The Ken Burns Effect

Ken Burns, creator of the upcoming WW2 documentary, The War, together with PBS puts muscle behind Veterans History Project. The War begins airing September 23.

Some background: The War tells the story about WW2 from the perspective of four American cities. While Burns was filming interviews with WW2 Vets and participatns, he thought, “Hey! We ought to create a national effort to preserve and capture the stories of those who participated!” Not long into his own efforts to spearhead such an endeavor, he learned of the Veterans History Project. Instead of duplicating efforts, Burns and PBS are joining forces in a combined campaign to encourage people to participate in the Veterans History Project. Expect to see more publicity about VHP in the future.

What is the “Ken Burns Effect”? It’s that pan and scan on documentary photographs that Burns made famous in his Civil War documentary series. In software such as iMovie, “Ken Burns Effect” is a checkbox that automates the process of creating that pan and zoom to add motion to still photos. Me? I’m calling this the Ken Burns Effect to see how a respected documentarian can help get more people recording histories of American Veterans.

UPDATE: Lots of related posts in September 2007 entries.

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 16, 2007 in • Veterans History Project
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