National Parks Preview Special

Fri, 09/18/2009 - 10:00pm - 11:00pm

Pictured: Director Ken Burns and writer/producer Dayton Duncan

Credit: Photo by Craig Mellish

National Parks Preview Special, airing Friday, September 18 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11), is an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of The National Parks: America's Best Idea, Ken Burns’s newest film. The National Parks: America's Best Idea premieres on September 27. In National Parks Preview Special, Burns and his long-time colleague Dayton Duncan, the writer and co-producer of the six-part film, take viewers inside their new series. During the broadcast viewers will also have the opportunity to receive two tickets to attend a LIVE private screening of National Parks Celebration From Central Park at WXXI Studios on September 23 . This exclusive live celebration, held in Central Park, will feature musical performances by Alison Krauss, Carole King, Chris Botti and others, as well as clips from the film and remarks from Ken Burns.

National Parks Preview Special features rare footage of the film crew at work in the parks. Cameras follow the filmmakers on early morning walks to shoot sunrises and on long hikes into some of the coldest and hottest landscapes in the country. The preview also offers viewers a sneak peek at The National Parks as excerpts from the finished film are featured throughout the program.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea, a story that spans a century and a continent, contains nearly 2,000 archival images from 262 sources. Filmed in some of nature’s most spectacular locales — from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska — the documentary is a story of people from every conceivable background: rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy. It is a story of struggle and conflict, high ideals and crass opportunism, stirring adventure and enduring inspiration — set against breathtaking backdrops.

Kids Who Write Are BrightNational Parks have inspired kids too!

As part of an annual WXXI community outreach project, students in grades 4-12 participate in The Kids Who Write are Bright essay writing contest.  For 2009, students were encouraged to investigate national and state parks and to write an essay "Of all the parks in America, the one I'd like to visit most is......because"  Check out the winning essays