

Paul Barnes

Paul Barnes, Film Editor

Monday, September 28th – 2 p.m. EDT
Read the archived chat here

Paul Barnes attended The New York University Institute of Film and Television from 1969 - 1973 and studied under experimental filmmaker Len Lye and documentarian George Stoney. While still a student, he was chosen to edit a federally funded film on pre-school education, and he's been editing ever since. Some of the most noteworthy films from Paul's career are: Wasn't That A Time!, for which he won Best Documentary Editing for 1982 from the American Cinema Editors; Say Amen Somebody, which was accepted at the prestigious New York Film Festival; and The Thin Blue Line, which was chosen as the best documentary of 1988 by the New York Film Critics.

Discover Your National Parks

Discover Your National Parks

Explore your nearly 400 National Parks and get involved at the National Park Foundation web site.

Watch Video Clips

Watch Video

Watch clips and videos from the documentary.

Own the DVD / Book / CD

Own the DVD / Book / CD

Do you like what you've seen so far? Order your copy of the DVD, the companion book, and CD soundtrack from Shop PBS today!

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Make a Donation

Supporting your local PBS station ensures that Ken Burns's remarkable stories continue to be broadcast. Donate Today.

Bank of America Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr Fund Corporation for Public Broadcasting The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Park Foundation

National Park Foundation The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation The Pew Charitable TrustsGM


Florentine Films and WETA


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