February 10, 2014 Last Updated 11:43 am

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns releases freemium iPad app

Built around time line, app delivers scenes from director’s documentaries that are also organized by themes

The documentary filmmaker Ken Burns today released his own iPad app, simply called Ken Burns. The app is a collaboration between producer Don MacKinnon, the digital agency Big Spaceship and Burns, and uses a freemium model. The app and some content is free, though the iPad owner will need to pay $9.99 to access the entire content available.

The app is built around a time line that gives the reader an opportunity to view segments of Ken Burns films such as The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz and others, as well as to see how segments in one film relate to films on other subjects. Each segment lists a Theme, such as Politics or Innovation, which when the reader taps, takes them to another way to organize the content.

Sarah Botstein, a producer with Florentine Films, who worked with Burns on such films as Jazz and Prohibition, worked with MacKinnon on the app.

“With this app, we’re able to bring his films together in a way that allows them to cross-pollinate one another, revealing the most relevant themes of the American story,” MacKinnon said in the announcement for the app.

The app is available exclusively through Apple’s App Store. “Apple has long used an element of my filmmaking in its programs, which they call the Ken Burns Effect. I’m so excited to now be using Apple’s platforms to create a radically new way to present my work and reach new viewers,” Burns said.