MasterClass Ken Burns’s Documentary Filmmaking Lesson Online Review

MasterClass Ken Burns Documentary Filmmaking Lesson Review

MasterClass Ken Burns Documentary Filmmaking Lesson Review

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There are plenty of people who would want to know the insider techniques of documentary filmmaking. But, few get the pass. Meeting pros in the league of Werner Herzog, Michael Moore, Ken Burns, or Alex Gibney is never a consideration. It sounds inconceivable.

Yet, Masterclass has made it possible for everyone to learn from prime industry performers. You can take scores of filmmaking lessons in the platform from cream professionals. But only the legendary Ken Burns teaches a documentary filmmaking lesson on the platform.

You're going to learn from the maker of The Vietnam War, Prohibition, The Roosevelts, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.

The five-time Emmy Award winner teaches his research approach and shares his documentary filming techniques. Some core tactics covered highlight Ken Burns' use of audio and visual storytelling processes.

MasterClass Ken Burns Instructor

Ken Burns teaches strategies amassed from his industry experience. Meaning, you're going to encounter proven approaches that place Ken in the highest cadre of filmmaking.

The class is a total shift from the traditional curriculum to coverage of the vital aspects of documentary filmmaking. Case studies into Ken Burns's best works reveal paths to successful filming and the editing process.

Further, Ken enlightens on an artist's responsibility and the tricks to overcome challenges in the field.

Who is Ken Burns

Ken Burns

Ken Burns

Kenneth Lauren Burns, aged 67, has a career spanning to his youth. He made his first documentary at the age of 17 and has stuck to filming ever since.

Ken is famous for using archival footage in his works. His documentaries thrive for being educative and informative. And most important, they reawaken long-forgotten memories and history lessons.

His documentaries have earned him five Emmy awards, and multiple Academy Awards. Some of Ken's award-winning creations include the Baseball, the National Parks, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

MasterClass Documentary Filmmaking Lesson Online with Ken Burns Review

What the Class Entails

In the lesson, Ken uses film case studies, archival documents, voice-over transcripts, and original treatments to reveal his creative process. There are a total of 26 video lessons delving into his insights.

MasterClass Ken Burns Class Sections

Compared to other documentary filming classes, Ken Burns' course is one of the longest and the most in-depth. But it gets more points on quality presentations, video, and audio standards.

Video lessons come pre-recorded. So, you can fast forward, pause, and rewind to absorb all concepts thoroughly.

Below every video, there is a students' thread. Students can do group discussions, discuss lessons, upload performances, and critique each other's work.

More learning content comes in an exclusive workbook from Ken Burns. The book contains additional topics and insights. Plus, you will encounter assignments, lesson recaps, and exercises to polish your skills.

MasterClass Ken Burns Workbook

Why the Lesson Comes on MasterClass?

Many people do wonder how Masterclass draws top talents as tutors. The structures in the platform allow instructors to bring in their unique concepts and experiences - curriculum feature ideas, and strategies that have been tried and tested in the industry.

Nothing else, but autonomy could capture the likes of Danny Elfman, Samuel. L Jackson, Usher, or Serena Williams. The names are top brands that can only work under peak standards.

MasterClass also comes second to none in offering an excellent user interface, quality videos, and audios.

Video lessons extend up to 5 hours and come with a recommended timeline. However, with the class online, you can complete the lessons at your pace.

Anyone with a good internet connection can access the lessons from anywhere. MasterClass is compatible with your smartphone, Apple TV, or desktop.


Usually, a lesson in the grade of Ken Burns' would cost an arm and a leg. MasterClass, however, opens its doors to many students for fair and standard pricing of all classes.

All lessons have two payment plans, plus a gift option.

Students who want to take only one class pay $ 90 in a single class access plan. The subscription for the lesson stays for as long as there is no cancellation.

If you're pursuing Ken Burns' documentary filming lesson at an all-access plan, you can take more classes. There are 65 additional courses offered on the platform accessible at only $ 180.

You can combine the documentary filming lesson with a creative, acting, or a scriptwriting course.


  • How to break free from conventional filmmaking rules
  • Learn from Ken's wins and losses in his first film
  • Using research to develop varying perspectives and develop your own story
MasterClass Ken Burns Finding Story
  • Choosing dominant documentary themes that suit audiences
MasterClass Ken Burns The Art of the Interview
  • Writing treatments, pitching and fundraising for your film
  • Identifying and using non-fictional characters that can give stories realism
  • How to structure your narrative for compelling documentaries
  • How to unearth archival documents to build for audio and visual content
  • Ken's scriptwriting techniques
MasterClass Ken Burns Shaping and Selling Idea
  • Cinematic techniques that help you to add emotion to films
  • Identifying and Vetting the right actors for a film
  • Ken's interviewing techniques
  • Using a lean cinema photography crew to get the best out a film
MasterClass Ken Burns Visual Storytelling
  • Ken's editing principles and process
  • Insights into the power of music and how to infuse it into films
MasterClass Ken Burns Navigating Post-Production
  • An artist's societal roles and responsibilities
  • How to share a complete film and hit the right audience and more lessons
  • Overcoming doubt and the steps to take on an excellent filming career
MasterClass Ken Burns Life of a Documentarian

Why Take Ken Burns Documentary Filmmaking Lesson

It's a rare opportunity to learn from Ken Burns. His strategies and concepts are proven in the industry. The multiple awards he had won, speak for his career and define him as the perfect tutor for the documentary filmmaking class.

His lesson brings on-point insights into the happenings in the industry and reveals likely challenges in the route. Students benefit a lot from the first-hand revelations and can prepare beforehand for what is oncoming.

Besides filming, Ken Burns goes the extra mile to provide lessons that help students break into the market. He allows students to understand their role, target the right audience, and take the right filming direction.

For students taking the lesson, the pricing is a massive boon, and the learning platform has the qualities of the best online classes. Students also get the chance to ask the tutor questions when they need thorough explanations.

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