DAUK Film Night: A Conversation with Lynn Novick
was held on April 11, 2018
This event did not include the screening of an episode of the Vietnam War series. Instead, Lynn Novick showed selected clips.
Photo taken on March 15, 2017. Credit: Stephanie Berger
The Film Night
We had the opportunity to meet one of the USA’s leading documentary makers, Lynn Novick and hear about her work on the widely acclaimed documentary series The Vietnam War, other award winning films and her career as a filmmaker.
The Vietnam War generated enthusiastic reviews and broke all records for PBS audiences in the USA. The cut down 10-hour version has already been shown in the UK on BBC4 and has made many ‘Top 10 TV Shows in 2017’ lists, and is described by The Guardian as “one of the highest achievements of factual programme-making” and by the Daily Telegraph as “an un-missable triumph”. The same 10-hour version has been shown in 85 countries and streamed in Vietnam. This will be the first time the full directors cut will be seen outside America.
Co-producer of the series with Ken Burns and Sarah Botstein, Novick’s visit to the UK coincided with the release of the full uncut 18-hour version of the series on PBS America. She took part in only a handful of public engagements.
Lynn Novick spoke about and showed excerpts from the series, hailed as the one of the United States’ most important television events of 2017.
She also discussed her role in this epic production which took ten years to complete. It includes interviews with nearly 80 witnesses, from the Vietnamese and American side, combatants and opponents of the war. It includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from around the globe, photographs taken by some of the last century’s most celebrated photojournalists, historic news broadcasts, evocative home movies, and vivid audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations. Besides originally composed music, the score features popular songs that define the era.
Although the focus of Lynn’s presentation was on the production of this, her latest documentary, we had the unique opportunity to discuss all aspects of her documentary filmmaking work and career.
About The Film Night Speakers
Mick Gold interviewed Lynn Novick and hosted the discussion.
Mick Gold, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, see below for more.
About Lynn Novick
Lynn Novick is a veteran documentary producer and winner of multiple Emmy and Peabody awards. Her collaboration with Ken Burns dates back 30 years, and they are behind some of the most acclaimed work on American history and culture. They have now produced a trilogy on American wars, starting with the landmark Civil War in 1990, followed by the seven-part series on World War II The War in 2007.
Novick was a research assistant at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History before beginning her film career as a production assistant at WNET, a public television station in Manhattan. There she worked on Bill Moyers’ acclaimed projects, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth and A World of Ideas with Bill Moyers, before moving to Florentine Films in 1989 to work on the The Civil War as associate producer.
In 1994, she produced Burns’ nine-part series, Baseball, for which she received an Emmy Award. In 1998, she was director and producer (with Burns) of the two-part biographical documentary, Frank Lloyd Wright, winning a Peabody Award.
Novick’s next project is Ernest Hemingway, a two-part biography of the writer to be broadcast in 2019.
Photo source: October 03, 2017 Katie McNally, [email protected], https://news.virginia.edu/content/miller-center-experts-aid-pbs-production-vietnam-war, purpose of use is to enhance this article
About the Host Mick Gold
Mick Gold is an award winning producer/director of documentaries. DAUK held an exclusive preview of his film for the Brook Lapping series Inside Obama’s White House (2016). At that Film Night Norma Percy and the Brook Lapping team joined him to speak to a packed audience. His work with Brook Lapping includes Watergate (Primetime Emmy Award); The Reagan Legacy; Endgame In Ireland (Peabody Award); Death of Apartheid (US title: Mandela’s Fight For Freedom); and Hostage about hostages held during Lebanon’s civil war in the 1980s (first prize at Festival International du Film d’Histoire de Pessac). He has produced many arts documentaries including six films for the BBC2 series Private Life of a Masterpiece, focusing on paintings by Dalí, Degas, Delacroix, Goya, Velázquez and Rogier van der Weyden. For BBC4 he produced and directed a series on the history of the blues, Blues America (2013). In his early professional life, he was a rock journalist and photographer. His most recent documentaries were part of the Channel 5 series, Elizabeth: Our Queen.
Photo source: Mick Gold
Disclaimer: The holding of this Film Night does not constitute an endorsement or promotion of the film, nor of any views expressed therein or any association with The Film Committee, DAUK, Democrats Abroad or the Democratic Party. Screenings are solely conceived as educational activities: offering an opportunity for members to discuss issues.
Links to other organizations or publications imply neither endorsement of their policies nor any association with the Democratic Party or Democrats Abroad – UK.