Ken Burns on National Parks

THU, SEP 10, 2009 (58:05)

Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan their six-part PBS documentary series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. Set against breathtaking backdrops, the film is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical – that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone. Burns and series writer/co-producer Duncan discuss highlights from the 12-hour series. Included are scenes from Denali National Park that feature photographs by Brad Washburn, renowned explorer and founding director of the Museum, as well as interviews with Brad and Barbara Washburn.

+ BIO: Ken Burns

Kenneth Lauren Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films known for his style of making use of archival footage and photographs. Among his most notable productions are The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001) and The War (2007). Burns’s documentaries have been nominated for two Academy Awards (Brooklyn Bridge in 1982 and The Statue of Liberty in 1986) and have won seven Emmy Awards. Burns was born in Brooklyn, New York City, and went on to graduate from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He earned his BA degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1975, and went on to be one of the co-founders of Florentine Films. The recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees, Burns is a sought-after public speaker, appearing at colleges, civic organizations, and business groups throughout the country.

+ BIO: Dayton Duncan

Dayton Duncan, an award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker, is the author of nine books, including Out West: A Journey through Lewis & Clark’s America, Grass Roots: One Year in the Life of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary, Miles from Nowhere: In Search of the American Frontier, and Scenes of Visionary Enchantment: Reflections on Lewis & Clark. Duncan has also been involved for many years with the work of documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, consulting on Burns’ award-winning series for public television, The Civil War, Baseball and Jazz. He was also the co-writer and consulting producer for a 12-hour series about the history of the American West, which was broadcast in 1996 and received the Erik Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians. Born and raised in Indianola, Iowa, Duncan holds a degree in German literature from the University of Pennsylvania and honorary doctorates from Franklin Pierce College and Drake University. He currently resides in New Hampshire.

Museum of Science, Boston
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Civilian Conservation Corps Series
Ken Burns: National Parks Series