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Producers' Stories

What does it take to produce a NOVA program? Find out firsthand through these stories written by the producers themselves.

Michael Barnes

Doctors' Diaries
Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes once thought he wanted to go to med school. After making this series, does he still?

Jeremy Zipple

Rat Attack
Jeremy Zipple
A rat in his bed. Rats for dinner. Milking rats. All par for the course while filming "Rat Attack."

Doug Hamilton

Ocean Animal Emergency
Doug Hamilton
Doug Hamilton recounts an eye-opening trip to Greenland, where sealskins upholster benches in the airport lounge.

Paula Apsell

The Bible's Buried Secrets
Paula Apsell
Senior EP Paula Apsell explains NOVA's approach to covering biblical archeology.

Chris Schmidt

Arctic Dinosaurs
Chris Schmidt
On Alaska's North Slope, Chris Schmidt quickly realized that one wrong step could spell disaster.

Mary Olive Smith

A Walk to Beautiful
Mary Olive Smith
Mary Olive Smith describes the mix of emotions she felt in making this film.

Mark Davis

The Four-Winged Dinosaur
Mark Davis
Mark Davis has been tracking the controversial case of the flying dinosaur for almost 20 years.

Paula Apsell

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial
Paula Apsell
Senior EP Paula Apsell explains why and how NOVA took on the contentious issue behind Kitzmiller v. Dover.

Graham Townsley

The Great Inca Rebellion
Graham Townsley
Graham Townsley explains why this project restored his faith in documentary filmmaking.

Lisa Quijano Wolfinger

Pocahontas Revealed
Lisa Quijano Wolfinger
How do you resurrect famous historical figures from four centuries ago, deerskin clothing and all?

Stephen Lyons

Forgotten Genius
Stephen Lyons
Making "Forgotten Genius" became as much preserving a legacy as creating a film.

David Sington

Dimming the Sun
David Sington
Filmmaker David Sington offers his personal take on why many people remain skeptical about global warming. Join the discussion.

David Sington

The Ghost Particle
David Sington
Filmmaker David Sington shares seven rules for making good TV out of complex topics.

Peter Doyle

Hurricane Katrina
Peter Doyle
Producer Peter Doyle offers a sobering firsthand account of his visit to the New Orleans region shortly after the storm.

Gary Johnstone

Einstein's Big Idea
Gary Johnstone
Filmmaker Gary Johnstone describes how creativity fuels both art and science.

Keiko Bang

Sinking the Supership
Keiko Bang
For executive producer Keiko Bang, who is half Japanese, half American, making this film was deeply cathartic.

Antoine de Maximy

Volcano Under the City
Antoine de Maximy
Descend into the crater of Nyiragongo, a volatile volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with filmmaker Antoine de Maximy.

Paula Apsell

Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land
Paula Apsell
NOVA executive producer Paula Apsell describes her unnerving yet rewarding journey to the cave.

Jackie Mow

World in the Balance
Jackie Mow
"In Nairobi's slums many families live in just one room, in corrugated shacks without running water. This is where Zippy thought I would find my story."

Sarah Holt

World in the Balance
Sarah Holt
"I marveled at the care Japan lavishes upon its children. A staff of seven teachers and administrators were being paid to oversee the education of four children."

Laura Pacheco

World in the Balance
Laura Pacheco
"Gooday had recently given birth to her eighth child and almost died during a long and complicated labor. She was, in many ways, a prisoner, her chief function: to provide sons."

Chris Schmidt

World in the Balance
Chris Schmidt
"There's just nothing fun about pushing up a narrow mountain switchback with a driver who's spent less time behind the wheel than the average American teenager."

Dimitri Doganis

Life and Death in the War Zone
Dimitri Doganis
Go behind the scenes in the making of "Life and Death in the War Zone" with filmmaker Dimitri Doganis.

Liesl Clark

Mountain of Ice
Liesl Clark
What was it like to make a high-definition film while scaling Antarctica's tallest mountain, Vinson Massif?

Mike Jorgensen

Battle of the X-Planes
Mike Jorgensen
Producer Mike Jorgensen describes what it was like to take cameras inside some of America's most classified facilities.

Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones

Killer Disease on Campus
Jeremy Llewellyn-Jones
What was it like to be in a hospital filming life-or-death situations?

Judith Vecchione

Fire Wars
Judith Vecchione
How did NOVA's film crews get close-up footage of dangerously volatile, 100-foot-high crown fires in the far West?

Mark Davis

Neanderthals on Trial
Mark Davis
It's not easy to make a balanced film about a subject on which no two experts seem to agree.

Leslie Woodhead

Russia's Nuclear Warriors
Leslie Woodhead
Woodhead had to clear inummerable logistical, linguistic, cultural, and especially political hurdles in Russia to make this film.

Michael Barnes

Survivor M.D.
Michael Barnes
Barnes tells what it was like to follow seven Harvard Medical School-trained doctors for 14 years, and what he learned along the way.

Leslie Woodhead

Holocaust on Trial
Leslie Woodhead
"It was at times hard to take in the unimaginable tragedy that was being quietly explored in an English courtroom," Woodhead recounts in this deeply personal essay.

D.J. Roller

Lincoln's Secret Weapon
D.J. Roller
What does it take to film at a depth of 234 feet in the Atlantic Ocean?

Kirk Wolfinger

Battle Alert in the Gulf
Kirk Wolfinger
In April 1998, veteran director Wolfinger spent three weeks with a battle group in the Persian Gulf, sending home emails about life and work on an aircraft carrier.

Beth Hoppe and Jack McDonald

Avalanche!
Beth Hoppe
Hoppe and writer Jack McDonald share their production diary—a rare glimpse into the trials, tribulations, and fun of making a natural disaster film.

Linda Garmon

Coma
Linda Garmon
Garmon goes on-call with renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, documenting the in-depth story of one young patient's fight to survive.

 

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