War of 1812 on PBS

wandering journalist wrote on 10/11/2011, 8:20 AM
was wondering if anybody else saw The War of 1812 on PBS which aired last night? I ask because I'm curious what folks thought of the presentation, production values etc. Projected production budget for this two-hour documentary was in the range of $2.5 million.I have had the great fortune of working with many of the reenactors and the tall ships used in the documentary as well.



wandering journalist wrote on 10/11/2011, 8:21 AM
to follow up... not intending this as a post for folks to debate the outcome of the war... let's save that for a history forum ;)
monoparadox wrote on 10/11/2011, 9:55 AM
Shoot, and I was waiting for Grazie to weigh in.
rs170a wrote on 10/11/2011, 11:47 AM
http://video.pbs.org/video/2089393539# if you want to watch it online.

Shield wrote on 10/11/2011, 12:56 PM
Starting watching it; it's excellent. Puts the kids and wife to sleep, but I'm a history guy! Will finish it up tonight.
wandering journalist wrote on 10/11/2011, 12:56 PM
thanks Mike, was going to post that link... in my haste I forgot ;)

rs170a wrote on 10/11/2011, 1:27 PM
No problem Dale.
I have no idea if anyone overseas can watch it but they can try.
As Canadians, we have a special interest in this particular war :)
I live in Windsor (directly across from Detroit, Michigan) and several different groups in the area are doing events related to this next year.

wandering journalist wrote on 10/12/2011, 12:50 PM
I live near Kingston Mike - and in fact have done some War of 1812 work and continue to do so as the bicentennial continues to approach. Currently I'm working on a short film for a planned War of 1812 Discovery Centre as well as the other content for the site. I'm always going up against projects like the one on PBS because it steals thunder and also makes the clients itchy because they want that sort of steak but only have hamburger budget :)
john_dennis wrote on 10/12/2011, 4:52 PM
I missed it on the local PBS station on Sunday night, but recorded it last night on the second multicast channel. Unfortunately, what I got last night was 704x480 at 2 mbps. Probably better than Internet streaming on 1.5 mbps DSL.

Maybe not, ATSC is MPEG-2 where PBS online streaming is likely h.264.
Dan Sherman wrote on 10/13/2011, 7:38 AM
Thanks for the link Mike.
Distracted by the content and didn't pay much attention to the online quality.
William Henry Harrison and his Kentukians trampled my family's crops in their race to kill Tecumseh in October of 1813. They also burned a Moravian mission to the Delaware Indians who lived not far from the battle site.
One of the Kentucky riflemen, James Dunakey, was wounded and never returned home. He recovered with my family and is buried in our cemetery.
Harrison won the presidency years later largely on the BS surrounding his "heroism" there and in Indiana.
It seems appropriate that on inauguration day Harrison, in a gesture of bravado, refused to wear a coat. He died a few days later of pneumonia.
How fitting.
Check out this video if you're interested in this sort of thing.
DGates wrote on 10/13/2011, 7:10 PM
Speaking of PBS, did anyone catch 'Ken Burn's Prohibition'? It was a job well done.

I also like how all his documentaries retain the same overall look. He has wisely decided against using overwrought After Effects compositions on his stills. Just subtle panning and zooming, which he help pioneer in the first place.

Gimmicky effects fade, but solid content remains.
TheHappyFriar wrote on 10/13/2011, 9:05 PM
The 1812 PBS special was done by my local PBS affiliate. Didn't know that until today. I know they're the highest quality HD station (lowest compression) in the market. They were also the first HD station in the market too I think.

I'm always going up against projects like the one on PBS because it steals thunder and also makes the clients itchy because they want that sort of steak but only have hamburger budget

Buffalo isn't even in the top 20 Nielsen rated markets in the US (last I recall it was 48, but that was years ago). The people here just love giving money to their local public broadcast affiliates. They say they're one of the biggest ($$ & production wise) in the US, don't know how true that is though. (They're the ones who did a lot with Reading Rainbow for all those years) It currently has 4 HDTV stations (17.1, 2, 3 & 4), a FM 24/7 classical station and an AM 24/7 news/arts station. So next time your clients say they want more say Buffalo people are willing to spend more, so should they. :)
wandering journalist wrote on 10/14/2011, 12:00 PM
Excellent idea HappyFriar... I'll tell them to "be more PBS" ;) I grew up with Buffalo PBS... now use a smaller but no less sincere PBS affiliate which I pull in with my antenna from across the lake! PBS is great and a great bunch to work with/for, especially when you have a Canadian story that they think has cross-border appeal... I also watched the Ken Burns Prohibition, the man knows how to tell a story...

Shield wrote on 10/14/2011, 3:22 PM
Does anyone know what cameras were used for shooting? It looked fantastic!
rs170a wrote on 10/14/2011, 4:07 PM
The forgotten war is an article that was in our local paper.
The camera shown is an HDV model so nothing special there.
It appears to be equipped with a follow focus unit along with other assorted paraphernalia.

wandering journalist wrote on 10/14/2011, 9:40 PM
I was @ some of the same large-scale events that they shot at and it was indeed HDV, in fact they were almost bragging about that in their early web sites. They used some interesting lens additions, including some fish-eye to give some shots that "far away, long ago" look.