What makes a great story? As the always interesting Brain Pickings website notes, Kurt Vonnegut had 8 rules, and Jack Kerouac had 30 beliefs and techniques. But filmmakers—especially those who make documentaries—might want to focus on the insights of PBS’s Ken Burns, who for the past quarter-century has been relaying history’s most fascinating stories in his unparalleled films. In a short film by Sarah Klein and Tom Mason, Burns shares his formula for spellbinding storytelling: 1 + 1 = 3, or a story where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
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