When it comes to documentary filmmaking, there are two eras: BKB and AKB. That would be “before” and “after” Ken Burns.
Burns revolutionized the form through his attention to detail, his use of music, and his sweeping pans that gave motion to still photographs (hence the Ken Burns effect in Apple’s iPhoto slideshow toolkit).
Burns has a special penchant for Americana -- his first documentary was on the Brooklyn Bridge and subsequently he has covered the Civil War, jazz, baseball, and the country’s National Park system.
Burns’s latest documentary on the American Dust Bowl will air in November on PBS. He came to Los Angeles to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Dust Bowl’s poet laureate, Woody Guthrie, and stopped by to talk with Patt about his newest project.
Ken Burns, director and producer of documentary films including “Prohibition” and "The National Parks: America's Best Idea;" his new documentary “The Dust Bowl” premieres in November