Back to articles

A newly-digitised Ken Burns is as American as baseball and apple’s iPad

2 minutes read

Award-winning documentarian Ken Burns (Baseball, The Civil War, Prohibition, The Dust Bowl) steps into the world of digital media and digital marketing with a special iPad app that launched this week. Developed exclusively for the iPad, the app integrates with other platforms to let users access the Burns body of work by viewing curated scenes inside the app as well as being directed to the entire film via shopPBS, iTunes or Netflix. Each scene is also linked to specified pages on Ken Burns America, the newly-launced PBS site at pbs.org/kenburns.

“The iPad app and the PBS website allow me to talk about and present my work in an entirely new way — one that reveals how my films interrelate,” states Burns. “I could not be more excited by this opportunity to engage everyone through these ongoing, evolving platforms, using the flexibility of the digital world.”

The Ken Burns App was conceived, directed and produced by Don MacKinnon, who worked with Florentine Films producer Sarah Botstein and the digital agency Big Spaceship to create a platform that allows users to experience Burns’s work in a new way.

“Our films are made in a small town in New Hampshire over many years, with images and stories woven together in a way that we hope brings experiences of the past into the present,” explains Burns. “Working with some of the most talented people in tech today, we’ve tried to rethink how we can tell the story of America using our films and technology. Apple has long used an element of my filmmaking in its programs, which they call the Ken Burns Effect. I’m so excited to now be using Apple’s platforms to create a radically new way to present my work and reach new viewers.”

Although the Ken Burns app is free and offers free content, there is a $9.99 charge to access all of the app’s content. The app will also be discounted for educators.