Ken Burns : Manipulation Is A Part Of Storytelling

Ken Burns Storytelling

<img src="Ken-Burns-Bhushan-Mahadani.jpg" alt="Ken Burns Bhushan Mahadani">

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Ken Burns, do you know him? If not let me introduce him to you. Ken Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films, mostly known for his style of using archival footage and photographs who has been twice nominated for Oscars and has won EMMY awards among other honors.

Speaking of making storytelling Ken Burns is widely known and his visual techniques which have been adopted by many filmmakers so much that panning and zooming into a still image has been known as the “Ken Burns Effect.” Filmmakers Sarah Klein and Tom Mason have produced a short documentary called Ken Burns: On Story. In the video below, Ken Burns talks about good storytelling and the ways in which we manipulate audiences.

Isn’t that a fantastic video? Isn’t stories are manipulation? As Burns says in the video

The stories I like to tell are always interesting because the good guys have really serious flaws and the villains are very compelling. My interest is in always complicating things.

Ken Burns’s ideas on storytelling apply to all filmmakers, and certainly to any other type of medium where we are trying to capture the attention of an audience. He further says in the video

All story is manipulation, if its acceptable manipulation people say Oh.. bay I was so moved to tears in your film.. that’s a good thing… I manipulated that… that’s a part of storytelling… I did it sincerely ,I am moved by that too… that’s manipulation.

You can watch Ken Burns’s the full documentary ‘Baseball’ which has won EMMY award for outstanding informational series. Check out his visual style which is a huge educational resource for filmmakers and wanna be filmmakers.

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