Ken Burns, ChronoScribe and the Joy of the Spoken Word.

June 10, 2014 | Comments (0) | | Category: Internet Video and Webisodic Series Marketing with Video Media, News & Press Uncategorized Video Spotlight

Ken Burns, ChronoScribe and the Joy of the Spoken Word.

Recently, Robin Bond Media had the privilege of creating videos for an education technology startup called ChronoScribe.  Colorado School of Mines alums Jon Martinez and Jesus Salazar are the founders of ChronoScribe and are preparing to launch a new crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.  For this purpose, they needed a video.

As if this video project weren’t exciting enough (we love making crowdfunding videos), Jon and Jesus mentioned they had a third partner up in New England.  An historical filmmaker named Ken Burns.

Ken Burns and ChronoScribe

Ken Burns Speaks on-camera about ChronoScribe

While I squealed with delight inside, I tried to look merely impressed.  Are you kidding me?  While I don’t have to explain to anyone WHO Ken Burns is (his PBS documentaries include The Civil War,  Jazz,  Baseball, etc.), I want to share a few of my own musings on this fortunate encounter:

1.  As a writer of promotional films, I was both thrilled and intimidated to learn that Ken Burns would be part of the review committee for the creative concepts, scripts, and video rough cuts we created for this project.  After all, when it comes to great storytelling, few compare to Ken Burns.

2.  For me, Ken Burns’ magic lies in his ability to bring history AND documentary film to the mainstream.  Before Ken came along, both the topic of history and the medium of documentary were largely the realm of intellects.  By making history real to the viewer, by explaining the WHY behind the events that have happened in the amazing U.S.A., Ken has managed to enthrall us with true stories.  Good stories, well told, indeed.  You can’t make this stuff up.

3.  Echoing my appreciation for good writing and the power of a good script, I love the fact that Ken’s most recent film was about the Gettysburg Address.  In essence, it’s about the power of the written and spoken word. 

In true Ken Burns style, The Address is chronicled against the backdrop of a modern-day story.  It’s a story about a New England school for boys with learning challenges that each year encourages its students to practice, memorize, and recite the Gettysburg Address. Per the website at :  “The film interweaves this contemporary story with the history, context and importance of the Address, which remains one of the most important declarations ever made on human equality.”  If you go to the website, you’ll see that Ken takes the story a step further by challenging everyone to learn the address.  He’s not just a filmmaker, he’s an activist.

Getting back to our ChronoScribe project:  of course our first question to our client was, “When do we get to shoot the interview with Ken Burns?”  Sadly, we didn’t get to.  Ken has his own studio (duh) and was very busy working on about eight new projects (duh).  What about the talking points for Ken, which we had lovingly crafted into our draft script?

Jesus Salazar co-founder of ChronoScribe

Our clients Jon and Jesus suggested that we offer Ken some bullet points but no script, since Ken apparently has some writing experience of his own (again, duh).  However, we could send a “proposed” script, as an aside.  Imagine my delight when Ken sent back his videotaped section for the video, and he had read every word from the proposed script.  As strange as this may sound, hearing Ken read my words was one of a handful of career highlights for me.

Jon Martinez ChronoScribe co-founder

Fast-forward to today:  The pitch video for ChronoScribe’s Indiegogo campaign has been produced; however, it won’t be unveiled until ChronoScribe launches its Indiegogo campaign in June or July.  But here’s a short teaser we produced:  ChronoScribe Teaser Video 

Here’s the ChronoScribe Facebook page so that you can stay on top of happenings with this exciting new education tool AND the ChronoScribe fundraising campaign:  ChronoScribe Facebook Page

In honor of the spoken word, please check out this short video about the film The Address and the boys’ school that inspired the project:  The Greenwood Boys School

We are proud to have produced videos for ChronoScribe; helping them tell their story. Robin Bond Media can help you tell YOUR story, too.  Connect with us at Robin Bond Media and let us produce your next video.  

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