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Ken Burns Contact Details:
REAL NAME: Ken Burns
NICKNAME: Ken Burns
DOB: 29 July 1953 (age 69 years)
BIRTHPLACE: Brooklyn, New York, United States
BIRTH SIGN: Leo
PROFESSION: American filmmaker
FATHER: Robert Kyle Burns
MOTHER: Lyla Smith Tupper
SIBLINGS: Ric Burns
SPOUSE /WIFE : Julie Deborah Brown (m. 2003), Amy Stechler (m. 1982–1993)
CHILDREN: Sarah Burns, Olivia Burns, Willa Burns, Lilly Burns
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/user/kenburnspbs
Ken Burns Bio
Ken Burns who was born in 1953, investigated several aspects of American history, from the monumental to the minute. The Civil War (1990) and Baseball (1994) are two examples of his work in which he does not strive to provide a solution to a particular historical subject but rather explores the eras through the lens of human narratives. According to an article that was published in the Journal of Popular Film and Television by Gary Edgerton, “Ken Burns is the person who has done more than anyone else before him to make the historical documentary a popular and captivating form for large segments of the viewing public in the United States.
Because of the topics that he chooses to write about, he has been able to successfully capture the attention of the general public. In addition, he has developed a stylistic approach that is well suited to both the topics that he writes about and his ideological perspective. Burns was the elder of two boys who were born to Robert Kyle and Lyla Smith (née Tupper) Burns on July 29, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the only child of the couple. Robert Burns was a graduate student at Columbia University studying cultural anthropology when he became a father for the first time. His son was born at this period. When Burns was a youngster, his family travelled quite a bit from place to place.
When he was a young child, he split his time between the cities of St. Veran, in France, and Baltimore, in Maryland. Burns relocated to Newark, Delaware, when his father was offered a teaching job at the University of Delaware. He remained there for a number of years. When he was ten years old, his family relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan, since his father had accepted a position as a professor at the University of Michigan. The passing of his mother from cancer while he and his family were still residing in Michigan was a traumatic experience that made Burns more sensitive.
The passion for photography that Burns inherited from his father was one of his many interests; he also enjoyed the game of baseball and going to the movies, particularly those directed by John Ford. As part of his senior year high school project, Burns created a documentary video using a camera that had been given to him by his father. Burns enrolled at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, immediately following his graduation from high school in the year 1971. He had every intention of following in John Ford’s footsteps and working in the film industry.
In addition to his studies in cinema at Hampshire, Burns took classes in still photography with Jerome Liebling and Elaine Mayes. He did not attend any other history classes. Burns created a documentary for his capstone directing project in which he focused on a historical topic that was situated in Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts. In 1975, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampshire College in cinema studies and design. Following his graduation, Burns and two of his classmates established their own production firm in New York City under the name Florentine Films.
During the time when he was considering making his own films, he supplemented his income by working as a freelancer and making short documentaries. Burns often collaborated with his younger brother Ric and the woman who would eventually become his wife, Amy Stechler. In 1978, he relocated the headquarters of his company from New York City to New Hampshire. On July 10, 1982, Burns and Stechler tied the knot and went on to have two children, Sarah and Lily, after their marriage.
After working on it for a total of four years, Burns finally released his first album with Florentine in 1981. The movie was a documentary called Brooklyn Bridge, and it was all about the very first steel-wire vehicular suspension bridge in the world. The bridge and its construction from 1869 to 1883 were discussed throughout the sixty minute segment. In 1982, after its screenings at a number of different film festivals, the movie Brooklyn Bridge was shown on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). This public television channel used to play several of Burns’ documentaries over the years.
The next thing that Burns did was try to produce many very distinct documentaries all at once. The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God was the first album to be made available to the public (1984). A peculiar religious group from the nineteenth century, more recognised now for its distinctive furnishings than for its doctrine, was the subject of investigation in this documentary. Burns also created a documentary that lasted for four hours and was about the American emblem of independence known as The Statute of Liberty (1985).
The video did not confine itself to the history of the monument or its recent repair; rather, it utilised the symbol as a springboard to analyze the concept of liberty in the United States of America. In 1985, PBS presented a documentary titled “The Statue of Liberty.” Burns filmed the documentary Huey Long (1985), which ran for a total of 90 minutes and was about the authoritarian governor of Louisiana from 1928 through 1935. The idea for the film came from a professor at Louisiana State University. Burns was not only the producer of the movie but also its director and principal cinematographer.
Huey Long was written by historian Geoffrey C. Ward, and his wife served as editor for it. In the future, Ward would contribute to many of Burns’ projects. In 1986, Huey Long made an appearance on PBS and went on to win a number of honours. Ken Bode of the New Republic said about it “It is a superb blend of oral history and video history, incorporating still pictures from Huey Long’s early years, newsreel and private footage, and mini-commentaries from critics and fans of Huey Long. Huey Long was a politician in Louisiana.
This is not a documentary drama in any way. Huey Long does a performance as himself, while everything else on screen is based on real events. However, the picture is so well put together that fear begins to spread among the audience as the unavoidable murder draws closer.” Thomas Hart Benton (1988) and The Congress (1990) were both finished by Burns while he was working on his most ambitious project, The Civil War (1990), which was released in 1990. (1988). However, it was the American Civil War that catapulted him into the public eye on a national scale. Burns had first started working on the project all the way back in 1985.
He intended to investigate the dispute from every angle possible. In an interview with Marjorie Rosen of People Weekly, Burns said, “I had not before appreciated the influence that the Civil War still had on our nation. If we consider the history of a nation in the same way that we would consider the history of a person, then the Civil War is the most painful event that occurred during our formative years. I felt impelled to investigate more and find out what was going on.” Burns spent five and a half years working toward his objective, despite the fact that other filmmakers and historians warned him that he was taking on too much.
The 11-hour documentary was created in the end at a total cost of $3.5 million thanks to subsidies from the National Endowment for the Arts and the General Motors Corporation. The Civil War was shown on PBS for five nights in a row in the year 1990, which was 125 years after the war had finished. With an average of 14 million viewers each episode, it was the PBS programme that achieved the greatest ratings in the history of the network. There were around 39 million individuals who watched at least one episode. Burns had the ability to make individuals from such a distant era seem intelligible to audiences living in present times.
He used historical texts, photos, and excerpts from actual journals to illustrate his points. A significant number of well-known performers read for parts. Burns collected 16,000 vintage pictures from a total of 160 archives, but in the end, he only utilised 3,000 of them in the finished film. In addition to that, he edited a total of 500 hours of sound and 150 hours of film. The impact of this collage of tactics is to create the idea that the audience is being transported back in time, physically discovering an emotional connection with the people and events of America’s past, as described by Gary Edgerton in the Journal of Popular Film and Television.
Many people expressed their admiration for what Burns had managed to do with The Civil War. Richard Stoglin of Time quoted historian Shelby Foote as saying, “People who view the series will have a far greater grasp of what made this nation what it is.” Through the year 2000, General Motors has committed to funding a significant portion of Burns’ efforts. Even though he was successful, the job ended up having a negative impact on his personal life. Amy Burns shared her thoughts with Rosen of People Weekly by saying,
“There were several instances in the battle that he became so exhausted that I couldn’t see how he could have continued fighting. It would have been considerably easier if it weren’t for his stubbornness in the situation.” After the end of the Civil War, Burns and his wife went their own ways, and shortly afterwards, Burns’ brother likewise went out to pursue his own career.
Burns was exhausted as a result of the Civil War, yet he never lost sight of the objectives he had set for himself. Burns turned rejected a number of opportunities to move to Hollywood in order to remain with PBS and take advantage of the independence it provided him with. According to what Burns said with John Malus of The New York Times, “When it comes to documentaries, I feel that I can’t go ahead until I’m doing something joyful. As a result, we will be doing research on the history of baseball. And there, rather of taking my own life on the battlefield, I would take pleasure in exposing the acts of the guys who are playing on it.”
The film by Burns on baseball was not the first of its kind to be distributed. Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, the documentary that he made on the early pioneers of radio, was shown on PBS in the year 1992. Although Burns was able to make it engaging, the production of this film was more difficult since radio does not use visuals. He painted a picture of radio as a platform on which artistic expression and commercial enterprise coexist. However, Burns believed that baseball was a more effective medium for studying the history of the United States.
He elaborated on the matter for Steve McClellan of Broadcasting and Cable, saying, “My impression was that the American Civil War was a defining epic period, much like the “Iliad” of the United States. But if you truly wanted to know who we were over the whole of American history, there was no greater metaphor, or a more interesting past to follow, than the history of baseball. It tells the complete tale. The production of Burns’ documentary about the history of baseball took him around four and a half years to complete. Baseball (1994) lasted for a total of 20 hours and was spread out over the course of nine evenings.
It was developed on a budget that was roughly $7 million, which was nearly double that of The Civil War, and it was largely funded by General Motors. Baseball contained around 4,000 still images that were selected from over 250 different photo collections. The film was narrated by John Chancellor, a television anchorman. Burns used the sport as a lens through which to investigate several aspects of American history, including social history, Labour history, racial relations, and the concepts of immigrating to the United States and being assimilated. Ironically, the documentary was shown during the same season when a strike in professional baseball prevented games from being played.
After his retirement from baseball, Burns turned his attention to more modest undertakings. Burns’ contribution to the eight-part, 12-hour-long documentary The West (1996) was limited to the roles of co-producer and executive director, despite the fact that he was connected with the project. Stephen Ives, a long-time colleague, was responsible for a significant portion of the day-to-day work on the project. Ives was quoted as saying the following to Michelle Y. Green of Broadcasting & Cable: “If the Civil War was an immature, violent chapter in our nation’s history, then the West represented our coming of age, which is why it fascinated me so much as a young person.
The narrative had always been presented in a stereotypical manner, but suddenly it was retold as a list of victories, which completely changed the meaning of the tale. The truth is an argument that can never be defeated.” The West, much like previous initiatives associated with Burns, centred on the use of human narratives to explain larger historical concepts. The breadth of the subject matter, which was the history of the American West, resulted in a movie that was not as tightly delineated as it might have been.
In 1997, Burns also made a documentary called Lewis & Clark, which was about a project that was linked to the American West. The expedition that the explorers undertook in 1804-06 into the Pacific Northwest was detailed in the four-hour-long piece. Burns was responsible for the production of two documentaries in 1999. The first one focused on the life and work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, while the second one investigated the lives of early feminists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Entitled Not for Ourselves Alone:
In the documentary that Burns titled Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: Their Story, the historian Ken Burns tells the tale of how the women’s movement got its start. His two girls were the driving force behind his creating this documentary. Burns has shown that the statement made by Richard Stoglin of Time, that “Burns has firmly established himself as the master film recorder of America’s history,” is accurate. By covering such a broad variety of issues, both major and little, with eloquence and elegance, Burns has proven this statement.
In 1982, for the movie “Brooklyn Bridge,” which Burns directed and produced, he was considered for a “Academy Award” in the category “Academy Award for Documentary Feature.” Another ‘Academy Award’ nomination came his way in 1986 for the role he played in the movie ‘The Statue of Liberty.’ In 1995, he was presented with an Emmy Award for ‘Baseball’ in the category of ‘Outstanding Informational Series.’ In 2010, he was awarded an Emmy for ‘The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,’ which was nominated for an award in the category of ‘Outstanding Non-fiction Series.’
Over the course of his professional life, he has been awarded more than twenty honorary degrees by a wide variety of educational establishments, including the University of Michigan and Penn State University, amongst others. In 1982, Burns tied the knot with Amy Stechler, and the couple went on to have two kids together: Sarah and Lily. The pair got divorced after around eleven years of being together. In 2003, he wed Julie Deborah Brown for the second time, and the two of them went on to have a daughter together named Olivia. His wife and three kids now live with him in Walpole, New Hampshire, where he currently lives.
Some of Apple’s software programmes have given the method of zooming in and panning on select things in images that he made famous the term “The Ken Burns effect.” He is a member of the “Democratic Party” and has given the party something in the neighbourhood of $40,000 in donations. In 2009, after the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy, he created a memorial film that was shown during his burial service. The movie was shown.
|House address (residence address)||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
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1. Ken Burns TikTok: NA
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5. Ken Burns Phone Number, House Address, Email
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Phone number: 603-445-0015
Email id: NAhelp@kenburns.com.NA
Ken Burns Fanmail address:
Brooklyn, New York, United States