Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Taking viewers on an immersive journey through a pivotal moment in history

02/11/2023

Ahead of its premiere on National Geographic this weekend, TVBEurope talks to JFK: One Day in America director Ella Wright about how the series mixes archive footage and first-person testimony to tell the story of what happened in Dallas 60 years ago

By Jenny Priestley

Published: November 2, 2023

Ahead of its premiere on National Geographic this weekend, TVBEurope talks to JFK: One Day in America director Ella Wright about how the series mixes archive footage and first-person testimony to tell the story of what happened in Dallas 60 years ago

target=_blank title=Share on LinkedIn class=share-linkedin>

This month sees the 60th anniversary of the assassination of the 35th president of the United States, John F Kennedy.

National Geographic is marking the date with the second instalment of its Emmy Award-winning One Day in America franchise: JFK: One Day In America.

The three-part series offers a unique perspective on the events of November 22nd, 1963 through both archive footage and first-person testimony from witnesses as well as Secret Service agents and reporters who were in Dalles on that fateful day.

TVBEurope speaks to series director Ella Wright to find out more about the project.

How did you become involved with the series? I previously produced the series 9/11: One Day in America, in which I played a significant role and embraced its approach. We opted for a minimalist approach, relying solely on archival footage and first-hand accounts, without delving into the political aspects or the broader context of that day. Our primary focus was on capturing the experiences of the individuals present, particularly the survivors.

National Geographic approached us with a similar concept, proposing that we apply this same treatment to the JFK story. After viewing numerous documentaries on the topic, we noticed a prevalent theme of conspiracy theories and a predominantly analytical perspective, lacking an immersive, emotional touch. We saw this as a valuable opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the subject matter and delve into the human experience of that historic day.

President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jaqueline Kennedy disembark from Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas, November 22, 1963. (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston) The series includes never-before-seen footage, how did you get access to the footage and what state was it in? We collaborated closely with The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, the custodians of a vast collection of footage from that era, which arrived in various formats. While we didn't need to undertake a full restoration, we did embark on the exciting task of colourising some of the footage for the very first time.

It was an unprecedented move, with The Sixth Floor Museum granting us permission to undertake this historic colourisation effort. To ensure the utmost accuracy, we partnered with a specialised company in France called Composite Films, working alongside their team of colour historians to meticulously match and recreate the most authentic colours.

Our motivation for this was to create the most engaging and relatable experience possible. We recognised that black-and-white footage might feel somewhat foreign, especially to younger generations without first-hand exposure to these events. Our goal was to break down any generational barriers, making the content thoroughly immersive for all viewers. I take great pride in the fact that we feature this ground-breaking colourised footage for the very first time.

How was the series edited? We had the privilege of collaborating with two exceptionally talented editors, Mike Davey and Dan Lavender. Each film in the series followed a distinct phase of these historic events. The first one centred around the assassination itself, the second delved into the intense manhunt, and the third honed in on the assassin's murder.

Our fortunate circumstances allowed us to have a treasure trove of footage, capturing nearly every twist and turn in the narrative. With hundreds of hours of material at our disposal, we approached the editing process uniquely. Rather than using the footage merely as a visual backdrop, we carefully curated it into narrative scenes that unfolded, immersing the viewer in the heart of the action.

How big was the crew that worked on the series and what were their roles? We actually operated as quite a compact team, and I believe that's the essence of making compelling documentaries. It ensures that everyone is deeply invested in both the story and the production process. Our core team consisted of four editorial individuals who travelled to Dallas: myself, series producer Charlotte Rodriguez, along with producers Henry Longden and Sophie Dimitriadis.

Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as President aboard Air Force One with former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy standing next to him. (Cecil Stoughton/White House Photographs/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston) We collaborated in Dallas with an international and American director of photography and a sound recordist, making use of local American crew on-site. Additionally, we had the invaluable expertise of two exceptional editors, Mike Davey and Dan Lavender, as well as a highly-skilled editing assistant named Ellis Frodsham. This compact team may have been small in numbers, but it was brimming with talent, which I believe ultimately made the entire project more seamless and effective.

What was the biggest challenge of working on the series? That's a great question. I would say our biggest challenge was deciding what to include in the series. We had an enormous amount of footage to work with, hundreds of hours' worth, which was a rich source of material to start with.

Our task was to identify scenes from this archive that not only played out well on screen but could al
LINK: https://www.tvbeurope.com/production-post/taking-viewers-on-an-immersi...
See more stories from tvb

More from TVB Europe

22/02/2024

Transforming broadcasting with artificial intelligence and machine learning

John Wastcoat SVP BD and marketing at Zixi, looks at how new technologies are providing a path to efficiency and adaptability in the broadcasting industry By C...

22/02/2024

Applications open for WBD's CrewHQ

The initiative aims to help build a diverse, skilled workforce for departments including camera, sound and more By Jenny Priestley Published: February 22, 20...

22/02/2024

BBC, Amagi, Sony, Broadcom among Technology and Engineering Emmy winners

The awards are presented to a living individual, company, or scientific or technical organisation for developments and/or standardisation involved in engineerin...

21/02/2024

Time to rethink network orchestration and broadcast control

Olivier Suard, VP marketing, Nevion, explains why the move to IP is similar to the move to the combustion engine Sponsored Content Published: February 21, 20...

21/02/2024

SCENESIS provides post production services for new film, Ravens

The film is from writer-director Mark Gill and was shot in Tokyo, Japan in October 2023. It chronicles the life of Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase By Jen...

21/02/2024

DNEG launches immersive division

DNEG IXP will be led by managing director Josh Mandel By Jenny Priestley Published: February 21, 2024 Updated: February 22, 2024 DNEG IXP will be led by...

20/02/2024

Edit house Avenues opens new London location

The studio is equipped with six edit suites and two colour suites and has been technologically designed from the ground up By Jenny Priestley Published: Febr...

20/02/2024

Meet the camera assistant trainee

By Jenny Priestley Published: February 20, 2024 Updated: February 21, 2024 Lucy Watson, camera assistant trainee, dock10, tells TVBEurope about landing h...

19/02/2024

The producer economy: Has Piers Morgan sparked a shift away from linear TV?

Kathy Klingler, chief marketing officer, Brightcove, explains how TV producers can take control of their digital future to reach larger global audiences, have g...

19/02/2024

Best of Show Awards for 2024 NAB Show submissions open

The awards, from industry-leading brands of Future plc, provide a great opportunity for companies to stand out at one the most attended shows in the industry B...

19/02/2024

Oppenheimer leads BAFTA Film Awards technical category winners

Oppenheimer dominated the night, picking up seven BAFTAs across all categories By Jenny Priestley Published: February 18, 2024 Updated: February 19, 2024 ...

17/02/2024

CameraOne expands UK operations

Company is opening two further offices in Manchester and Cardiff By Jenny Priestley Published: February 16, 2024 Company is opening two further offices in...

17/02/2024

How to grade One Trillion Dollars

Colourist Felix H sken discusses the 4K/HDR image workflows for the Paramount+ drama series By Contributor Published: February 16, 2024 Updated: February 1...

17/02/2024

Lise Heidal joins NEP Broadcast Services Europe

Christer P lsson and Jose (Tex) Teixeira are also joining the company in leadership roles By Jenny Priestley Published: February 16, 2024 Updated: February...

15/02/2024

Unlocking your monetisation potential with trusted ad insertion technology

Dimitri Tarassenko, SVP, product development at LTN, explains how, with the right flexible and efficient advertising workflows in place, content providers can g...

15/02/2024

Sachtler introduces new range of fluid heads designed for cinematographers

The new Cine Series aims to meet the diverse needs of cinematographers, from solo operators to larger production crews, said the company By Jenny Priestley P...

15/02/2024

Blackmagic co-founder joins Atomos as COO

Barber will work with Jeremy Young, who returned to the business as managing director and CEO last month By Jenny Priestley Published: February 15, 2024 Up...

14/02/2024

Milk officially opens Dublin-based VFX studio, appoints Donal Nolan

The studios first major project will involve bringing to life prehistoric creatures and environments with high-end VFX for NBC series Surviving Earth By Jenny ...

13/02/2024

Teradek introduces real-time viewing platform for production and post

Teradek TV allows productions to set up and share encrypted ultra-high-quality video feeds with low delay By Jenny Priestley Published: February 13, 2024 U...

13/02/2024

ARRI lights up LED spotlight market with new Orbiter Beam

The light's intensity level has a comparable output to the ARRI Daylight M-Series M18 within a tighter beam angle, said the company By Jenny Priestley Pu...

13/02/2024

James Clement joins IMG as SVP tech and operations

Clement will oversee the operations of the companys studio facilities in Stockley Park, London, including the broadcast operations, engineering and technical se...

12/02/2024

Report considers shorter TV and film production day, impact on cost and sustainability

The report by Timewise and Bectu found that adopting a shorter working day will ...

12/02/2024

Meet the head of product

By TVBEurope Staff Published: February 12, 2024 Updated: February 13, 2024 Daniel Robinson, head of product, Pebble, talks TVBEurope through a typical da...

09/02/2024

Meet the head of worldwide sales of films and TV series

By Jenny Priestley Published: February 9, 2024 Updated: February 12, 2024 Aleksandra Kazmieruk, head of worldwide sales of films and TV series, TVP Polan...

09/02/2024

Viaplay is a more focused, realistic and agile player following recapitalisation

Swedish media company has completed its recapitalisation programme, which includes increased shareholdings for both Canal+ and PPF By Jenny Priestley Publish...

08/02/2024

Pause ads are the latest streaming innovation, prepare for more

For streaming companies, and commercial broadcasters with VoD channels, the pause ad is a new way of targeting viewers when theyre distracted by something other...

08/02/2024

Argosy announces passing of co-founder Mike Purnell

Paying tribute to Purnell, current Argosy co-CEO Chris Smeeton said: I am proud to have considered Mike an inspiration, a father figure and a true friend. By J...

08/02/2024

TARDIS set builder 4Wood opens regional base at Birmingham's Digbeth Loc

The new regional base makes the company the first set specialists in the facility and one of the first production service businesses By Jenny Priestley Publi...

07/02/2024

Versa Studios, FAE partner on Leeds-based film production hub

The hub, located at Versa Leeds Studios, will offer production services and facilities, including four sound stages ranging from 10,000 sq. ft to 27,000 sq. ft ...

07/02/2024

Opinion: The role of UX in post production

Tim Burton, managing director, 7FiveFive, explains why its important that media companies prioritise UX in order to take one step closer to futureproofing their...

06/02/2024

ISE 2024: The intersection of broadcast tech and advanced AV applications

TVBEurope editor Jenny Priestley talks to ISE 2024 Content and Distribution Summit chair Ciaran Doran about the stand out themes and products at this years show...

06/02/2024

Canal+ takeover bid for Multichoice referred to South Africa's Takeover Regulation Panel

After Multichoice rejected the initial bid, the panel said it is working with bo...

05/02/2024

Opinion: Are we approaching the end of the ad break?

As Amazon Prime Video introduces adverts into its content, Lelde Ardava, sales and account manager at Veset, looks at how broadcasters and advertisers can move ...

02/02/2024

How Dirty Looks helped develop the atmosphere of The Zone of Interest

The UK-based post production house worked closely with director Jonathan Glazer on the grade of the BAFTA and Oscar-nominated film By Jenny Priestley Publish...

02/02/2024

Report: High-End TV propped up production spend in the UK during Hollywood strikes

A large part of the 4.23 billion spent on production during 2023 was contribute...

02/02/2024

Motion Impossible introduces new dolly system to capture the money shot'

The AGITO Cine has a larger core, expanded wheelbase and increased ground clearance, and is built to handle heavier camera payloads By Jenny Priestley Publis...

02/02/2024

Best of Show at ISE 2024 Awards winners revealed

The TVBEurope category recognises broadcast-grade technology products on show in Barcelona By TVBEurope Staff Published: February 2, 2024 Updated: February...

01/02/2024

AI-powered cloud-based workflow automation platform enters beta testing

The customisable platform experience enables users to design workflows for their own post production needs By Jenny Priestley Published: February 1, 2024 ...

01/02/2024

Shooting modern heroism

Cinematographer Kira Kelly talks to Robert Shepherd about creating the look of Marvel's latest TV series, Echo By Contributor Published: February 1, 2024...

01/02/2024

Rise launches 2024 global mentoring programme

The schedule will feature a combination masterclasses and networking events, while participants will also have the opportunity to connect with other mentees acr...

01/02/2024

MetFilm School acquired by BIMM Group

This acquisition expands BIMM's existing offerings for film students across the UK and Germany By Jenny Priestley Published: February 1, 2024 This acq...

01/02/2024

Another day, another M&A: Canal+ submits bid to gain control of South Africa's Multichoice

French pay-TV company said once due diligence is completed, it intends to delive...

31/01/2024

Channel 5's parent company subject of $30 billion takeover bid

Allen Media Group already owns The Weather Channel and a number of local US TV stations By Jenny Priestley Published: January 31, 2024 Updated: February 1,...

30/01/2024

More than 80 per cent of UK screen workers impacted by production downturn

According to Marcus Ryder, CEO of the Film and TV Charity, too many behind the scenes workers are being asked to deal with structural shifts and respond and piv...

30/01/2024

Best in Market Awards 2023 guide now available

The awards recognise standout products and solutions that have been brought to market over the last 12 months By TVBEurope Staff Published: January 30, 2024 ...

30/01/2024

Harmonic: Strategic review of video business continues, remains a top priority'

No specific timetable has been established for the completion of the review, sai...

29/01/2024

Channel 4 reveals plans to become digital-first' public service streamer by 2030

Plans involve transforming Channel 4's streaming platform through outsourced...

29/01/2024

Meet the senior architect

By Jenny Priestley Published: January 29, 2024 Updated: January 30, 2024 Benjamin Garverick, senior architect, Zixi, suggests anyone looking to enter the...

29/01/2024

Channel 4 reveals plans to become digital-first' public service streamer by 2023

Plans involve transforming Channel 4's streaming platform through outsourced...

26/01/2024

RED Digital Cinema introduces first large format global shutter cinema cameras

The new cameras feature the low-light performance, dynamic range, resolutions, high frame rates and form factor of their V-RAPTOR predecessor By Jenny Priestle...