Ken Burns to Launch Documentary Filmmaking Course Online with MasterClass

Ken Burns is promising to spill the beans on what goes into making his famous documentary films in his first online course.

Burns, one of America’s best-known and prolific documentary filmmakers, is teaming with online-education startup MasterClass for the series of lessons, slated to launch this fall. His class is open for pre-registration now, available for $90 at or the MasterClass iOS apps. MasterClass also offers a $180 annual subscription, which offers unlimited access to all its courses.

Over more than 40 years, Burns has produced a huge corpus of acclaimed documentaries, including “Brooklyn Bridge,” “The Civil War,” “Baseball,” “Jazz,” “The Statue of Liberty,” “The War,” “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” “Jackie Robinson” and “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War.”

His docu-series “The Vietnam War,” which premiered on PBS last fall, has been watched by over 39 million people. Burns’ latest film, “The Mayo Clinic: Faith – Hope – Science,” will air on PBS on Sept. 25, 2018.

In his online course, Burns will explain how to tap into the “drama of truth” by deconstructing scenes from some of his most notable works to detail how he finds the human story in true events. Students in his MasterClass will have the opportunity to access early rough cuts of “The Vietnam War” as Burns walks through how the filmmakers refined the story in the editing process.


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