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Muffie MeyerMuffie Meyer
Producer and Director

Ronald BlumerRonald Blumer
Producer and Director

Creators of the recent PBS documentary, “ALEXANDER HAMILTON” (2007), to discuss New York history on film

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CALENDAR LISTING
Producer/director Muffie Meyer and writer/co-producer Ronald Blumer, who have collaborated on numerous historical documentaries for PBS, including “Alexander Hamilton” (2007) and “The Crash of 1929” (1990), will screen excerpts of their work, offer commentary, and answer questions about documentary filmmaking on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. [NOTE EARLY START TIME] in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. The free event, which is open to the public, is a featured presentation of the 10th annual “Researching New York” Conference, held at the University at Albany on November 20–21 and is cosponsored by UAlbany’s Documentary Studies Program, the New York State Writers Institute, and the Department of History. Additional information on the conference is available at http://nystatehistory.org/researchny/rsny.html.

 

PROFILES
Producer/director Muffie Meyer and writer/co-producer Ronald Blumer, who have collaborated on numerous historical documentaries for PBS, will screen excerpts of their work, offer commentary, and answer questions about documentary filmmaking.

Muffie Meyer co-founded the renowned documentary company Middlemarch Films, which since 1978 has produced more than 100 programs for public television. She and Ronald Blumer will present excerpts of three very different approaches to New York history. “Alexander Hamilton” (2007), a widely-praised documentary that aired on the PBS series, “American Experience,” uses dramatizations (featuring Tony Award-winning actor Brían F. O’Byrne), interviews with leading scholars, and digital re-creations of 18th century life to present a compelling portrait of Hamilton, the original (and controversial) architect of our nation’s banking system.

“The Crash of 1929” (1990), also an “American Experience” program, uses archival footage, including Hollywood features, to capture the unbounded optimism of the 1920s and the shocking consequences when the party on Wall Street comes to an end. “An Empire of Reason” (1988) asks what it would have been like if television cameras had been present to cover the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, with Walter Cronkite anchoring CTN, the “Continental Television Network.”

Jason Buchanan of the “All Movie Guide” featured on the “New York Times” website said of “Alexander Hamilton,” “In this documentary, history buffs can find out just how the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury helped to transform a struggling young republic into an industrialized nation with the power to compete on a global level.” Writing in the “New York Times,” Dorothy Rabinowitz called “The Crash of 1929,” “instructive and timely…. It is fitting that the crash be treated as an epic, the way it is treated here - and grippingly.”

Other collaborations by Meyer and Blumer have included the NOVA special, “Saving the National Treasures” (2005); the PBS mini-series, “Benjamin Franklin” (2002), which earned Meyer the 2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special; and the PBS series “Liberty! The American Revolution” (1997), which earned Meyer a Director’s Guild of America nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement.

The event is a featured presentation of the 10th annual “Researching New York” Conference, held at the University at Albany on November 20–21 and is cosponsored by UAlbany’s Documentary Studies Program, the New York State Writers Institute, and the Department of History. Additional information on the conference is available at http://nystatehistory.org/researchny/rsny.html.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.