Documentary Project

ETV Documentary Project
Presidents of the United States of America

Ken Burns is an American documentary filmmaker. He is well known for his style in documentary material, making use of original prints and photographs, and has produced several acclaimed historical and biographical documentaries for television and film. Among his most notable productions were miniseries on the The Civil War, 1990, Baseball, 1994, and JAZZ, 2001. (Source - Wikipedia)

The Ken Burns Effect refers to a technique of placing still photographs in motion pictures, displayed with slow zooming and panning effects, and fading transitions between them. Ken Burns used this technique to give life to still photographs by slowly zooming in on subjects of interest and panning from one subject to another. For example, in a photograph of a baseball team, he might slowly pan across the faces of the players and come to a rest on the player the narrator is discussing. (Source - Wikipedia)

1. Go to the Wikipedia website on Presidents of the USA, see below, and read about the office of President and the men who have held the office.

2. At the bottom of the page you will see images of all of the Presidents of the USA. Select the president who will be the subject of your video documentary and click on the link to the page about the president.

3. Read the information about the president and plan your documentary.

4. Your documentary must include information about:

  1. The early life of the president.
  2. Where and when the president was born.
  3. The president's family.
  4. The education of the president, what schools did he go to.
  5. Political jobs held before he became president.
  6. Highlights of his administration and the dates when he was president.
  7. What did he do after he was president.
  8. Any interesting facts about the president.

5. Download the images from the president's webpage to use in your documentary. Do an image search to get more images for your documentary.

6. Import the images into iMovie. Use the Ken Burns Effect to focus the attention of the viewer on the important parts of the image and provide visual interest, see above.

7. Put the images into an order that reflects the outline above, numbers 1 - 8.

8. Add voice-overs to your documentary. Your voice-overs should provide the information outlined above and be synchronized with your images.

Click here to see an example of this project.

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