Ben Franklin's Balloons

Experts recreate the French's daring first manned flights, which Franklin had chronicled. Airing October 22, 2014 at 9 pm on PBS Aired October 22, 2014 on PBS

Program Description

The first stage in human flight didn’t begin with the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, but with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th century Paris. In a period of just 19 months, humanity not only left the ground for the first time—a moment as significant as the Apollo moon landing—but thanks to a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers, developed all the essential features of today's hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador. He reported that these early flights brought tens of thousands of citizens into the streets to watch the spectacle. To explore this burst of innovation, NOVA recreates key flights, including the world’s first manned voyage that took place on November 21, 1783. Joining the team will be a descendant of the Montgolfier brothers, inventors of the hot-air balloon, who will build an accurate replica of the fragile paper and canvas craft using 18th century tools and materials. NOVA reveals the secrets of how the Montgolfiers invented flight and relives the experiences of the balloon pioneers who left Earth for the first time.

Broadcast Credits

DIRECTED BY
Stéphane Bégoin
PRODUCED BY
Sylvie Barbe & Jean-Marc Robert
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Floran Sax
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR NOVA
Chris Schmidt
EDITED BY
Scott Stevenson
Jedd Ehrmann
CAMERA
Madjid Chir
David Ribeiro
Vincent Fooy
Emilie Aujé
Cyril Bron
NARRATED BY
Lance Lewman
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Will Toubman
SOUND RECORDISTS
Denis Guilhem
Alexandre Abrard
SOUND ASSISTANT
Nicolas Klein
GAFFERS
Ludovic Réau
Mathieu Bernardin
Sophie Périou
VOICE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
Alex Gemignani
VOICEOVER TRANSLATION
William Abadle
Barbara Bouquegneau
Mario Brassard
Julian Mercer
ADDITIONAL IMAGES
Victor Rault
MUSIC
3'30 Productions
Associated Production Music
Audio Networks USA, Inc
Cezame Music Agency
Scorekeepers Music
ARTWORK
Ronan Jupin
ANIMATION
Handcranked Productions
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Gaí«lle Guyader
Emmanuelle Koenig
Caroline Broussaud
TRANSLATORS
Julie Meyer
Fanny Olhats
ONLINE EDITOR
Jim Ferguson
COLORISTS
Jim Ferguson
Guillermo Fernandez
AUDIO MIX
Heart Punch Studio
WRITING COLLABORATION
Fanny Burdino
TECHNICAL RESOURCES
Tigre Productions
Sylicone
TEAM CINí‰BULLE
Le Taillefer
Dany Cleyet-Marrel
Marc Salama
Denis Rama
TEAM HELICOPTER
Papa Sierra
Helifirst
Felix Claro
Franck Escudié
Rebecca Moreau
Frédéric Spriet
FLIGHT DIRECTOR AND TECHNICAL ADVISOR
Francois Moizard
DECORATIVE PAINTERS
Antoinette Poisson
Julie Stordiau
Vincent Farelly
Julien Chanron
ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
Corbis Images
BNF
The Bridgeman Art Library
Library of Congress - © All rights reserved
Musée Carnavalet – Cabinet des Arts Graphiques
Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace du Bourget
Pond5
RMN
SPECIAL THANKS
Chí¢teau de Versailles, Jeanne Hollande and Olivier Jauneau, Chí¢teau de Fontainebleau, Sonia Fitoussi and Jérôme Tréca, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Florence Grohens and Jean-Yves Sarazin, Manufacture Zuber, Giselle Chalaye, Chí¢teau de Douvres and English Heritage, Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Karen Dethomas, Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Catherine Maunoury, Alain Dégardin, Catherine Lebert, Christian Tilatti, Pascale Nizet, Florence Greffe, Patrick Libert and Rafael Tamargo, Vincent Wilding, Sébastien Rico, Lizzie and Simon Phillips, Romain Durand, André Linocier, Olivier Dussopt, Aí¯da Boyer, Patrick Tete, Marie Hélène Reynaud, Musée des papeteries Canson, Musée Montgolfier, Roland de Montgolfier, Bruno Gillier, Chí¢teau de Brogieux, Anne and Bruno Detanger, Moulin Richard de bas, Emmanuel Kerbourc'h, Michel Sabate, Emilie Rouillon and Rémi Chaléat, Thierry Villey, Frédéric Moizard, Philippe Buron-Pilatre, Valérie Lefèvre, Léonard N. Rosenband, Philippe de Fabry, Philippe Foubert, Denis Capdegelle, Jonathan Harris, les peintures Zolpan, Marilee Schmit Nason, Leonard Rosenband
THANKS TO THE VOLUNTEER BALLOON BUILDERS
Benjamin Cleyet-Marrel, Maggy Taravillo, Michèle Deglesne, Franíçoise Roche, Bétina Brousso, Chrystèle Ferrier, Jean-Louis Lopez, Christian Reboulet, Jean-Franíçois Ferrier, Roland Brottes, Stéphane Brunet, Florian Genelletti, Thomas Martin, Denis Rama, Michel Guérin, Bruno Vincent, Pascal Hervé et son épouse, Jean-Jacques Roche, Valérie Bellanger, Odile Fogeron, Jean-Pierre Linocier, Eliane Linocier, Famille Laurent Perrier, Bruno et Julien Pray, Roger Martin, Yvan Manoha, Jean-Philippe Odouard
FOR ARTE FRANCE
DIRECTOR OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND DISCOVERY FACTUAL PROGRAMMING UNIT
Helene Coldefy
DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND DISCOVERY FACTUAL PROGRAMMING UNIT
Catherine Alvaresse
NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS
yU + co.
NOVA THEME MUSIC
Walter Werzowa
John Luker
Musikvergnuegen, Inc.
ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC
Ray Loring
Rob Morsberger
CLOSED CAPTIONING
The Caption Center
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Jennifer Welsh
PUBLICITY
Eileen Campion
Eddie Ward
SENIOR RESEARCHER
Kate Becker
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Linda Callahan
PARALEGAL
Sarah Erlandson
TALENT RELATIONS
Janice Flood
LEGAL COUNSEL
Susan Rosen
DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER
Kristine Allington
SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
Tim De Chant
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA
Lauren Aguirre
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Lisa Leombruni
UNIT MANAGER
Ariam McCrary
POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
Brittany Flynn
SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Kevin Young
BROADCAST MANAGER
Nathan Gunner
BUSINESS MANAGER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
PROJECT DIRECTOR
Pamela Rosenstein
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Laurie Cahalane
SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
SENIOR PRODUCERS
Julia Cort Chris Schmidt
SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER
Melanie Wallace
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Alan Ritsko
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

A Docside Production for NOVA/WGBH Boston in association with ARTE France, Unité Découverte et Connaissance.

© 2014 Docside Production/WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

IMAGE:

Image credit: (Réplique Pilí¢tre)
© DOCSIDE Productions

Participants

Benjamin Cleyet-Marrel
Balloon Builder
Tom Crouch
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Guillaume de Montgolfier
Roland de Montgolfier
Mi Gyung Kim
North Carolina State University
Jean-Baptiste Martin
Decorator
Sylvain Peraudeau
Paper Mill Director
Jean-Claude Ragaru
Historian
Marie-Hélí¨ne Reynaud
Museum of Annonay
Mercedes Taravillo
Balloon Builder
Xavier Waymel
Balloonist

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