HARTFORD — Filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan started with a blank slate that stretched across New England. From the far northeastern reaches of Maine to the southwestern tip of Connecticut, from postcard-perfect villages to historic figures, everything was in play. They looked at maps and deliberated. Then, as Burns said, they “really agonized” over how the whole project would come together, repeatedly questioning the content, the narrative themes, the sights and sounds.
What should a tour of New England include? Where would they find people and places that told great stories? How could two men famed for original, compelling documentaries on the Civil War, jazz, baseball, and national parks focus their creative process on their home region?