Producing a video is a lot like the books I write — the research is the fun part. The real work is organizing mounds of info into a concise, coherent story for a broad audience. When I visited producer Rick Sebak, he sat next to the tapes for his PBS Lincoln Highway documentary: 99 of them at 40 minutes each! I count 66 hours of raw material that needs boiled down to a 56-minute show. What’s more daunting: that 65/66ths will not be used, or that he still has to watch and consider that material?
Above, Rick reviews the opening sequence and is about to cut the scene with the blue car — too similar to other road shots. Computers let him drag and drop segments of video like magnets on a refrigerator, then editor Kevin Conrad will perform the final splices (all digital of course). We also visited Paula Zetter, who designed the postcards.
I saw about 2/3 of the video and it’s great fun — very colorful and covering a wide variety of people and places. There’s a little from every state on the Lincoln Highway. Along with some basic history, there are markers and monuments, some food stops, and many attractions. Notable landmarks are sprinkled throughout the show too. Intrigued? Tune in Oct 29 at 8 pm AND announcing — repeating Halloween night at 10 pm. These two airings will also be broadcast on PBS-HD, likely the only HD broadcasts of it.
One more note — with a parallel genesis, my Lincoln Highway Companion book will include many of the same highlights when released in the Spring. Rick is just one of dozens of people who contributed their recommendations of places to visit along the route.