Episode 118

Published on:

14th Nov 2019

Filming Behind Bars with Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein

Two veterans of Ken Burns films, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, have recently completed work on their documentary film, four-part PBS series, College Behind Bars And I had the pleasure of speaking with the both of them about some of their experiences working on Ken Burns’ films as well as what it was like going off on their own for their most recent work.

Topics Discussed

  • how teaching classes in prison inspired Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein to make College Behind Bars
  • Novick and Botstein detail the logistics of making a documentary film in a prison
  • how working with Ken Burns over the years informed their whittling down of 400 hours of verite footage into four hours of a series
  • Novick and Botstein discuss how we, as doc filmmakers, experience profound change in our lives making our films and working with our subjects


Additional Resources

Watch the extended trailer for, College Behind Bars



Watch an extended look, The Vietnam War




Sponsors & Thank Yous


° Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artists’ music by going to Free Music Archive today!



Apple | Spotify | Stitcher |


Rate and Review

If you have found value in this podcast please leave a review so it can become more visible to others. Simply click the link and then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab to make your entry. Thank you for your support!


Show artwork for The Documentary Life

About the Podcast

The Documentary Life
Documentary filmmaker & host, Chris G. Parkhurst, inspires & informs you on how to best live and lead your own doc life.
Have a passion for making documentary films? Want to learn how to best lead a documentary life? Join award-winning commercial and documentary filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst, and special industry guests as they candidly share their filmmaking stories, insights, and experiences, for all to learn how to best lead and live their own documentary dream lives.

About your host

Profile picture for Christopher Parkhurst

Christopher Parkhurst