Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns on Story

Ken Burns has been trying to wake the dead for his entire career. Emmy® Award winning documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, knows what matters when creating engaging story experiences for his audiences. He has created over two dozen documentary films ranging from the mini-series’ “The Civil War” to “Baseball” as well as “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” “Jazz,” and “The War,” among others.

His style incorporates archival still photographs & footage and simple, yet poignant musical melodies to immerse us into the time and culture of his subjects. Burns lets his subjects and images tell the stories rather than using a wide variety of special effects, He is well known for his signature style of zooming-and-panning across images to create a sense of motion and aliveness. It has become so effective it has been incorporated into a variety of imaging & video software tools and is affectionately named the “Ken Burns Effect.”

In this short video from Redglass Pictures, the filmmaker offers up his wisdom on the power of story. He shares how contradiction is at the heart of great characters; that truth is a byproduct of our stories; and that emotional truth is something you have to build.

Great stories are about change and when we use storytelling in our marketing we are offering our audience an opportunity. A chance to see and experience life differently; a way to transcend a given situation. These are just a couple of possibilities offered us by great stories.

How could you share your “truth” with your customers, community and the world to connect more powerfully, more authentically, more emotionally? Watch and let me know your single biggest “aha” moment in the comments down below.

Ken Burns: On Story from Redglass Pictures on Vimeo.

Everything is Story