Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes

Network: National Geographic Channel
2017 News & Documentary Emmy Winner
Best Research
2017 News & Documentary Emmy Nominee
Best Music
Royal Television Society Nominee

On a cold morning in January, 1986, the world witnessed one of the worst disasters ever to be broadcast on live television — the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.  This was meant to be NASA’s big step to making space travel more accessible to private citizens.  Besides the astronauts on board was Christa McAulliff, the nation’s first teacher in space.  Christa was scheduled to transmit science lessons from space back to classrooms on earth.  Watching the shuttle’s launch that day were school children from around the United States.  The destruction of the shuttle, and the tragic loss of life, was in many ways the end of innocence for young people in America.  With so much discussion today of manned space flight to Mars and beyond, this special episode for National Geographic takes viewers through that tragic day moment by moment, and serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who came before us to make the wonder of space flight possible.  

A-Bombs Over Nevada

Network: Smithsonian Channel

The dropping of “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” on Japan marked the end of World War II and the dawn of the Atomic Age. The race against the Soviet Union to build a bigger, better bomb was on. The U.S. put their new nukes to the test on a desolate stretch of desert just 65 miles away from Las Vegas, and people traveled from all over the country to witness the detonations. This is the story of the nation’s grand atomic experiment and the bizarre atomic subculture that spawned beauty queens, new hairdos, and radioactive superheroes.

The Fidel Castro Tapes

Network: PBS and National Geographic International

For some, Cuba’s Fidel Castro was a hero, to others a despot.  Trying to understand Castro has always been tricky business. In this special episode for PBS and National Geographic International, 1895 Films traveled to Cuba to access long-forgotten archival material that details Castro rise to power.  With limited narration and no interviews, this film gives much-needed historical context to Castro’s early days, by using rare images and film footage not broadcast in 50 years… including several interviews with a young Castro speaking in English, a language that in his later years he refused to use.

9/11: The Heartland Tapes

Network: Smithsonian Channel

The tragedy of September 11th, played out in horrific detail with news reporting from the East Coast, especially New York. But across the nation, hundreds of local stations scrambled to make sense of the events from their own point of view. This is a television program that details the events of September 11th from a very different perspective- from America’s Heartland. This program uses only TV and radio broadcasts available that day to tell the story. There is no narration. There are no interviews. This is the closest viewers will come to experiencing what it’s like to live through September 11th–in the Heartland.

A Conversation with Teddi- Hollywood’s Cinema Cowgirl

A Conversation With Teddi – Hollywood’s Cinema Cowgirl is a short documentary about a woman who is a legendary Hollywood screenwriter named Teddi Sherman. The film is about her four decades working in Hollywood and her perspectives about how the world of entertainment has changed. When it comes to entertainment, Teddi Sherman has done it all. For seven decades Teddi has worked as a writer, actor and producer. The movies and television are in her blood – and we’re all better off for it.

20,000 Miles on a Horse

Network: Amazon Prime
This Feature documentary is about the lives of Louis Brunke and Vladimir Fissenko who rode on horseback from the southern tip of Argentina to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. It took them five years to cross 14 countries — and they filmed it all.

Peabody Award Winning MLK: The Assassination Tapes

Network: Smithsonian Channel

In March 1968, sanitation workers in Memphis shut the city down when they went on strike over better pay and working conditions.  Dr. Martin Luther King joined their cause – only to be gunned down by an assassin.  The MLK Assassination Tapes uses news footage of these events to tell this story in real-time, as it happened.

The Conspirator: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill

Network: National Geographic Channel

In the last days of the Civil War, an epic conspiracy nearly toppled the United States government with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.  Those responsible were brought to trial and four were hanged.  One was a woman named Mary Surratt, whose involvement in the plot has always been in question.  The documentary film, The Conspirator:  Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Lincoln, tells the story of how Mary became entangled with those who wanted to destroy the Union and examines whether or not she deserved to hang

Taking Down The Mob

Network: MSNBC

This may be the biggest Mob story of them all.  It has everything you need –money, violent crooks, killings and the betrayal of two cops who were supposed to be working for the NYPD but were actually feeding information to the Mafia. This story is 18 years in the making.  It involves the stealing of nearly $300 million in cash, jewels, and goods. It includes at least a dozen known murders and involves all five New York Mafia families.  Most importantly it involves a group of Mafia detectives that worked the case from start to finish – guys who normally don’t go public.  Guys who have until now never told their story. They use sophisticated surveillance tools combined with New York street smarts to beat the bad guys.

Out Of Left Field: The Making of The Chinese Baseball Team

Network: PBS

Welcome to Out of Left Field – a rollicking documentary that follows the stories of the Chinese Olympic Baseball Team, their American coaches and their journey to make sports history. China has never had an Olympic baseball team, but in 2008 it’s guaranteed – the host nation does not have to qualify its teams to participate in a sport. Out of Left Field is a remarkable glimpse into this world – a first-of-its-kind opportunity to see the emergence of a sport in a nation that once considered baseball “cultural pollution.” Jim Lefebvre, former player and coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is in charge of turning Chinese players with limited skills into Olympic-caliber athletes. Along with a handful of other retired pros – and with the cooperation of Major League Baseball – they are helping to bring America’s game to a nation with one-fifth of the world’s population.