Category: The Sham

The Sham: Ken Burns on Ken Burns

By Brad Wise (Flickr: keystone 8mm model B8) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Image Credit: Brad Wise (Flickr)
NEW YORK, NY—Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns recently announced plans to make yet another epic documentary. The topic? Himself.

Ken Burns by Ken Burns, a Florentine Films Production, is reportedly over 50 hours in length due to the fact that it documents the making of all of Burns’s previous documentaries.

Critics await the documentary with anticipation after sources indicate that the new film also includes many of Burns’s own highly-prized personal documents, such as lists entitled “Favorite Civil War Nicknames”, “Documentaries I’d Like to Make”, and “101 Ways to Celebrate Independence Day Like an American Filmmaker.”

These rarely seen documents are reportedly scrutinized via the Burns effect, a dramatic yet agonizingly slow maneuver that begins with an extreme close-up of the featured artifact and then slowly zooms out to reveal a complete perspective. The maneuver can take several minutes per artifact, another reason for the length of the upcoming production.

To narrate his meta-documentary Burns originally sought American actor Robert Mitchum, who is well-known for his prominent roles in western films and his rugged narration in the “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner” advertising campaign of the early 1990s.

Yet Burns was surprised to discover that Mitchum has been deceased for some time. “I guess when you constantly look at life through a camera lens, even a super expensive one, you miss some of the grander details like the demise of an iconic American voice like Mr. Mitchum’s,” Burns said.

In Mitchum’s place will be the soothing David McCullough, known for his narration of the film Seabiscuit, an adaptation of his book by the same name, as well as for his numerous historical works.

Ken Burns by Ken Burns is tentatively scheduled for release next summer.